A way to personalize? (ie mail merge)

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A way to personalize? (ie mail merge)

Is there a way to send a postcard or newsletter to a large group of recipients, but have each message personalized with their name in the greeting?

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Marketing Advisor

Hello, 

We have a great feature that will allow you to personalize an email with a reader's first name, last name or both!

 

To personalize your Email campaign, Event-related email, or Survey invitation, you can add a greeting variable that pulls the name of your contact from the information you've stored in your account and display it to that individual contact when they read your email.

There are different steps depending on what editor you are using.  

For 2GE users click here.  For 3GE users click here

 

 

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173 REPLIES 173
Employee

Most People are aware of how to personalize an email with the first names of your recipients, but have you ever wondered if you can do more to personalize your email? Within a Constant Contact email you can pull specific contact details (Such as Company Name, State address and more) directly from the contacts field for each contact, into the body of your email.

 

So instead of just saying

 

Insteadof.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Try

 

Trythis.png

 

First steps are to make sure your contacts have the fields of information you are looking to have inserted into your email.  After you upload your contacts details you can start adding the “Contact Details” tags into your email.

To add a contact detail from within an email:

  1. Hover your cursor over the block where you want your contact detail to display.
  2. Click the Edit icon .
  3. Place your cursor where you want the contact detail to appear.
  4. On the left-hand side, click the Insert button.
  5. Hover your cursor over the Contact Details icon  and click on the drop-down menu.
  6. Select the desired Contact Detail or Custom Field # ("Custom Text").
    Note: Even if you have named your custom fields, these names will not appear in the "Insert Contact Details" menu; instead, you will see "Custom Field #." The Note field is not an option to add into the email.
  7. Click Save.

Notes:

  • If no data exists in the selected property for that contact, the field will appear blank.
  • While previewing the email, the contact custom text fields will display as Custom Field #. The actual data in the Custom Field will appear only during a live send.
  • If a custom field contains a URL, it may not display as a clickable link but rather it will display as text.
  • The character limit for the contact detail is 50 characters.

 

Andrew H.

Tier 3 Support Specialist
Moderator

How can I use contact details in my email?

When you import a contact into Constant Contact you have 15 set fields of information you can import. These are the fields like name, address, etc. You also have 15 custom fields that you can plug any information you would like into. This can be anything from shoe size to number of children to last appointment date! Custom fields are limited to 50 characters. Any of these 30 contact details can be plugged into your Email Marketing email to help customize the mailing.

 

Some example usages are:

  • To personalize a greeting with the contact’s name
  • Include unique shipping or purchase numbers
  • Thank the contact personally by including the donation or purchase amount.

…And many more!

 

How do I add contact details to my email?

  1. With your email draft open, hover your cursor over the block where you want your contact detail to display.
  2. Click the Edit icon.
  3. Place your cursor where you want the contact detail to appear.
  4. On the left-hand side, click the Insert button at the top of the menu.
  5. Hover your cursor over the Contact Details icon and click on the drop-down menu.
  6. Select the desired Contact Detail or Custom Field #
  7. Click Save.

 

Note: When you go to preview your email, custom text fields will display as Custom Field #. The actual data in the Custom Field will appear only during a live send. The other contact details will pull your information as the account holder while in preview mode. The only way to test out these fields is to send the email to yourself as a live send. You can always come back and copy the email to re-send to your contact lists.

 

How have you included contact details in your emails?

Hannah M.
Community and Social Media Support

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Occasional Participant

I see the value in this.  But what if you have a list where you have both personalized information for some contacts but just the email for others.  If you send a personalized email out that would otherwise populate the "Full Name" field of "Hello [FullName}" - what happens if you send to a contact for whom you do not have their name inputted?  Will they see "Hello" or "Hell0 [FullName]"

 

Thanks. 

Hi Justin,

Thanks for posting. In the case of the greeting, there is a secondary greeting you can set up so that if the contact does not have name information stored they will see "Greetings" or something along those lines. You can customize this if you would like by double clicking an existing greeting or clicking "Greeting" on the left of your screen to insert a new one. I've included a screenshot below:

 

greeting.jpg

 

Hope this helps,

 

Hannah M.
Community and Social Media Support

If you find my post helpful, and it answers your question, please mark it as an Accepted Solution

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And how does one add these custom fields to an existing contact list?

Hi Marc. The easiest way to add information to a contact list is to create a spreadsheet and update those contacts in bulk.

 

First, create the spreadsheet in Excel or another spreadsheet program (if it's not Excel, you will need to save it as a CSV file). The important information is the email address and the data you would like to add:

update4.png

 

Then, log into Constant Contact and go to the Contacts tab. Then click on the Add & Update button:

update1.png

 

On the Add Contacts overlay, click on the Update Existing Contacts button over on the right:

update2.png

 

That will bring you to a page where you will need to browse to the spreadsheet file that you just made. Once that is selected, hit Submit.

update3.png

 

Finally, it will ask you where to put the new or updated information. Select the appropriate field from the drop-down (in this case, Custom Field 1 is probably the best):

update5.png

 

Hit Submit, and it will update your contacts for you. Any questions, please let us know.

 

 

Jeff Gilson
Community & Social Media Support

If you find my post helpful, and it answers your question, please mark it as an "Accepted Solution"

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Moderator

Currently in your account you have the option to add 20 preset fields of information and 20 custom fields to your contact data. The pre-set fields are things like first name, last name, address, city, state, etc. The custom fields can be any information you would like! These fields can collect up to 50 characters of information.

