Customized e-mail content per Recipient

wildobs
Regular Participant

Customized e-mail content per Recipient

I posted this to the general forum, but was told I should post it here:


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I was hoping to customize the newletters I send to my customers via CC. The customization would be a small paragraph for each of them generated from content in my database.




I signed up for the API and have been attempting to set custom fields that I could have the e-mail templates render. (A customer service representative suggested this approach.)



I find the custom fields are limited in size (at least via the UI) and that size isn't long enough for a sentance, let alone the HTML blob I would like to inject.



Has anybody used CC for something like this? Any tips/tricks?



I could generate/send the e-mails myself, but I wanted to inject some content into the newsletter I write (so as not to over tax my customers) and was attempting to use CC as my e-mail tool (so doing it myself defeats that goal.)

5 REPLIES 5
David_J
Employee

If you are looking to place an entire paragraph worth of HTML into an email, custom fields are likely not going to work for you, as they have a 50 character limit each.  Are you looking to place a completely unique paragraph for every user in your database, or are there only certain words in that paragraph being changed? If you are only looking to change a few words in the paragraph for each use, custom fields would be the best way to do that and I'd be happy to go into more detail on that.


 


On the other hand, if you are looking to place an entirely unique paragraph into an email for users, this is really a different email and you would need to create separate lists and emails for those receiving specific content. You could certainly use the Campaigns Collection to create emails from the content in your database, and attach specific lists of users to those created emails.


 


I hope this helps, if you have any questions on this please let us know and we will be happy to help. Thanks.

David J

wildobs
Regular Participant

I'd like to have the ability to send a (say bi-weekely) newsletter with a lot of shared content, but have a paragraph or more of text (or HTML) be inserted from my database. The gist would be specific notes/updates for that individual. If I cannot have that, I'd probably attempt to generate the whole e-mail (pain in the rear w/o templating & edit tools)  such that I could have custom content per user. Clearly my "lists" would only have one person in each.


It doesn't sound like Constant Contact supports this type of e-mailing, which is quite a shame. I selected CC because of the API and my belief (from customer support) that something like this was possible.


BTW: I can generate/send the e-mails from my server (and probably will have to) but I liked the idea of using CC (a recognized/trusted e-mail provider) plus templates plus coping with things like AOL e-mail readers ... i.e. all the reason why I ought not bulk e-mail myself.

bsoder
Employee

Hello,



If you needed a large portion of text or HTML generated per user, it is not really something that is possible at this time with our service. We currently do allow custom fields and other fields to be inserted into an email based on a specific users information, but we are geared more towards bulk emailing than sending out individual emails.



Also, through the API you can only do custom coded emails at this time, to use the editor it would have to be created in our system.



Regards,

Benjamin Soder
NOC Analyst
Constant Contact
wildobs
Regular Participant

Ben, you say "bulk e-mail" but is not every e-mail sent from CC customized? Every e-mail has it's unique greeting, and are all links not tied to the individual? As such, is this what CC is geared to? :)


I want a simple template with an optional paragraph or so (more would be desired one day.) Clearly with custom fields you have some ability to do this, it is just that they are limited in size.


Are there any tricks I can do? I've become confused by your documentation and don't know if template's allow conditional logic or not (some places say yes, some no, but I am probably confusing XHTML capability w/ normal template text.) Perhaps I could work around the limitation in size by saying:


if $SUBSCRIBER.CUSTOMTEXT3$

  Your personalized document is available at http://mysite.com/$SUBSCRIBER.CUSTOMTEXT3$

end


or even


if $SUBSCRIBER.CUSTOMTEXT3$

  Your personalized document (or customized newsletter) is available. Login to here http://mysite.com/get_your_thingie_here

end


is anything like this possible? My goal is that not all contacts get the offer/link.


In a more perfect world I'd place some teaser information into this paragraph. Could I do something like?


$SUBSCRIBER.CUSTOMTEXT3$$SUBSCRIBER.CUSTOMTEXT4$$SUBSCRIBER.CUSTOMTEXT5$$SUBSCRIBER.CUSTOMTEXT6$


.. and chunk my content (text-only) into 50 character peices?

David_J
Employee

Unfortunately conditional statements do not work in our HTML or XHTML emails. While they will not cause an error, they will always evaluate the statement as true and therefore display whatever is inside that IfPropertyExists as true. This is something that should not be in our documentation and I am going to follow up to make sure that is corrected.


 


Regarding our question about concatenating the subscriber properties together, there is nothing to prevent you from doing the following:


<Property name="SUBSCRIBER.CUSTOMTEXT1"/><Property name="SUBSCRIBER.CUSTOMTEXT2"/><Property name="SUBSCRIBER.CUSTOMTEXT3"/>


Which would now give you 150 characters to use for your paragraph.


 


At this point I am not seeing any other viable workaround that would allow you to insert an entire paragraph of text dynamically based on the user. I do apologize for any inconvenience that this issue has caused. Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns. Thanks.

David J

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