Iuliia Nesterenko

Technical Writer

The Benefits of Dynamic Product Recommendations in Emails

The Benefits of Dynamic Product Recommendations in Emails

People are buying online more than ever. According to Statista, e-commerce has reached more than 10% of total retail sales in the United States.

The rise of e-Commerce

The average person in the UK spends 24 hours a week in front of screens.

Online shopping has become an everyday routine for customers, while businesses have plenty of opportunities to attract them.

What attracts customers

Companies use multiple tools, channels, techniques, and strategies to attract new customers.

But despite the abundance of methods, gaining new customers costs 7 times more than retaining current customers. For this reason, retargeting has proven its worth to advertisers and marketers from all industries.

Dynamic product recommendation engines are a must-use retargeting instrument for e-commerce businesses.

By recommending products customers may be interested in, product recommendation engines not only boost sales but help companies learn more about their target audiences.

What are Dynamic Product Recommendations?

Dynamic product recommendations are items recommended for leads and customers by an online store’s algorithm engine. Once an engine has enough data about customers, it can find relevant products based on customers’ behavior and preferences.

There are two types of recommendations: generic and personalized.

Generic Product Recommendations

Generic recommendations don’t account for customer’s needs.

Generic product recommendations

These recommendations include top deals, trending products, new arrivals, discounted items, and all the items an e-store wants customers to browse for.

Personalized Product Recommendations

Personalized recommendations go far beyond the “You may also like…” category.

Personalized product recommendations

Online stores do their best to satisfy customers’ desires. To achieve this, they use two techniques: cross-sell vs upsell.

Upselling is a technique that motivates customers to buy more in addition to the initial purchase, increasing the order total. For example, if someone adds a flip chart to the cart, an online store might offer markers.

Upselling is a technique that motivates customers to buy more

Cross-selling is a technique that motivates customers to buy one more related product together with the initial item. For example, when a customer adds a table to the cart, an e-store might recommend a chair.


In addition, personalized recommendations include products a customer has recently viewed but hasn’t bought yet.

Where Do Marketers Use Recommendation Engines?

Everywhere. Obviously, the major places to show product recommendations are online stores.

Companies can place on-site suggestions anywhere they like: on the home page, product category pages, product pages, and other pages. Recommendations can be based on any criteria such as price, rating, size, and brand.

Thanks to Google, businesses can launch dynamic ad campaigns to display search and app ads that are generated automatically in real time.

The same goes for social media. For instance, Facebook offers Dynamic Ads for the automotive, real estate, and travel industries, as well as Automated Ads based on a company’s budget and business goals.

What about dynamic email content?

5 Types of Product Recommendations in Email Marketing

When it comes to online recommendation engines and email marketing, there are a few different types of content blocks that can increase your conversions.

Type 1. Similar Products

Recommendations for similar products are generated in real time for people who click on a product but don’t buy it.

Maybe they didn’t like some detail of the product. For example, maybe the shirt wasn’t the right color or size. Why not help customers get rid of hesitations by offering a product that’s similar to what they previously liked?

In the similar product-content block, you can satisfy customers’ needs with items that are cheaper, a different size, or differ slightly in some other way from products they’ve already looked at.

Type 2. Abandoned Cart

Let’s start with the numbers. Nearly 69% of people abandon online shopping carts without purchasing a product. On the other side, more than 40% of customers who abandon a cart open a cart abandonment email.

This type of email encourages customers to get back to the cart and finish the purchase thanks to a catchy message and several recommended products in a dynamic block.

Type 3. Sales, Discounts, and Special Offers

According to the report from Campaign Monitor, recipients open emails with discounts more willingly (72% of the time) than emails with a personalized subject line (62% of the time). That makes sense.

Sales and discounts

Every company has two groups of buyers. The first are people who buy regularly because they can afford to. The second are customers who wait for discounts because that’s the only way they can afford the brand.

Emails with discounts

In email blocks with discounted items, you can motivate both groups and offer personalized suggestions that depend on their purchasing capacity.

Type 4. Holidays and Special Events

Christmas, Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day, and other special events are a good reason to send emails to your customers and please them with personalized product recommendations.

Holidays and special events

In addition, you can generate an email block with new and special items that are relevant only to the occasion you celebrate with your customers.

Type 5. Order Confirmation

To make your business processes as effective as possible, you should use every opportunity along the customer’s path. Making an extra offer after a customer has ordered a product is one of them.

Use an order confirmation email to let buyers know they may also like other products you sell. Under the order information, you can add a few personalized recommendations from new arrivals, best sellers, and other product categories based on the product(s) the customer has ordered.

Send emails your customers can't ignore!

4 Tips to Boost Your CTR with Product Recommendations

Now let’s mention a few recommendations so you can apply dynamic email marketing to existing customers and create recommendation blocks flawlessly.

Tip 1. Showcase Just a Few Products Per Block

Avoid adding too many items to a recommendation block. Otherwise, you can bewilder your email recipients.

Product showcase

To find out the optimal number of recommendations, create a few tests and show blocks of different sizes to different audiences.

Tip 2. Cross-Sell and Upsell Carefully

Different types of emails require different selling techniques. Let’s take a product recommendation example of a cart abandonment email.

If you add products that are more expensive than those the customer has abandoned, chances are the block won’t help you sell more. When it comes to suggestions in an order confirmation email, cross-selling is a good way to show related or complementary products.

Tip 3. Enliven Your Emails with Visual Content

People watch more video than ever. That’s why video email marketing is getting more popular when it comes to boosting sales and conversions. Companies add videos to emails for many reasons. One of them is to attract more attention to product recommendations.

Visual content in emails

A video in an email is one more opportunity to make your offer more engaging. If you think that video may distract your customers from recommended products, take advantage of GIFs or cinemagraphs. They’re a perfect alternative.

Tip 4. Diversify Your Headlines

When choosing a headline for your recommendation block, try to shift away from traditional phrases such as what customers like, you may also like, and people also view, even though they may work pretty well.

Diverse headlines

Customize these word combinations depending on the products you add, the users who buy them, and other unique factors.


In this article, we specified about the dynamic product recommendations and their definition, named the general types of product recommendations, discovered the major recommendation blocks for emails, and shared several tricks to make your emails more engaging for customers.

All you need to do now is to create a recommendation engine, get enough data from your customers, and test different recommendation blocks on different groups to learn how to sell as effectively as possible. Good luck!

By Igor Byrdin, a contributing writer at Softcube
Igor Byrdin, Softcube

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Iuliia Nesterenko

Technical Writer

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