Open-Time Personalization Comes to Email

This week's summit in Chicago saw perfect weather, an abundant of booth goodies and innovation that makes one feel good about the direction ecommerce is headed.

Perhaps the most intriguing announcement this editor heard came from Monetate with its updates to its Acceleration Cloud. Off in a side room at McCormick Place, Bruce Ernst, VP of product management for Monetate, officially released two products: Monetate Email and Monetate Display. Both bring Monetate's big data marketing acceleration technology to retention and acquisition channels, connecting everything the company knows about a subscriber to email and display, in one user interface.  

Let's tackle Monetate Email first. Using real-time, marketers can now deliver email that is personalized at open-time (whoah!), rather than when the email is sent. Here's an example: A marketer for an outdoor company sends a subscriber in San Diego an email promoting rain boots because it's raining there, but the user doesn't open the email for a few days and now it's sunny. When the subscriber opens the email, dynamic content can be served, in other words, flip flops instead of rain boots. 

There is a creative challenge to this. Most companies can't generate enough content to cover every weather scenario or customer behavior, but brands can set variants to include large portions of their customer base, but still provide a hyper-relevant, personalized experience (see image for End of the Week Sale Email campaign). 

Another use-case of this dynamic content equation is Flash Sales. When email subscribers receive messages about limited-time only sales that are over, it's frustrating and leaves a bad impression of the brands sending them. Monetate Email provides a real-time, live countdown to show how much time is left on the flash sale. If a subscriber opens the email when the flash sale has ended, the company has the option of serving content such as, "You missed this sale, but since you are a valuable customer, here's 20 percent off just for you." One more example of Monetate Email that was given, was that if a subscriber looks and lingers (more than one minute) in an email and then goes to the company's website hours later, Monetate can deliver the same image that subscriber saw in the email to offer a personalized, consistent experience. 

A similar offering is featured in Monetate Display, which allows brands to discover their most valuable customer segments and make targeted display ad buys to attract high-value customer segments to their websites. Through an integration with major display ad networks (a list should be available soon), ad buys can be made directly inside the Monetate interface. 

Additionally, Monetate Display features a calculator that lets the marketer input a desired level of performance for each segment, and then automatically estimate the cost the marketer can spend to acquire that audience, in order to achieve the desired level of performance. Display synchronizes the customer's ad-to-website journey, so visitors have a consistent, seamless experience from the click to conversion. In other words, the ads are followed through to the website as in the image below. 

Here are some other images of Monetate Email and Monetate Display in action:

(Email Current Conditions)

(Display Live Predict)

(Email Hero Section)

(Email to Web Consistency)