The Message Editor's Email Designer includes a Dynamic Content feature that allows you to target content to specific groups of Contacts. Like other parts of your messages, Dynamic Content is organized in zones. Within each zone, you can add one or more Dynamic Content blocks, each including one of three targeting parameters:
- a database field (standard or custom), like Country or City,
- a Contact group, or
- a Communications Enterprise tag.
EXAMPLE: If you wanted to send a welcome message to any new Contacts, you could create a group of Contacts who have recently subscribed to your messages and then add a Dynamic Content block that only displays to that group. Or, you could add content that displays differently depending on the country, or even city, where Contacts live.
While traditional personalization features allow you to individualize an email by merging in a Contact’s name or other information, these Dynamic Content blocks enable you to assemble a unique email for each Contact based on their specific interests, preferences, geographical location, group affiliation, or any other criteria you choose.
NOTE: While there is no restriction on the number of blocks within each Dynamic Content zone, you should always stay cognizant about how you'll manage your content. Managing your message can become unwieldy if your zone contains too many blocks.
Create Dynamic Content
Step 1 - Add a Dynamic Content zone
To add a Dynamic Content zone:
- Click the Zones tab on the left side of the editor. Then drag-and-drop a Dynamic Content zone to the desired section of your message.
- In the resulting pop-up, select whether to insert an existing Dynamic Content block (if available) or create a new one. If creating a new block, you'll need to configure its parameters:
- Give the block a name. This is the title under which the block will be listed in the future.
- Select how you'll be targeting the Contacts of this Dynamic Content (these correspond to the Views you'll create in Step 2). You have three options:
- Field - By database field (standard or custom) in your Communications Enterprise database (e.g., region, title, state).
- Group - By any of your Contact groups.
- Tag - By a Communications Enterprise tag.
NOTE: You can only select one of these options per block. However, different blocks in the same message can use different options (e.g., one based on groups and another based on tags).
- Decide whether your block will be available outside this message or unique to this message.
- For both existing blocks and new ones, you can specify what to display to Contacts who don't match your chosen targeting parameter (field, group, or tag) and associated View(s). For example, if you selected the Country field, and plan to have Views for USA, Canada, and Mexico, a Contact might have Honduras in their country field, or the field might be blank. To handle Contacts like this, you have two options:
- Don't display any content - Select this to hide the block from Contacts who don't match the field, group, or tag you've chosen.
- I will setup default content - Select this to add a Default view to the block that will show to Contacts who don't match the field, group, or tag you've chosen.
Step 2 - Create your Views
Once the block has been added to your message, you need to create the various Views (or it could just be one) that will control what content is shown to Contacts in your message.
For example, let's say you want to display part of your message to Contacts differently depending on whether they live in Virginia, Arizona, or New York. In this case, you would have chosen the State field for the Dynamic Content block. Then, you would create a View for each state, and add the specific content you want to display for each.
NOTE: You can only create a View that contains Contacts within the Dynamic Block’s parameters (field values, groups, or tags). In other words, if your Dynamic Content block uses the Groups parameter, you'll only be able to create Views based on your available Contact groups.
To create a View:
- Click the block to display the View menu. Click Add New View.
- In the resulting pop-up, give your View a name. Then, click the link below to select the field value(s), group(s), or tag(s) that will control the content shown to Contacts.
- If your Dynamic Content block uses fields, enter a field value. The new View will only show to Contacts with this value. Keep in mind, though, that some Contacts may have synonymous values spelled differently, limiting your View's potential. For example, you might want the same View to show to all United States Contacts , but Contacts might have different variations of "United States" in their Country field. To safeguard for this, you could add the values “US,” “USA,” “U.S.,” “U.S.A.,” “United States of America,” and “America.” The View will then show to any Contact who has one of those values. To do so, simply click + add another value and add any synonymous variations you think you need.
- If your Dynamic Content block uses groups or tags, select one or more groups and tags using the selector grid. Remember, a Contact might belong to more than one group or have more than one tag. If so, then the Contact will see the view created first.
- Repeat this step to create any additional Views needed.
Step 3 - Add & associate content to your Views
Now that your View(s) are created, it's time to add and associate content to them. To do this:
- Click the Zones tab on the left side of the editor to access the available zones.
- Drag-and-drop the desired zone type into your Dynamic Content block (an image, text via the WYSIWYG zone, etc.).
- Lastly, associate your content to the desired View via the View menu at the bottom-right of the content.
- Now, click back into your Dynamic Content block so you can switch to your other view(s). Then, simply repeat these steps to add content to them.
In this example, we've created two Views: VA and AZ. We then associated a WYSIWYG zone, complete with their respective text, to each one. Now, Contacts in Virginia will see the text associated to the VA View, while Contacts in Arizona will see the text associated to the AZ View.
Create default Views
When you create a Dynamic Content block, whether existing or new, you have the freedom to specify what to display to Contacts who don't match your chosen targeting parameter (field, group, or tag) and associated View(s). While you can opt to simply not display any content, you also have the option to set up a Default View to act as catchall that ensures all Contacts see something.
To do so, select the I will setup default content option when creating a block:
After adding the block, click into it and you'll notice a Default View is automatically selected. Go ahead and associate your desired default content to this View.
Preview Dynamic Content
You can preview each View associated to your Dynamic Content blocks, ensuring you know exactly how your message looks for each dynamic audience. There are two ways to preview your content:
1 - Directly In the Email Designer
The easiest and fastest way to preview your content is directly from the Email Designer.
To do so:
- Click Menu, followed by Preview.
- In the resulting preview window, use the menu at the top-left to select a View, and then click Submit. The message preview below will update your Dynamic Content blocks accordingly, showing content for the chosen View.
2 - Via a test email
In cases where you want to ensure content displays properly in one or more email clients, you can also generate a test email to one or more email addresses (this can be any of your addresses or those of a peer).
NOTE: When using this method, make sure that either your email address or corresponding targeting parameter (field, group, tag) are part of the dynamic targeting.
To do so:
- Click Menu, followed by Send Message to Individual.
- On the resulting page, look for Contacts via the Find Recipients link or manually enter one or more addresses in the Send To: field (separate multiple addresses with commas).
- Fill out any remaining fields as desired, and then click Send to generate the test emails.
NOTE: Keep in mind that to preview multiple views, you’ll need to send tests to an email address that corresponds to each target audience.