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Professional Email Marketing

StrongView® On-Demand Content Blocks

Tokenize Your Content

One of the most powerful features of email marketing is the ability to easily personalize the message to individual recipient. The Business rules editor is great for the emailer who wants to easily manage complex dynamic content, but it might be overkill for the emailer who just wants to include some profile data in their messages.

For emailers who just want some basic personalization, StrongView's tokens are a simple tool that makes it easy to insert dynamic content from your database (you can also do the same thing with reusable content, like a header, footer or legal text). Read on to learn how you can easily insert relevant content into your emails to make them more appealing to recipients.

The first step is to determine what information you have or what you want to collect to use in the content. The most obvious (and common) is profile information:

Membership level
Subscription settings
Favorite topics

Most mailers collect some additional information besides just email address when a subscriber registers. It may just be basic contact information or detailed preferences. Even if you don't collect anything except an email address at sign up, you can use your mailings to encourage recipients to provide more information about themselves.

Once you have some collected the information that you want to use in your email, you just have to decide where in email message you want to put it. Many mailers use the recipients first name to insert a personalized salutation (e.g., Dear Ivan), but you could also write the body copy to incorporate the recipient's name (Ivan, we noticed that you purchased our document kit, but have not downloaded it from the website yet).

To accomplish either of these, all you would have to do determine the name of the field that contains the first name and add that to the template with a token. For demonstration purposes, I will pretend that the field in my data source is called first_name. My token would look like this:


To create the salutation, I just insert the token in the copy like this:

Dear ##first_name##,

This can be done manually when creating the email copy or by using the personalization wizard in Message Studio:

Now, most emailers know that you don't always have the necessary profile data in every single record and you certainly don't want recipients to see a message that says, "Dear ," as the salutation. Luckily, StrongView's token capabilities include the ability to add a default value if there is no value in the data source. So rather than than inserting, "Dear ,", you would get something like "Dear Product Talk Subscriber," which, while somewhat formulaic, doesn't look like your message is broken.

Default values can be inserted using the personalization wizard in Message Studio or the following manual notation:

Dear ##first_name[Product Talk Subscriber]##,

This would insert the value of the first_name field if there was one and if the field was empty or null, it would insert "Product Talk Subscriber".

There are lots of things you can do with tokens. They can be used in both the body of the email and the envelope, so there are a lot of options on what, how, and where to use them. As I mentioned earlier, you can even use tokens to insert content blocks into a template (or even a section or whole email template). You can even use them as a look up variable to get other data or content (that's a more advanced topic that you will see discussed later).

For now, try out simple tokenization and see how they can improve the value of your message and increase response rates.

If you're interested in learning more about the benefits of StrongView's On-Demand Edition, please contact us at (877) 263-8285.

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