 

How would I use a custom field?

 

  • John owns a bookstore and wants to be able to offer his customers a 20% off coupon during their birthday month. He's changed "Custom Field 1" to "Month of Birth" and he is now able to sort for all the contacts born in a specific month.
  • The local sporting goods shop specializes in baseball, soccer and football equipment for adults and children. Instead of sending one long email to everyone, they want to cater the content of their emails to each group. They have used a custom field to determine if the player is adult or youth and a second custom field that labels the sport(s) played. When it comes time to promote a new stock in adult baseball mitts, they can send to just the customers fitting that category.
  • Joe's Gym offers yearly membership packages. They use custom fields to collect membership numbers and expiration dates for each member so when they get close to expiration, Joe sends a renewal reminder that asks them to renew their membership. He pulls the number into the email using a custom field so the contact is able to reference past charges. 

 

Don't worry, we've got all the directions for inserting, uploading, including and using contact details. Check out these FAQ's:

How do you use contact details and custom fields?

 

Hannah M.
Community and Social Media Support

If you find my post helpful, and it answers your question, please mark it as an Accepted Solution

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Thanks,

Regular Participant

I created an email with a message and in the beginning I want to personalize it to say "Dear Mr. First Last." I can add the First Name and Last Name fields to the message and i added the titled to Custom Field 3 and inserted "Custom Text 3" right before first name, but it does not work. I assigned each contact's title under Custom Field 3, but it shows up as "Custom Field 3 John Doe" when i preview the message.

 

I did some searching and found that this is not possible probably because custom field 3 and custom text 3 is not linked together. Is there anyway to do this or is it not supported yet?

 

Any help would be appreciated.

Hi Thomas,

 

This is actually really easy to do! I'll show you!

 

Go into your block, delete all that Dear Contact First Name Contact Last Name you have in there.

 

Then on the left, click the Greeting option (it has a purple hi next to it). Then in th the Primary Greeting section, type Dear in the first empty block, choose First & Last Name in the secton, then put your comma in the last block.

 

It's that easy! Let me know if you have any questions!

 

Also, in Preview mode it is not going to pull the actual information because in Preview, it pulls from your contact information as the owner of the account and you don't have custom fields in the system.

Yes i can already do that...what i want to do is add a personal title in front of the name so "Dear MR. John Doe," I added all the titles to a custom field but theres no way to add those custom fields to an email.

My apologies, I didn't realize you wanted the "Mr" part.

 

Then yes, you would type in Dear then use the "Custom Field" "Contact First Name" "Contact Last Name".

 

The only way for you to test this to see the results would be to make sure you are in a list in your account, make sure you have that Custom Field filled in. Then make a copy of your email and send it to your test list.

 

Sorry for my misunderstanding previously.

Hello Marissa,

 

I tested this already and the custom field doesn't show up so that is my current problem. Instead of Mr. John Doe, it says Custom Text 3 John Doe. Also, it says Custom Field under the properties for each individual user, but it says Custom Text when you are trying to insert it into the email. Is there a descrepency with that?

 

This should be fairly simple to do like mail merge, but it just isn't working, so that is why i was questioning whether custom text was supported.

Ok, 

 

I'm in your account now. I made a copy of your TEST!!! email.  In the block, you have "Dear Contact First Name Contact Last Name". I have added myself to a test list within your account with my "title" - I assume that is custom text 3?

 

In my copy of this email, I am going to add "Custom Text 3" aka title before Contact First Name and send myself a test.

 

If you see this, please email me at social_support(at)constantcontact(dot)com with your phone number so I can reach you please.

Hi Thomas,

 

I was able to get this to work. I just left you a voicemail. Please give me a call back at your earliest convenience.

Regular Participant

Contact fields in "Add Contacts from File" import do not match the available fields in "Insert Contact Details" for emails.

I insert the custom fields using Insert Contact Details but they come out blank every time.

Hi there TamarM, 

 

Please verify that this is the method you are using to insert contact details. Then, please keep in mind:

 

a) you must make sure that this field is filled out in the the contact profile of your contacts, or there will be no information to display

 

b) You will not be able to test this bu sending yourself a preview. You have to send it in a live send, so to test it: Create a Test List with your own personal/business email in it, and send the draft to yourself and verify that the Contact Details are displaying. Then, make a copy of the one you just sent to yourself to the send out to your lists. 

 

If you are in need of further assistance, for this kind of situation it is best done with a support representative in a live environment. Please call them for further assistance:  866-289-2101

 

 

Bria
Social Support and Community

Thanks Bria for your reply.  Yes, this is the procedure I followed, but one of the five support people I spent time with on the phone last week told me this is a known issue related to a change in the contact management system that will be solved soon.  Has it been solved yet?  I'm happy to try it again, but I don't want to waste my time if it still isn't solved. 

Thanks for clarifying. This has not yet been resolved but is something we are working on. Would you like me to open a case to have you notified when it is fixed?

Hannah M.
Community and Social Media Support

If you find my post helpful, and it answers your question, please mark it as an Accepted Solution

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Yes please do notify me when it is solved, hopefully soon.  In the meantime, we are being forced to consider other member communication solutions.