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
Occasional Participant

I just wanted to post here so people know that the custom fields are not uploading all data correctly. We noticed this in our account because certain Contact Details were missing from an email we sent out and our members called with questions. When we investigated we found that when we imported our contact excel, 40% of the contacts didn't have the Custom Field 6 populated! I contacted CC support - and this was the answer they finally provided me with:

 

I am sorry to say but we are having an issue with custom fields uploading on existing contacts. It is an intermittent issue which our engineers are trying to resolve. I can open a case to our tier 2 so they can notify you when the issue is resolved if you like. Unfortunately at this time the only way to make sure they are correct and in is to do it manually.

 

We are doing a workaround and importing our custom data into a pre-existing field to see if this works. However IT IS NUTS that we have to do something like this. AND that an issue like this isn't made known to CC Clients. Everytime you upload a list they should warn you that there is a data integrity problem and your custom fields might not import for random contacts. My organization is switching email marketing providers anyway in the next month; if we weren't I would be looking for an alternative to CC -- and we've been loyal CC customers for 7 years.

 

 

Hi Lauren,

I am very sorry to hear of all the frustration this caused. I see several cases in your account from interactions with support. We're happy to continue to help with the workaround until this is resolved although at this time I don't have a timeframe to share. 

 

It looks like you asked to be notify when this is resolved. I apologize again for the trouble.

 

Thanks,

Hannah M.
Community and Social Media Support

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Can CTCT state what the exact problem is so we can look out for it please?

 

 

With as many problems as you have been experiencing lately you really should be more proactive and transparent in letting your customers know of current problems you are aware of.  The problem described above is not trival and can seriously affect my customers.  I think a lot of us are starting to lose faith here.

 

The all too often heard phrase "our engineers are aware of it" should be augmented by "we made our customers aware of it" as soon as we knew about it. If you don't want to tell your customers all your problems please share the serious ones that include "customer data loss".

 

 

 

 

Not that important?

Hi Tony,

Sorry for the delay, we were trying to track down more information on this for you. It looks to be an issue with entering job title into an email as a custom field. The workaround is to code in the variable instead. We haven't seen very many people run into this issue but it has been submitted to engineering for a resolution.

 

Thanks,

Hannah M.
Community and Social Media Support

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We had the same issue recently. Customer Service was very helpful, as we had an email to get out asap. One of our custom fields was not updating when we uploaded a new list. This was critical for us because our custom field was used to create a dynamic link in the message body. The rep created a new list and uploaded the contacts for us in the backend and we were able to get the email out. Unfortunately, we had to use one of our phone fields to handle our custom field data - not ideal. This is a major issue for us and need to have it fixed asap. Please keep us up to date on the status of this.

So its not JUST job title.  Did you find this error during job proofing?  

 

 

I believe so. CC informed us that it was just custom fields that were not updating. We discovered the issue when looking at a couple of our contacts and noticed the custom field missing. We confirmed it by exporting the list and checking the data - also, by sending a test email. Luckily this was found before we sent the email. We discovered that only a small percentage of our contacts had the custom field updated.

Thank you all for posting. To have more clarification on the issues in this thread I wanted to point out we are talking about two different issues as tracked in separate support interactions. Since there isn't always enough detail in posts here (for good reason, we don't want all your account information public) we often go back and research via other cases with support.

 

1. "...certain Contact Details were missing from an email we sent out" is referring to only job titles. This field is missing from the insert options. This can be inserted using the variable field coding.

 

2. ".... One of our custom fields was not updating when we uploaded a new list" is referring to existing contacts when you try to add a custom field. This also only applies to the process of bulk adding contacts. You can add new fields manually or support can do it internally.

 

I understand these are frustrating and both of the above are being worked on by our engineering team. If you would like us to take another look at the specifics of what you are running into please let me know. We're happy to contact you outside of the Community to get any required information. 

 

Thanks,

Hannah M.
Community and Social Media Support

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Thanks, Hannah. My apologies if I posted to the wrong thread. Perhaps I misunderstood the thread title/content. Thanks for looking into our issues. Hoping for speedy resolutions!

Not a problem at all! We are happy to see you posting! I just wanted to clarify each issue for you all to know the specifics.

