Vero’s world-first external attributes feature allows you to use more data to personalise your emails on a truly one-to-one basis.
I recently heard someone say “before long, A/B testing will be dead“.
That’s a little alarmist, but their point was that we live in a world where people want more, customised and faster than ever before.
When it comes to email marketing, the focus is shifting to campaigns personalised at a one-to-one level.
Amazon does stuff like this all the time:
To insert those camera images, Amazon has to know three things:
- Who you are.
- What you’ve looked at on their site.
- What products are related.
If you haven’t checked out Vero’s event-based email automation, you should. For a long time now, Vero has helped customers with one and two: our API allows you to track who is one your site and what they are doing.
Without question, one-to-one personalization is the future of email marketing.
This might be looking at a features page, viewing a product, upgrading to one of your subscriptions, testing a new feature, and so on.
However, it’s difficult for Vero to capture the sort of data needed to do number three.
So, instead, we built a world first: a tool that gives you the ability to insert your own data in each individual email before it goes out.
Increasing conversions one customer at a time
Simon and the team over at Zodee sell ladies undergarments and swimwear.
They already had some great campaigns but wanted to make them even more personal, so they turned to Vero’s external attributes feature.
This allows them to call their own web server before each newsletter goes out and return custom items.
Take the following newsletter:
See those eight swimsuits at the bottom?
They’re customised on a user-by-user basis. For each of Zodee’s customers this email looks different. Killer.
Here’s what that same newsletter looks like in the Vero editor:
After you take a closer look, you can see that this is in fact our custom external attributes filter at work. You can read more on the details of how it works, but at a high level, this filter allows you to specify a place on your website that will return custom HTML to be inserted in the email before it goes out.
This code gets executed before each and every email goes out, so you can include custom attributes for each user if you want – meaning every email looks different.
(If you’re worried about scale, we’ll cache queries wherever we can, so this can work with thousands or tens of millions of subscribers).
In the example above Simon is calling a product recommendation endpoint and passing along the individual recipient’s country, influencing which products are returned.
This is insane and takes each and every outbound email to a whole new level. We’re big fans of what the Zodee team have achieved with this tool and think they’re a shining example for others.
Unlocking Raw Power
The external attributes power lets you customise your emails in a way you haven’t been able to before. It gives your marketers the ability to alter emails and yet doesn’t require any compromise on what you can achieve.
In the case of Zodee, these emails couldn’t have been built without this feature: as the data simply wasn’t available to use. Now they can use as much data as they want.
There are two key ways you can include external data:
- Via HTML. This is similar to Simon’s email above where you return raw HTML to include in your outgoing email.
- Using JSON. This allows you to call an API of your own and access JSON hash data before processing your outgoing emails.
A simple example of our own: we recently built an API endpoint that allows us to return custom coupon codes on the fly.
Using this endpoint, we are now able to create emails like this one:
In this instance we return a simple coupon code, e.g. “XKL18LmA”, that our customers can use.
Including this sort of data in an email based on information captured by our event tracking was difficult: it would be hard to retrospectively create coupons and we would potentially be creating a lot of wasted coupons.
Instead, the external attributes feature gives us the power we need.
Over To You
What great ideas can you come up with to use our external attributes feature that give your emails more personality and more personalisation? We’d love to hear about them in the comments or via email@example.com.
If you want to use external attributes you can unlock the feature on our $299/month and above plans, or give us an email and have a chat (firstname.lastname@example.org). You can upgrade at any time and downgrade later too, if you just want to try it out.
We’re excited to see what you come up with!