How dynamic content is helping Betfair deliver better personalisation odds

Next-best bet recommendations, content updated in real time and harnessing zero and first-party data to engage consumers are some of the ways the betting exchange is improving email marketing

Next-best bet recommendations, real-time updates on the next race markets and personalised performance scores are just some of the ways Betfair is harnessing dynamic content in its email marketing efforts.

Betfair Australia offers dynamic betting exchanges digitally for events across sports, entertainment, and politics. As competition in the market heats up and customer expectations for personalisation increases, the group has been working to improve how it communicates and engages via digital channels and especially email marketing.

Betfair CRM and insights manager, Adam Wardle, told CMO the business already had a rich customer data set within its Salesforce Marketing Cloud, with regular data batch loads from a centralised Snowflake data warehouse into the platform to power marketing activities. This meant lot of data required for personalisation and relevant communications was there.

But with static content in emails, delivering that personalisation creatively required a lot of manual leg work including laborious changes and replication of templates. Bringing on Movable Ink’s dynamic content solution was about automating processes and harnessing data to customise and personalise emails seamlessly and more easily, he said.

In the first instance, Betfair was looking to improve the way it produced its twice-weekly customer newsletter, which was taking a day to populate each time and could be prone to error. Using Movable Ink’s platform, the team has the ability to manage these newsletters through CSV files, uploading links and headers, then running an app in the platform to populate content fields of its emails quickly and efficiently.

“It was making that shift from using that field to split within a journey, versus having that as a split within the email itself. That shift alone meant big time savings in terms of our output,” Wardle explained. “You have one email with the same things in the email, instead of eight versions of that email. It’s a streamlined process from that point of view.”  

Betfair Australia is now increasingly tapping into its existing zero and first-party data sources to build reusable content blocks and offer consumer hyper-personalised, relevant messaging. For the business, advanced data personalisation is key to driving email performance and creating meaningful connections with consumers through uniquely inventive use cases. And overall, it’s reduced manual build times by at least 50 per cent.

For example, given content block fields population is automated, information updates in tandem with the brand’s website. Using this, Betfair has set up an API integration to promote next-best actions via email.

With horse racing one of the most popular categories on its local exchange, the marketing team can keep upcoming races on consumers’ radar without emailing stale scheduling information. Instead, modules show upcoming horse race schedules and the next races on the exchange in a real-time way.

“This example is not so much about personalisation but making sure your content is not stagnant – it almost gives you an infinite amount of content to show people,” Wardle said. “You can expand your content offering with minimal, hands-on effort.”

In the header of the email campaign, Betfair Australia displays the individual’s name in the brand’s font while encouraging recipients to receive tips from its expert punters. Towards the bottom of the email, there’s an evergreen content block that showcases upcoming races on the exchange including race line-ups, horses’ names, betting odds, total amounts matched and a call-to-action for consumers to quickly join in on the wager.

Personal data history

A popular personalisation use case has been an ‘in review’, showcasing a consumer’s own historical data and betting history via email. One of the most successful Wardle pointed to was its AFL review campaign, which shows each consumer customised results based on their zero and first-party data. This includes which AFL bets person has placed previously, plus aggregated insights into what other AFL betters have done, including most popular games, biggest upsets, highest traded prices, most popular player disposal market and teams most popular in terms of bets, and the highest priced winning same game multi bets.

“We’ve seen some of our highest open rates from this campaign of more than 50 per cent each week, compared to our newsletter open rates of about 40-44 per cent,” Wardle said. “This is about surprise and delight and delivering a very good customer experience. It’s not necessarily driving people to do something, but saying we see you and this is something cool and exciting you can engage with.”  

Improving onboarding is a current area of focus for the Betfair team, with plans afoot to overhaul the onboard journey. Wardle saw opportunities for personalisation there, based on milestones such as whether someone has deposited versus not, or where the lead came from, to dictate fresh experiences.

There’s also more scope in harnessing other capabilities within the Movable Ink platforms, such as ‘scratch and reveal’ panels. Dynamic recommendations are also on the cards to serve up market results, such as time to the next racing market, personalised based on a punter usually likes to bet on. This will see a data science model run live that says this customer is interested in AFL and cricket. When they then open an email, they’re shown the next biggest cricket or AFL market to participate in.

This mix could include things Betfair knows they like versus may not have bet on before but others like them have done, Wardle said.  

“We will definitely look to implement more. It’s all about ways to build more engagement,” he added.

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