Mailvivo: Newsletter structure & variant layouts

Way back in April this year (April 7th, 2009) George Burrell, wrote a good article about using different structures in your emails for different people depending on their behaviour with previous emails you have sent them and their web-site activity:
“For example, a subscriber who has recorded multiple past purchases is a prime candidate for an email that contains big offers, coupled with a strong cross selling section, the return is rather significant. Your standard email may not want to include cross selling as you do not wish to dilute your original email’s goal, however with the subscriber in this example we know they are active and responsive”…read on

It is a pretty good idea but the structure that needs to be in place before hand has to be pretty well thought out. Even if you have the software to handle it everyone will need different rules and these will need to be set-up. You will then need to decide what kinds of variants you will use. Will you do the interfaces thing like you do on web-sites where everyone randomly gets a different look and feel or will it depend on their previous actions.
Of course it will be better to decide from previous actions but how will you decide that? In this example it is saying that people who always buy get an offer early and people that rarely buy get what?
So as well as the level of profiling needing to be incredibly in-depth, mixing email reports, web-analytics and purchasing history together you then need to categorise different recipients and prepare creative structure and variants for each one. Surely if you are going to go that far, you might as well also make the products and services you include focus on their person’s profile too? That is a big job that takes a lot of thought and preparation. I’ve managed a couple of projects that are similar to that for e-commerce companies and that required a lot of database work and interaction with the CMS to get the content ready for the emails. I like getting FastStats to do much of the work then making a bit of middle ware to do the content work. After that you just set-up, press go, sit back and pray 😀