By Ros Hodgekiss on 5th November 2013
Our new dynamic content tags will help you to send highly targeted content to your subscribers, increase engagement and cut turnaround times by effectively rolling many versions of a campaign into one.
Regardless of whether you've used dynamic content previously, or have never heard of it before, we've got you covered in this post. In addition to an introduction to the new dynamic content tags, we'll show you practical examples, a swag of new documentation to help you get started, plus what you'll see in your account when you import a campaign.
The concept is simple - with dynamic content, you can conditionally display text, images or other elements in email campaigns, based on custom field values. It's similar to personalizing your campaign with custom fields, but with much greater flexibility. For example, let's say you run an online store and would like to offer a coupon code to your VIP customers only, however you want to send a single email campaign to both VIPs and non-VIPs respectively. No problem. With dynamic content, you can add copy for all customers…
"Check out our new products."
... then for your VIPs, use dynamic content to mention the coupon:
"Check out our new products - as a VIP, you can receive 25% off…"
Then say, you have both VIPs and vendors tagged in a custom field called "CustomerType". You could even tailor the content for the latter, too:
"We'd love for you to check out our new products - as a friend of our store, you'll get 30% off..."
Or for people that are neither tagged as VIPs or vendors:
"Check out our new products and make sure you become a VIP for future discounts..."
That's only the tip of the iceberg - as far as personalizing both HTML and text-only content goes, the possibilities are endless. As an added benefit, dynamic content may also save you from having to create completely separate campaigns, when all you want to do is alter a call-to-action, or provide relevant information, for a specific group of subscribers.
If you're comfortable with creating campaigns, importing them, and using custom fields, you'll find using our new dynamic content tags to be a straightforward task. We've kept both the tags and logic simple, so you can focus on creative and effective ways to use dynamic content, not debugging code.
There are four scenarios that can be used and respective sets of tags to achieve them. They are:
If a specified custom field contains any value, display some content.
If a specified custom field equals a specific value, display some content.
If a specified custom field equals a specific value, display some content, otherwise display alternative content.
If a specified custom field equals a specific value, display some content, or else if a specified custom field has a specific value, display some other content. If there is no match in either scenario, display alternative content.
This may seem like a lot of new stuff, so let's look how we'd implement our earlier example to help make sense of it all.
Let's assume we've imported a subscriber list featuring a 'CustomerType' custom field, including custom field values (pictured). We've also got an HTML email file that we'll prepare for import. The messages for each 'CustomerType' can be added using the following tags and HTML code:
<!-- Using IF/ELSEIF/ELSE to personalize a campaign --> <p>Check out our new products [if:CustomerType=VIP]- as a VIP, you can receive 25% off… [elseif:CustomerType=Vendor]- as a friend, you'll get 30% off... [else]and make sure you become a VIP for future discounts... [endif]</p>
In short, it's a bit like creating 3 versions of a campaign, but bundling them together into one.
We've focused on making it as simple as possible to test your campaigns. As you may have noticed in the earlier example, when you preview a campaign with dynamic content (either upon campaign import or via the Campaign Snapshot), you can toggle between versions. In the same vein, once you've added recipients with matching custom fields and values, it's also possible to test your personalization by sending a campaign preview.
If you'd like to read up on more practical uses for dynamic content, we've got an excellent guide to help you master both the theory and the code.
You can use dynamic content tags in both regular newsletters and auto-responders. An important note is that dynamic content is currently only available when you import a campaign.
We're very interested to hear how you'll make the most of dynamic content in your campaigns, so be sure to leave any examples or feedback in the comments below.
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