Is Open Time context the new segmentation?

Kickdynamic is the the pioneer of contextual marketing technology allowing our customers to embed high converting, contextual content into email messages easily.

In this post I want to highlight what context is, why it is important, and show examples of high converting content from our customers.

We believe context is the new segmentation – why?

Context defines the surrounding situation of a customer the moment they interact with your brand. Using context you can take advantage of a consumers surroundings and what is happening in their lives at the the moment of open to be relevant. This can include what is on TV now, what city they are in, the sports score or the latest items on sale.

Forester, in its Mobile Mind Shift, describes contextual marketing as: “The expectation that any desired information or service is available, on any appropriate device, in context, at your moment of need”.

Why is context important now?

Context is the new segmentation and important now because we, as consumers, expect information immediately when we want it. As consumers we need to have the latest, most relevant content at our fingertips – the moment we demand it. Not only that, it needs to be easy to get what we want. To find information, make a purchase, book a restaurant and more. Therefore, when you are marketing to a customer, you have to optimise content to their context.

We are all connected. Email, social, apps, the web on all devices is the norm. We are also accessing the information we need at the time we need it. Therefore providing a good experience to your customer is providing a contextual one.

Segmentation traditionally uses preference or behaviour data.

Preference or previous behavioural data, although part of the picture, does have limitations – and with the right tech can be combined with context. Why?

Using this data to tailor content is great, but does have some limitations that need considering.

  • Preference data is self selected. We tell our brands what information we think we are interested in, but is it really what content we need?
  • Preference is rarely updated. We self-select once, and very rarely update preferences although our tastes and buying preferences change.
  • Small % age of database. What percentage of your email database do you have preference or behavioural data on?

Now we are aware of the limitations of preference of behaviour data, lets consider how we can use context AND preference AND behaviour data at open time.

How to use context at the time of open.

The very nature of context is that it is always changing as we move through our busy lives. Therefore to utilise context in marketing content must adapt to a customers context the moment they are consuming it.

With the email channel, this is when a recipient is viewing a message. With Kickdynamic’s open time technology, you can adapt an image at the moment it is being view to personalise it based on a recipient context.

Using open time marketing you now have the ability to continuously engage with customers on their terms, enabling you to deliver highly relevant and engaging messages.

Contextual marketing also allows you adapt content based on in-the-moment behavioural considerations – such as commuting. Detecting the type of device, and the time opened on a smart phone, you can change the image to reflect the behaviour associated with that contextual situation. Are they opening on a mobile between 8-10am in the morning on the commute? Are they opening after 7pm on a tablet and therefore potentially watching the TV? Adapting images to these behaviours on mobile enable you to be more relevant contextually.

Here are some examples of context:

Dunelocation use location at open to adapt nearest store and delivery messages:

Dune show have three location rules for the nearest store image:

  • Open in UK & 50k of NYC store, show pins over a map of the nearest stores
  • Open in country of deliver – show local delivery information
  • Open in country with no delivery – show a “Vote Now” message for delivery to your country, that looks like this:



This use of location allows DuneLondon to show location specific store and delivery information.

Thomas Cook use live weather forecasts in travel destination for engaging, useful content:

In Thomas Cook pre stay email, Thomas Cook can show the live weather forecast of the travel destination to add context to the life cycle email. At every open the latest weather is displayed.

Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 12.16.34  use weather condition at the location and moment of open for  weather-aware images:

Displayed different products based on the weather at the time and location of open. This allow them to merchandise to global weather conditions.


Do you have any other examples of the use of email and context on-open?

  • Hospity

    Awesome this is Great Wonderful Information.. Great Thanks..

    Web Development India