Personalization is a way to do a "mail merge" in your mailing. Communications Professional takes data about an individual subscriber and places it into a mailing story, subject line, friendly from, survey question, or landing page to personalize the message.
Communications Professional personalization draws data from a subscriber's profile info (Personal Info and Demographic Categories), Invoicing, or an Integration. These fields are initially populated either by data through uploading a list, completing subscription form data, manually modifying a subscriber record, or performing an integration sync.
As long as the data exists in the subscriber's Communications Professional profile (or, in the case of integrations, in the subscriber's record in the AMS/CRM database), you can use personalization in your mailing.
Personalizations always use the format of enclosed within two percent symbols (%).
This becomes a placeholder where the data from the selected field will display in the story. You won't see any data while you are designing the mailing. To see the data, send the mailing to a subscriber who's email address you can access and then view the content of the mailing.
Insert a personalization in a story
While creating a story, insert personalizations using the HTML editor:
- Click the Personalization icon.
- Click the Select a Personalization Type menu and select from the following options:
- Personal Info
- Demographic Categories
- Transactional Mailings (available only if the transactional module is active in your account)
- If you have an integration, it will be listed in this menu, and you can select personalization codes from that integration
- Invoicing (appears only if it's active in your account)
- Select a Personalization Code from the resulting list below.
- Click Insert to place it in your mailing.
Insert a personalized hyperlink
Being able to personalize, or customize, a URL can be a very effective way to direct subscribers to specific web pages on your website. You can easily do this by combining personalization codes with the static text for the URL.
- Navigate to a story in a mailing.
- Select some text or an image, and click the Insert Hyperlink tool.
- Type part of a website URL (e.g., https://www.iamap.org).
- Continue typing the code for a personalization field that includes the specific information you want to pass into the URL to go to a certain page.
EXAMPLE: If you have a field called CATEGORY that indicates if a subscriber is a volunteer, employee, or member, you could use that to build your URL. Type %%CATEGORY%% to pull in that data to the creation of the URL. The final product will look like this: https://www.iamap.org/%%CATEGORY%%.
As Communications Professional prepares to send the mailing, the %%CATEGORY%% will be replaced with volunteer, employee, or member based on that subscriber's record.
As a best practice for this type of personalization, you ideally want to be sure that you have data in every subscriber record. If you don't have data for every subscriber record, make sure that you use a default value that will direct the clicked link to a valid web page on your website.
Personalization in a friendly from line
The ability to personalize is not limited to what you can put in a story; you can also use personalization codes in a few other places in a mailing, such as in Friendly From fields.
To add personalization to a Friendly From field:
The first step in this process is to determine which personalization field you want to use in the Friendly From. You will be typing this name into the field (along with the %% on either end).
- Navigate to Mailings > View and either select or create a mailing to work with.
- If you know the exact name of the personalization field you want to use, skip to Step 3. If not, you can look up the personalization field by following these steps:
- Navigate to the Design tab.
- Edit or create a story.
- Click the Insert Personalization tool on the toolbar.
- Select the personalization field that you want to use.
- Click Insert.
- Copy the %%Personalization Field%% from the story.
- Close the story without saving.
- Navigate back to the Set-Up tab.
- On the Set-Up tab, click the From Field in the Envelope section of the page to open the From Information pop-up.
- Paste the copied personalization code (or type it).
- Click Update to save the change.
- Click Save on the Set-Up tab to save this change with the mailing.
Now, when you send your mailing, the value in the personalization field will be merged (from Communications Professional or the AMS/CRM database) into each subscriber's mailing.
EXAMPLE: Let's use the Membership Rep personalization in the Friendly From field in the screenshot above. If there are multiple membership reps, such as Sally, Lois, and Ken, then each subscriber would see his or her rep's name appear in the Friendly From field of the message.
Personalization in a subject line
This tactic displays data from a personalization field from Communications Professional (or an AMS/CRM database) in a mailing's subject line. When we know that a communication is legitimate, based on the Friendly From, and we see our first name, renewal date, or other piece of relevant information, we're more likely to have our curiosity piqued and open the mailing.
To add personalization to a Subject Line field:
- Create, or edit, a mailing.
- Click the Subject Line on the Set-Up tab.
- Place the cursor where you'd like the personalization field to appear in the subject line.
- Click the Insert Personalization button to the right of the subject line text box.
- Click the Personalization Type menu and select a source for the personalization field to use.
- Select a personalization field and click Insert.
As you can see, the %% personalization code becomes part of the subject line.