 

Enjoy your day,

Hannah M.
Community and Social Media Support

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It may be a bit more systemic than you believe.  Here are some other links to customers having issues with the import function:

 

https://community.constantcontact.com/t5/Email-Marketing/Custom-Fields-Not-Importing/m-p/208262#M235...

https://community.constantcontact.com/t5/Managing-Contacts/Cannot-Import-Into-Date-Field/m-p/208978#...

 

I just got finished taking + signs out of the Simple Share option, now it seems I need to audit all my CSV imports now where they use custom fields.

 

Still gonna keep this a secret ?

Phil in Tier 2 Technical support emailed me earlier this week to say the issue has been fixed. Yay! Thanks, guys.

Member

Does your website have an area that is designed to host content for individuals who are on your contact list? Maybe this content is a PDF or a login with a username attached. You might want to send an email out with a link to that content unique to each individual contact. We know that you don’t want to send out 100 individual emails, but how can you do this with Constant Contact? Enter dynamic links.

 

Please note: The instructions below are how to use dynamic links within our templates. If you want to use your own custom XHTML, please leave a comment and we’ll open a case to have a specialist contact you with more information. Dynamic links are not possible within HTML custom coded emails.

 

First you want to start out by making sure that you are importing the dynamic information into your contact details.  You may need to use custom fields to get your unique information into the account. It should look something like this when you are importing. Please see this FAQ to review the character limits for these fields.

 

dynamic links custom excel.jpg

 

Once this information is within your Constant Contact account, we can get into the email to make sure this information pulls when sent out.

 

  • First, click to open your email
  • Click the edit pencil icon or click on the block to open it for editing
  • If you have formatted your file to match the image above, you will want to use the Insert > ContactDetails option on the left.

Insert Contact Details.jpg

  • Then insert them as the custom fields (or whatever field you used) in the order to insert the full dynamic link.
  • Save  the block
  • Save your email

You can also do it this way:

 

  • Go into your Email
  • Click the edit pencil icon or the block to open for editing
  • Under the Insert header on the left, choose Link
  • Click the Plus icon to open the overlay
  • In Text to display as link, enter what text you want to be visible in the email
  • In Link URL, you will want to add your URL info.
  • Add the variable to the end of the URL (http://www.yourdomain.com/$Subscriber.Email$)
  • If you want to use a different variable from email address, check the variables available at this FAQ for subscriber details
  • Click Insert
  • Save block
  • Save email

That's it! Any questions let us know!

 

Regular Participant

I created a test message to see if all of our customer details could be inserted (a.k.a. merged) into an e-mail messge.

 

Fields like First Name, Last Name, and Company work as expected. However, our custom date and text fields do not populate with the correspnding database value. Instead, the field name appears in the message.

 

We're trying to clean up our database by allowing our customers to see their details and tell us about any errors.

Mark,  you're not alone.  Looks to be a problem others are having as well.  Good thing people like you are checking, I'm afraid there are tons of people having this problem but not even aware of it.   I think CTCT should let their user community know about this huge bug.

 

The issue is if you don't check this, and assume its working your customer data will be lost. In the event you don't save your import files or can't recreate it for some reason you're screwed. Worse case is that it will erase whats already in your database as was the case in one reported failure.

 

See:

https://community.constantcontact.com/t5/Managing-Contacts/Custom-Fields-not-uploading-properly-miss...

Hi @MarkM566 

 

I'm so sorry that your custom fields are not populating. We are aware of this. I looked into your account and I see that you have a case open with our Tier 2 team. They will reach out to you regarding any updates with this issue. I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience. 

Melissa M
Community and Social Support Intern

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Regular Participant

Are there any updates regarding this problem?

Hi Mark,

Unfortunately this looks like it's still an issue we're working to resolve. At this time the workaround is to change the format of the date field in order to import. I understand you need a specific format imported and I apologize for the frustration this has caused. We will keep you updated!

 

Thanks again,

Hannah M.
Community and Social Media Support

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Participant

Hi! I was hoping someone could help me out and tell me how I would go about adding unique coupon codes(they'll be for free shipping) to an email to shoot out to a list of contacts? I have a list of the unique coupon codes in an excel file but I am unsure how to actually add the different ones to all of the many contacts? I'm still fairly new to using constant contact so any help is greatly appreciated thanks!