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A way to personalize? (ie mail merge)

SOLVED
Member

Not able to import a closing tag <a/> for use in a custom field

I'm working on—what we thought was a simple—email that has two buttons that sends an email address to our database for opt-in CASL requirements. Here's the scenario:

 

If I edit an existing contact to contain the data in my custom fields, it works beautifully. Test successful.

 

When I try to upload a flat file with the custom fields, it breaks. The import IGNORES the closing tag </a>. I was chatting with a tier 1 technician for hours on friday and her tier 2 didn't know what was wrong either. The only solution available seems to MANUALLY edit each contact and add the </a> as the data in the custom field. Impossible.

 

Here's what we've done:

 

URL: <a href="http://www.client.com/casl-confirmer.php?em=

CC2: &cc=2

CC1: &cc=1

Suffix: </a>

 

<Property name="Subscriber.Custom.URL" /><Property name="Subscriber.Custom.email" /><Property name="Subscriber.Custom.CC2" /><img src="http://www.client.com.btn-1.jpg" border="0" style="margin-top:10px;margin-left:20px;" /><Property name="Subscriber.Custom.Suffix" />&nbsp;

 

<Property name="Subscriber.Custom.URL" /><Property name="Subscriber.Custom.email" /><Property name="Subscriber.Custom.CC1" /><img src="http://www.client.com/images/btn-2.jpg" border="0" style="margin-top:10px;margin-left:20px;" /><Property name="Subscriber.Custom.Suffix" />

 

In other forum posts, I've seen link closing tag with other content, but the latest is from 2012 and perhaps something is changed. Any way we try to work around it, the import ignores the </a>. We've tried different combinations of data in the custom fields, and the </a> is always ignored.

 

Thanks.

 

 

Moderator

Re: Not able to import a closing tag <a/> for use in a custom field

Hi Laz, 

I see you have an open case to our second level of support to look more into this. They will be the best team to help get to the bottom of why you can't upload with the tag included. 

 

If you would like to check the status of this case or even pass along an update you can do so from within your account. Click Help > My Support History and then choose to view all open cases from the drop down menu.

 

Thanks for posting!

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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Highlighted
Developer

Custom Fields not uploading properly - missing data

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.

 

 

Tags (2)
Honored Contributor

How to Use Dynamic Links

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!

 

Moderator

Re: Custom Fields not uploading properly - missing data

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

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

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Honored Contributor

Re: Custom Fields not uploading properly - missing data

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".

 

 

 

 

Honored Contributor

Re: Custom Fields not uploading properly - missing data

Not that important?
Moderator

Re: Custom Fields not uploading properly - missing data

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

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

Are you on Twitter? Follow me here!
Occasional Advisor

Re: Custom Fields not uploading properly - missing data

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.

Tags (1)
Honored Contributor

Re: Custom Fields not uploading properly - missing data

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

 

 

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