Patenting the Tech Behind Real-Time Email

Ask any email marketer today about contextual email, live content, real-time email, or open-time personalization, and they’ll know exactly what you’re talking about. But that wasn’t always the case.

Less than a decade ago – back in 2010 – the concept was quite novel. It was at that time that Movable Ink co-founders Vivek Sharma and Michael Nutt were wondering why no one had ever figured out how to update an email after it was sent. If you could accomplish that, you could give enormous power to marketers to add a dynamic nature to a historically very static channel. 

Seeing the market opportunity, Vivek and Michael quickly got to work, figuring out the technology and business plan for bringing their idea to market. And just like that, Movable Ink was born. Today, many email marketers take the concept behind open-time personalization for granted, but it all started with Movable Ink. In fact, Movable Ink holds patents for generating real-time email content in the US, Canada, and Europe.


The first iteration of Movable Ink’s solution was focused on making email more real-time and contextual. Movable Ink’s web crop application was the first innovation – bringing in real-time sections of a company’s website directly into the email – solving all sorts of challenges around providing in-stock products, up-to-date prices, and curated selections for customer segments. Quick to follow were contextual applications using time, weather, device type, and more to drive personalization. This initially led to simple applications like countdown timers, local maps, and device targeting. However, Movable Ink didn’t stop there.

Over the past nine years, Movable Ink has continued to drive innovation in the category to help brands create highly engaging and visual 1:1 experiences for their customers. The next big innovation for Movable Ink was the launch of data sources, allowing marketers to unlock data and bring it together with creative to automatically generate personalized visual experiences that were catered to the individual.  

From there, Movable Ink continued to enhance the product with creative optimization, behavioral marketing, and most recently new channels like web and display. Unlike other companies that talk about innovation, Movable Ink lives it. This spirit is also reflected in its augmented reality solution, the first tool to democratize AR for marketers by making it easy to create branded, data-driven AR experiences without having to know any code or requiring a customer to download an app.

Movable Ink’s pioneer spirit and commitment to innovation have paid off. Today, more than 700 of the world’s biggest brands rely on Movable Ink’s visual experience platform to unlock customer data and combine it with creative to generate customized visuals that speak to them in the moment – every time they choose to engage. 

At Movable Ink we are all about creating beautiful, on-brand visuals that are tailored to the individual. Our solution unblocks the creative bottleneck that has prevented marketers from bringing their personalization efforts into the visual era. And it all started with a revolutionary idea nine years ago that was made possible because of images. We’re proud of our heritage and the technology foundation that still serves us today.

Our patents are a reminder of where we started. Behind the crude line drawings and stilted legal language of our patents is a unique and revolutionary idea that gave life to what we do today. If you’re curious to see the original idea that got Movable Ink started, we encourage you to check out our patents via the links below. Then, when you’re done, you can see how far we’ve come in this overview video

United States Patent US10027610B2

Canadian Patent CA2854348

European Patent EP2776955B1