Email Marketing: eBay – one step ahead


Firstly, let me say that I’m not intentionally promoting eBay (my last post being on just that), however, I was once again really impressed with their ‘Great Selection Tailored To You!’ personalised email.

A couple of days ago I got one of these emails from eBay, with the subject line ‘Your personalised recommendations, eBay username!’. I scrolled through and saw some related products based on items I’d clicked through in the last couple of months; some of which I was no longer interested in, and others which gave me some ideas on products related to what I was interested in but didn’t know about. I therefore clicked through and had a look around at these and other products. And now for the clever bit…

When I went back to the original email minutes later I noticed that some of the products in the email had disappeared and been replaced with products related to a (search and) click through I’d done seconds before. Amazing. On the one hand, it was frustrating, because I wanted a reminder of the products that I was prompted to look at but on the other hand, how brilliant that eBay was dynamically updating the email based on my most recent, and therefore assumed most relevant, items clicked through.

Attempting to delve into the ‘how did they do that’, it would appear eBay’s email dynamically pulls in products as a groups of images from a category, under the headings:

• Still interested in what you recently viewed? Grab it now!
• Based on what you’ve last watched, we recommend these…
• Based on what you last looked at, you may like these…
• These are our most watched items…
• Popular items in the last category you accessed

…aside from the final ‘Popular keywords’ sections – which I found to be extremely relevant.

Have you seen anyone else doing live dynamic product association in their email marketing? What do you think are the pros and cons of eBay’s way?

Based on my click throughs of, in order, 1) an iPad Case; 2) Nail Varnish; and 3) a Samsung Monitor, this is the dynamically updated email:

Ebay's 'Great Selection Tailored to You' email

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