Custom Fields and Enhanced Personalization Fields are "personalization" features in your Marketing Automation Enterprise (MA Enterprise) account.
Custom Fields are personalized keywords that you can insert into email messages to personalize the message, per recipient. For example, you could create a personalized greeting such as "Hello, <first_name>." Then, for each recipient, the <first_name> placeholder will be replaced with their first name (e.g., "Hello, John.") when the message is sent.
NOTE: These values are inserted at send-time, so it is important that you are mindful of your Custom Field usage -- in particular, that the data source contains current and correct information.
Custom Fields are:
- Enabled by default for all accounts, but an admin can limit access to them by adjusting the Custom Fields permission.
- Visible to everyone in the account, irrespective of Enterprise Asset rules.
- Limited to 100 characters. (Fields that exceed this limit are considered non-compliant; refer to Identify non-compliant fields, below.)
To access your Custom Fields:
- Access the Admin interface.
- Navigate to Contacts > Tools > Custom Fields.
The Custom Fields page shows the 30 fields that are available to your account. The fields can be either text or date fields, and they must be used in (top-to-bottom) order.
NOTE: Click Enhanced Fields in the upper right to go to the Enhanced Personalization Fields page.
To create or edit a Custom Field:
NOTE: Custom Field names cannot start with a number or be blank.
- Specify a name for the field. Repeat for any additional fields.
NOTE: This is the field "label" that users will see in various places in your account.
- Optionally, check the Date Field box. (Refer to Date Fields, below, to learn more.)
- Scroll to below the list and click Submit.
When creating and editing a Contact, you can complete custom fields in the Custom Fields tab of the Create Contact and Edit Contact modals.
When a Custom Field is designated as a Date Field, it will not accept text characters, and dates that are specified must adhere to the format: MM/DD/YYYY (as in 12/04/2015). This is important to remember when uploading .csv files that have date fields.
WARNING: If any single date value in a .csv file does not conform to the format, the list upload will fail.
TIP: Use the cell-formatting feature in MS Excel or your spreadsheet application to format date cells as indicated above. Doing so greatly decreases the likelihood of non-compliance and a failed upload.
Using Date Fields in your account
When you configure Custom Fields as Date Fields, you can maximize their ability to simplify your work, as in the following examples.
Perform searches based on a date or date range
EXAMPLE: Generate a list of all Contacts whose memberships expire this week.
Personalize a message with a date
EXAMPLE: "Your subscription expires on 12/02/2019."
Create date-based campaigns using the Campaign tool
EXAMPLE: Send greetings to Contacts on their birthdays.
To learn more, see Using Custom Date Fields.
Enhanced Personalization Fields
Enhanced Personalization Fields are similar to Custom Fields, with the differences being:
- They are UTF-8 ready, so they accept international characters.
- They have a limit of 250 characters. (Fields that exceed this limit are considered non-compliant; refer to Identify non-compliant fields, below.)
- They are not typically exported when you export Contact details. If you require these fields to export, a flag must be set on your account.
- They cannot be merged into a fax message.
Additionally, Enhanced Personalization Fields:
- Are not enabled by default. To enable them, create a case.
- Adhere to Enterprise Asset rules.
To access your Enhanced Personalization Fields:
- Access the Admin interface.
- Navigate to Contacts > Tools > Enhanced Personalization.
The upper part of the page lists your account's Shared Fields; that is, fields that were created by other admins and which are configured as "shared." Shared Fields are usable across your account, but only the field creator can edit and delete these fields.
Manage Your Fields
Enhanced Personalization Fields that you've created are listed in the lower part of the page.
The list indicates when the field was created, whether it's Shared or Private, its Keyword, and whether it's a Date field. You can:
- Edit a field by clicking the pencil icon,
- Delete a field and all corresponding data by clicking the X, and
NOTE: If a Shared field is deleted, other users will no longer be able to see or use the field.
- Add fields.
To add Enhanced Personalization Fields:
- Click the dropdown below the list and select 1, 5, or 10 fields.
- Click Add.
- In the modal, specify a name for the field.
- Select whether the field is Shared or Private.
- Optionally, check the Date Field box. (Refer to Date Fields to learn more.)
- Click Go.
The list will automatically refresh and your new field will appear at the bottom.
Identify non-compliant fields
You can check your upload files before performing the upload to ensure that the fields comply with the character limits.
- Open the .csv file.
- Double-click the vertical (cell-separator) line between columns A and B to expand column A.
- Repeat this procedure for all of the columns that have data.
- If any of the columns seem unexpectedly wide, some cell data might exceed the character limits.
- Identify the wide cells and either shorten or delete the non-compliant value.
NOTE: Any fields that exceed the character limits will be highlighted in your Reject file.
Troubleshooting your fields
Below are some common problems encountered when working with Custom Fields.
- I can't delete a Custom Field - Custom Fields will always require a value. You cannot delete Custom Fields but you can remove the Contact details by uploading a .csv file with NULL values. You can also rename the Custom Field and repurpose it.
- I can't create a Custom Field - Does the name start with a number? Custom Field names must start with a letter. Also, there are some words and phrases that are blocked by our application. Try specifying a different field name.
- I can't see my Custom Field choice when I am uploading - Your session might need to be refreshed, especially if you are uploading via an integration. Log out and log back in and you should be able to view this field. If this is an Enhanced Personalization Field then it is probably owned by another individual or Enterprise Team.
- Some of my uploaded records return an invalid date field in my Reject file - Did your upload contain a Custom Date Field? Date fields must be properly formatted in your .csv file. MA Enterprise will convert many date formats, but it is still recommended that your field has the format MM/DD/YYYY.
- I'm using international characters and the information is skewed when I preview personalization - There are some character sets that Custom Fields cannot interpret. For international characters, use Enhanced Personalization Fields.
Below are some common problems encountered when working with Enhanced Personalization Fields.
- I can't create a Enhanced Personalization Field - Does it start with a number? Enhanced Personalization Fields must start with a letter. Also, there are some words and phrases that are blocked by our application. Try specifying a different field name.
- I can't see my Enhanced Personalization Field choice when I am uploading - Your session might need to be refreshed, especially if you are uploading via an integration. Log out and log back in and you should be able to view this field. If you cannot, the field is probably owned by another individual or Enterprise Team.
- I'm using international characters and the information is skewed when I preview personalization - Did you upload international characters while uploading? If not, do so and try again.