Interview with Kevin Linden: "Email Personalization... It Works!"
During the DDMA in Amsterdam, we’ve got an opportunity to talk to the co-founder of NiftyImages, Kevin Linden.
His service is specified in helping email marketers to diversify their email campaigns. Here you can find:
blocks for picture personalization
collages for social networks
The company exists for three years, and during this time, NiftyImages has helped more than 18000 people. This service became a top-ranked tool for personalization of dynamic elements.
The conversation about useful features and personalization
1. What made you build a service that is meant for interactivity?
We built NiftyImages after seeing a huge gap in the market. There weren’t any affordable solutions that offered advanced personalization techniques but at the same time, everyone was being told to build more personalized emails. We knew that ESPs were never going to develop tools fast enough to keep up with the needs of email marketers, so we took on the challenge.
2. How easy is it for a marketer to work with your service? Is it necessary to possess a deep knowledge of integration?
We try to make our platform as easy to use as possible, even for those without extensive HTML knowledge. Every image that you make in our platform is given to you like a simple Image URL, allowing you to simply copy and paste it into your email. This also allows you to use our images in any ESP or CRM, without needing integration into the platform you are using. It is common for our clients to sign up, build an image and be testing it in their campaigns in under 10 minutes.
3. How does the Click and Link Tracking option work today?
We started to offer Links in our platform, to make our current images even more dynamic. For instance, you can add a link to a countdown timer and have it automatically forward to a second link once the timer expires. This is great for dynamic timers on campaigns like Abandoned Shopping Cart emails or Welcome Emails, where there is a limited time offer.
Or you can simply have the ability to change a link in your email after your campaign has already been sent.
Another big use for Links is our Rule Sets, which allow you to change the image based on:
- A particular day and time
- Time of the day or day of the week
- Based on the device or email client viewing the image
- GeoTargeting based on the subscriber’s IP
- ESP variables
- Data Sources such as an API, CSV file or Google Sheet
But changing the image is only part of the solution. You also need to be able to have a unique link for each image which our Links feature offers. Each rule can have a unique link to a landing page, calendar file, app store, etc.
4. Where is interactivity more demanded: websites, emails or social networks?
I think websites are still the most demanding when it comes to interactivity, but that is mostly because of the limits that exist in email and social networks. Because email and social are much more personal to a consumer, they aren’t willing to let companies have enough control over their inbox or social accounts.
5. Which interactive element is the most popular among users? Why?
Countdown timers are by far the most popular with our clients. They are easy to build, easy to use and give email recipients a clear message in the campaigns that they receive. Whether that is an event start time or creating urgency for a sale/promotion, a timer is easily understood and helps our clients increase email engagement with minimal time and resources.
6. Which element do you find the most powerful and converting?
Using Data Sources to pull in real-time content is by far the most powerful tool. This allows clients to build unique content for each subscriber, using any data that they have access too. There is nothing more engaging than showing a subscriber the exact product that they just browsed, with a link directly to it.
7. Please, share the most successful case of implementing interactivity by your clients? Why did it work out?
Some of our most successful use cases have been with airlines, showing live pricing through Data Sources. Being able to show live flight prices based on each subscriber’s browsing and past flights can be a real feat to accomplish, and expensive with other solutions. But by using airlines existing API’s, we let them build this out quickly for their ongoing marketing strategy, seeing results as high as 60% more engagement and 40% increase in sales.
And this just makes sense for airlines to do. You can’t promote prices on all of the flights you offer and prices are changing every few minutes based on availability. This means nothing can be hard-coded into your emails and therefore most airlines decide to show a generic message and hope the subscribers search on their site. But using tools like NiftyImages lets them show real-time prices that are updated each time a subscriber opens the email.
Jazz up your emails with eSputnik!
8. What is the least successful case?
The least successful instance is when clients don’t take advantage of the design options or don’t have their data in place. Using a personalized image with just a name can work great, but if you use a generic background image with times new roman font, it won’t have the results you are looking for.
We urge our clients to get creative and take advantage of custom fonts in their images, which is something most of their subscribers have never seen.
And also make sure you have your data in order! Having the first name on only 20% of your list is going to give you minimal increase.
9. Which new elements are you going to release in 2020?
While we are already halfway through the year, we do have some big plans to finish out 2020. This includes using CSV/Google Sheets as Data Sources, adding Maps, Add to Calendar and Charts.
Fingers crossed that we can get to all of it!