Tips for Getting Started with Dynamic Content
Friday, August 10th, 2012
Dynamically change the content of your emails (hence, the name Dynamic Content) through the use of customizable fields. These fields correlate to and merge with your database of subscriber information. As such, the use of dynamic content is subject to the information contained in your subscriber database. Dynamic content is used to create more personalized, targeted, and relevant messaging.
Here, I will outline the rules for variables, operators, constants, and expressions, which will help you get started.
First things first: in order to make good use of the dynamic content feature, you’ll need to be comfortable with HTML, working in ‘source code’ mode in the HTML editor, and writing a little code along the way. Even if you aren’t familiar with HTML, this is a good place to start understanding how you could go about using dynamic content.
Escape From HTML
All Dynamic Content is inserted into Emails by adding code in [ square brackets ]. Your dynamic content can be formatted with HTML, but all of the instructions for Dynamic Content must be contained within square brackets in order to work properly
A basic dynamic content expression is generally set up as follows:
Supported Data Types
Dynamic content supports multiple data types, allowing multiple ways to create expressions for variables to decided which content is displayed and where:
1. Boolean – true or false
2. Integer – any whole number (from -8388608 to 8388608)
3. String – an alphanumeric string (maximum 255 characters)
4. Date – date in the format “YYYY-MM-DD HH-MM-SS” (write hours as 24-hr clock)
A variable is the criteria your content is based on, which can include list fields such as firstname or lastname – these variables are subject to the subscriber information contained in your database. Depending on the detail of your subscriber data, you could also include campaign activity, location, interests, etc.
List fields can also be used as criteria. The values of these fields generally change with every subscriber, and can either be an integer, string, or date/time data types. The variables are enclosed by an apostrophe ( ‘ ).
Previous Campaign Activity
You can also refer to action (opening or clicking) a subscriber has taken for a previous email campaign. To refer to a specific campaign, you will first need to determine the Mailing ID and refer to it as MAILING(id), where id is a reference to the campaign number. To refer to a specific link, you will first need to determine the Link ID and refer to it as LINK(id), where id is a reference to the link number. For example:
An email campaign has two different statuses: CLICKED and OPENED.
A link can be: CLICKED
How to Find an Email Campaign ID in Your Branded Site
First select the Campaigns tab from the main, upper navigation pane then select the specific campaign you wish to refer to. From the left toolbar, select View Campaign Stats for this campaign.
The Mailing ID is included in the URL that displays in the address bar of your browser – use the 6 or 7 digit number that appears at the end of the URL:
How to Find a Link ID in Your Branded Site
First select the Campaigns tab from the main, upper navigation pane then select the specific campaign you wish to refer to. From the left toolbar, select View Campaign Stats for this campaign. Access the clicks report for the campaign.
View the detailed stats for the link you wish to use as your variable. The Link ID will be included in the URL that displays in the address bar of your browser. Use only the 7 or 8 digit number that appears after the test “link=”:
The following operators are supported for list fields that are text strings:
1. LIKE – matches
2. NOT LIKE – does not match
For List Fields That are Integers or Date/Time
1. = (equal to)
2. ! = (not equal to)
3. < (less than)
4. < = (less than or equal to)
5. > (greater than)
6. > = (greater than or equal to)
For Campaign Activity (Links or Mailings)
2. IS NOT
Constants must be enclosed in double quotes ( “ ) if they are of text strings, date/time, or integer data types. For example:
Dynamic content supports Boolean expressions (true/false). Expressions can be created by combining a variable, an operator, and a constant. For example:
The variable and the constant must be the same data type.
Expression can also be combined together to become a larger and more complex expressions by using parentheses. For example:
A control structure gives the starting statement for the expression, and can be nested for more complex expressions.
The following functions are supported: MOD.
MOD (N,M) is a Modulo operation, which returns the remainder of N divided by M. For example:
Hopefully this has helped you gain a greater understanding of dynamic content and how you can incorporate it into your own campaigns!