Our system lets you add wildcards (also known as mail merge fields) to your messages, so you can personalise it. One common example is the First Name field, to introduce your email. Any field in your list can be used as a wildcard - and they can even include images!
Our wildcards also feature a "fallback" option, which is displayed when the field for a particular contact is empty. That way, you can still have your email say "Dear client" (instead of just "Dear "), if a recipient has a blank first name field.
This article contains a number of guides for various related topics. Click below to jump ahead to a particular guide.
- Insert a Wildcard in an Email
- Personalise Your Subject Line With Wildcards
- Insert an Image Wildcard
- Insert a URL / Link Wildcard
- Testing Wildcards
- Open your email for editing.
- Place your cursor where you would like the wildcard to appear.
- Click on
dropdown from the floating toolbar, and choose the list and list field that you would like to apply for the wildcard.
- The Fallback option is what will appear for the recipient if they do not have any data in the selected wildcard field.
- Once your wildcard has been inserted in your message, it will appear as a code with %% in front and behind the field name with _ for any spaces between the words. eg %%First_Name%%, as shown below.
You can also personalise your subject line with your contacts information using wildcards. For example, you might like to include the persons first name in the subject. Here's how:
- Go to Messages.
- Select the message.
- From the Actions menu, choose Message Details.
- In the Email Subject field, place your cursor where you would like to insert the personalisation.
- Click the icon to the right of the subject field.
- Select the folder that contains your list, then choose the actual list.
- Now select the relevant field you'd like to insert into the subject line as a wildcard.
- If you'd like to fallback to a different word or phrase if the field is blank for any of your recipients, enter the desired Fallback text.
- You should now have a wildcard in your subject line. You can still alter the text around the wildcard if you wish.
- Click to finalise your changes.
Generally speaking, if you do have a requirement for a dynamic image in your message, using the Conditional Content feature would be a much simpler process to follow.
But if the conditional content process does not meet your requirements, you can also insert a wildcarded image into your message by tweaking the HTML a little bit. Here is how:
- Create customized images to be used as the wildcards. In my example I am using head shots of agents.
- Save these images with easily identifiable names, like the persons name for example.
- Upload these images into a new folder in your Files and Images Manager (you may want to copy the image URLs at this stage).
- Edit your list of contacts and add a field that will determine which image is associated with which contact record I added a field called Agent Image URL.
- Update that field with the URL address that is created for the images that you uploaded. This URL can be found by clicking
Once you have uploaded the images and added their links against your contacts, the next step is to add the wildcard to the message.
and grabbing it from the address bar at the top of the screen.
- Go to Messages and edit the message you wish to add the image wildcards to.
- Inside of a text area (either a Text or Paragraph component), place your mouse where you wish to insert the wildcarded image.
- Click the icon on the floating toolbar.
- Select one of the images in the folder you created for this purpose at the size you require. I used 100px width. Insert this image into the message.
- Click the icon on the floating toolbar.
- In the code, find the URL for the image you just inserted.
- Replace the source with the wildcard that links to the field that contains the URLs for the images.
and the image will appear broken in your message. This is ok.
- Save your changes to the message.
- Then test this by Previewing the message against the list that contains the URL images. Then simply flick through the contacts using the arrows and you will notice the image is now displaying correctly and changing based on the image that is assigned to the contact record.
This type of wildcard would be used if you need to link to unique documents for each recipient such as contracts or invoices. Here's how:
- You will need to create a field in your contacts list called something like "Unique Link".
- You will then need to update this field with all the unique URL's so they are stored against the contact records.
- Then in your message, add the text for your link (E.g. "click here"), or the image that you wish to place the link on to these URL's.
- Select the text or image and insert a functioning link. This step is important as you need to make the link function before you can wildcard it (you could just link through to www.google.com when doing this, as we'll be changing it in the code shortly anyway).
- After the link is inserted, click the icon on the floating toolbar.
- Find where www.google.com is in the code:
Please <a href="http://www.google.com" target="_blank">click here</a> to complete the survey.
- Then replaced the URL with the wildcard so it read as:
Please <a href="%%Unique_Link%%" target="_blank">click here</a> to complete the survey.
- Then click , followed by .
- Preview the message you are creating.
- Select the list you would be sending this to up the top left.
- Flick through the contacts with the arrows and you will noticed that the wildcards will change depending on the contact record - if it does then it is working correctly.