In This Article:

    Personalize Emails with Supporter Merge Fields

    In This Article:

      Overview

      When to use it

      While email blasts are often written so the content applies to all recipients, emails that have personalized content often have more impact, result in more actions taken and can increase donation amounts. 

      Turn this:

      merge_field_in_subject.png

      Into this:

      rebecca.png

      And increase the open rates on your emails!

      Note:  For tools to individualize content based upon group membership, donation history, or actions taken read about dynamic content

      Merge Fields can be used in:

      • The subject line of an email blast;
      • The HTML body of an email blast; and
      • The text body of an email blast.

      How to get there

      You have two options to insert merge fields into your email blast content.

      1. Simply type a field name wrapped in double square brackets in-line in the text - for instance, Dear [[First_Name]]
      2. Use the dynamic content drop down list to automatically generate and insert the merge field.

      insert_merge_fields.gif

       

      Generating Supporter Merge Fields for Email Blasts

      When creating a email blast content, place your cursor where you'd like the merge field to be.
      cursor.png
      With the cursor in place, select Supporter Fields from the Add dynamic content drop down list.
      add_supporter_fields.png
      Select the supporter field you'd like to insert. The field First_Name is shown in this example.
      Click . The script will be inserted into the field below.
      Click . The script will be inserted into the email content where your cursor was at the start of this process.
      DC2.png 

      Manually entering merge fields

      The merge field drop down box gives you access to the most used merge fields, but you have access to all of the fields in the supporter record, using the same syntax (look here for a complete list).
      To manually insert a merge field:
      1. Find the appropriate field name
      2. Type it into your email content encased in double brackets.
      To put a supporter's full address into an email, you would type the following merge fields directly into your email blast content:

      [[First_Name]] [[Last_Name]]  
      [[Street]] [[Street_2]]  
      [[City]], [[State]] [[Zip]]-[[PRIVATE_Zip_Plus_4]]

      Note: Since [[Street 2]] will often be empty, it's best to place it on the same line as [[Street]] to avoid an empty line break.

      When the blast is sent, assuming values existed for those fields in the supporter's record, it would display for an individual supporter as something like:

      Hot Tamale 
      491 Pepper Street Apartment 100 
      Las Salsas, TX 12345-0023

      Troubleshooting Common Issues

      The merge field is not populated in some supporter records. If you begin an email Dear [[First_Name]] and it's received by a supporter for whom you do not have a First_Name value, Salsa will substitute a default value that you can configure in Default Merge Fields.

      Improperly formatted merge fields. Merge fields must have the [[ ]] syntax. They are also case-sensitive.
      Test all email blasts before sending them - especially those with merge fields. Create a few email accounts across several mail clients (yahoo, hotmail, gmail, etc.) and create a group for these emails so you can target yourself, confirm the merge fields appear as you wish, and view how your blast appears across multiple clients.
       
      Would you like to include merge fields for donation information?  Only values from the supporter and supporter_custom tables can be merged, but check out these tips for donation merge fields in blasts.

      Misnamed merge fields. Custom fields will use the same double-bracket syntax as regular supporter fields; the field name within those brackets will be the API Name you assign to your custom field. You can see the API name for any custom field by examining the custom fields area under the Supporter Management tab.
      api.png
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      Comments

      14 comments
      • When I am adding a simple field like, FIRST NAME, but I want to have a replacement word if that field is null, how do I do that? Something like, [[FIRST NAME]] [[if null then "Friend']]?

      • Hi Rebecca,

        Great question! You can set that option in your account settings which you can read more about here: https://help.salsalabs.com/entries/21726850-Manage-Account

        The page itself you'll configure is: https://help.salsalabs.com/entries/22545131-Default-Merge-Fields

        The one thing to point out is that you can't do one-off changes - that is, for your Summer Fundraising Campaign, you can't have a separate set of default fields. The default fields will be set across your account.

      • On Legislator Info, I would like to have it segment down further so that an e-mail only goes to legislators of a certain party. I was trying something like these:

        • if (legislators.length > 0) & if (l.partycode = D)
        • if ( (legislators.length > 0) & (l.partycode = D) )
        • if (legislators.length > 0 & l.partycode = D)
        • if (legislators.length > 0 and l.partycode = D)

        ...but then I realized how lousy I am when it comes to figuring out how to script things! Can you point me to a resource that gives guidance on this. (I believe I have the partycode right, at least!)

      • Hi Joe -

        This is a pretty unique/advanced request, so please email developers@salsalabs.com and they can get into more detail with you.

      • Thank you, Jake -- will do!

      • Can you change the format of a date field in an email blast, for instance instead of "2013-08-31" make it "August 31, 2013"?

      • Hi Jesse,

        Unfortunately that is not an option at this time. 

      • I am trying to put a PayPal pull-down button into an email blast, would this require Dynamic Content?  When I try simply pasting the code from PayPal the buttons and logos only partly shows correctly...

      • Hi Russell,

        Without seeing the code in front of me, it sounds like it's <form> code, which works inconsistently in email clients: http://www.campaignmonitor.com/blog/post/2435/

        Emails don't allow for a lot of input / interactivity, so your challenge here may not be easily overcome. If you'd like, email support@salsalabs.com and they can take a look at your code and provide the best recommendation on the closet facsimile. 

      • Hi,

        I'm trying to dynamically include members of the House and Senate Appropriations committees based on the client's legislative district. It seems, though, that I can only filter by legislative district and/or state, not committee membership. Is that correct?

        Thanks,

        Doug Ward

      • Hi Doug,

        Unfortunately, the "Dynamic Content" -> Legislator Info feature does not allow for filtering based on committee membership. That level of filtering is only available on Salsa action pages. 

      • Hi Jake,

        Is there a way to add the date of their last donation along with the amount?

        Acasia Berry

      • Hi Acasia,

        If you'd like to add the date of the donation into a donation receipt, you can use the merge field [[Transaction_Date]]

        You can review this and other common merge fields in our related documentation.

      • Is there a way to add dynamic content based on "addressee" or "postal greating?" We have business supporters whose business name and employee contact is saved under those two fields.

        Thanks,

        Alex

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