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By popular demand, you can now include dates in your custom fields. Using the new ‘Date’ data type when creating a new custom field, you can send targeted campaigns based on say, your subscriber’s age, when they purchased a product or perhaps when their warranty is about to expire. Plus, with 20 custom fields now available in your account, you can only imagine the possibilities! Lets briefly go through how you can set up and use date fields in your campaigns.

Adding a new date field to your subscriber list

To create a new date custom field for in Campaign Monitor, go to your subscriber list and click on ‘Custom fields’ in the right-hand column. Lets call this field something meaningful, like ‘Birthday’:

App Screenshot

Click the ‘Add Custom Field’ button to save your new date field. Now you’ll be able to import dates into your subscriber list from a file, or manually add them into that field by clicking on any email address in your list. If ‘This field should be visible to recipients when they edit their settings in the preference center’ is checked, then you can also get your subscribers to update their details via your preference center! Find out more about adding dates to custom fields.

What can I do with these date fields?

Using dates in your custom fields, you can create all sorts of interesting segmented campaigns based on birthdate, purchase date, last visit to the doctor – you name it!

Lets assume that you’ve updated your subscriber list with the birthdates of your subscribers, using a field called “Birthday”. Now, say that you want to send a youth-oriented newsletter to subscribers aged 18-24 years of age. To create a segment for these folks, simply go back into your subscriber list, click ‘Segments’ in the right-hand column, then create a new segment. Lets call this one, “18-24 years of age”. Create your first rule based on your new “Birthday” field and click, ‘Add rule’.

For the first rule in the segment, we need to specify that our subscribers are older than 18 years of age. So, “Birthday” will be less than “19 Jul 1992”:

App Screenshot

Now we’re going to set an upper-age of 24. Using the drop-down below, we’ll add another “and” rule based on “Birthday”. This time, it will be “Birthday” is greater than “19 Jul 1986”:

App Screenshot

Click ‘Save and refresh count’. We’re done creating this segment and ready to create a campaign that’s relevant to folks in this age bracket!

How do I collect dates from my subscribers?

We’ve made it really easy to collect dates from your subscribers, via your subscribe forms and the preference center. To create a new subscribe form that includes drop-down lists for entering dates, simply go into your subscriber list and click, ‘Create a subscribe form’. Make sure your date field(s) are ticked, then ‘Generate the code’. Once you’ve tweaked the supplied code to taste, you should get a form like this:

App Screenshot

Subscribers can also update their own date fields via your preference center. Once you’ve created a date custom field or two with “This field should be visible to recipients when they edit their settings in the preference center” ticked, simply add the <preferences> template tag to your campaigns and leave ’em to it!

So, that’s the skinny on using dates in your custom fields. Many thanks to everyone who requested this new data type – hopefully this will make a big difference to how you segment your campaigns. If you’ve been super-vigilant when using date fields, you may have also noticed another major addition to your account as a result of our recent update; never fear either way, we’ll be letting you know all about it in the next few days!

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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