Agile email creative is the formatting of images not before send, or at send (with automated or dynamic content) but at the moment the customer opens or re-opens an email.

This allows one to change pictures in an email depending on a host of variables, on their own or combined, in a rules-based system.

A lot of what this agile creative can achieve boils down to improving the user journey when they open an email. So, for example, an image can present latest availability of a product, so that when the customer clicks through from a product image, she isn’t surprised by lack of stock and doesn’t subsequently distrust brand comms.

I’ve previously talked to Movable Ink, a specialist in simplified email build and agile email creative (see this post for an overview and some great comments). Recently I also spoke to Matt Hayes of Kickdynamic, another agile email specialist.

We discussed the possibilities of the technology and how, although not a complex premise, agile email is enlivening the channel whilst increasing conversion rates from email marketing.

In this post I thought I’d detail some more examples of agile email creative and discuss what benefits they hold.

Weather

In retail, product sets and promotions can be served that update to be relevant to weather at the time of open in the recipient locality.

asda weather in email

The locality can be based on known address or country/area taken from IP address.

These product sets can increase conversion in locales where weather is changeable and a talking point, the UK being a case in point.

Fashion brands can have a ‘sunny’ product set, to ensure that customers who open on a sunny weekend, for example, will be served products that befit the weather and mood. It’s much like weather based PPC advertising, which has been established best practiced for a while.

In another sector, travel, customer experience can be improved by including five day weather forecasts for a customer destination. Live TripAdvisor content could be included to advise on activities at destination, too.

Here’s an agile Thomas Cook email showing the weather but also the trusty countdown to holiday, the classic use of a gif in email.

thomas cook email with destination weather

Up to the minute information

This is about ensuring the latest info is displayed at email open.

One of the obviously powerful implementations includes currency feeds in travel email. Below you can see a shot from a Thomas Cook email. Up to date exchange rates will reduce customer frustration and abandonment when buying online.

This concept can be applied to aeroplane seating and hotel room availability, latest news, anything temporal.

thomas cook currency conversion in email

Social content

This is, like weather and exchange rates, simply showing the latest info within an image that updates on each open.

Here’s an example from Net-A-Porter. This, especially in the fickle world of fashion, undoubtedly gives an up-to-the-minute flavour which helps to portray the brand image, as well as up to date information in the tweets.

net-a-porter twitter feed in email

Availability

I touched on this around travel and hotel or flight availability. It’s just as relevant for any company that can provide accurate or approximate detail on product availability.

This could extend to ‘deal of the day’, or even ‘deal of the hour’ at every open. Stock alerts and sale alerts are also possible.

Creating this level of urgency is a good thing, as is providing accurate information to ensure customers aren’t disappointed.

Gmail grid view

I’ve written about this previously. Grid view is only in field trial at the moment, and entry requests have now ceased.

If the concept is rolled out, a hero image will display with each email. Optimising this is important, and agile creative will allow this image to change with time, device, weather, product availability etc.

gmail grid view