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Custom fields are simpler to use

July 10, 2014

The latest change in Messenger makes working with custom fields a lot easier, especially if you work with several lists in a single campaign. While that may not be you, you may notice some differences when using the personalisation button in the content editor.

When you were using custom field personalisations in a campaign, whether you were using the WYSIWYG editor or typing them in by hand in the source view, it was hard to see what was going on. This was because the way you saw the custom field wasn't straight forward at all, including  the word 'CUSTOM', a random number, some underscores and the name you gave it when the list was uploaded - quite a lot to remember !

Now when you are using a field in personalisation you can simply use the name you gave it when the list was uploaded inside square brackets with a dollar sign e.g. [$salesPersonName]

This integrates with our new test message system - which you may have seen already and we've got a whole other post about shortly.
Once you've created the content or uploaded a list with custom fields you can go into the test message address book where the edit and create pages will automatically see those personalisations and allow you to enter test data for them.

Using these new style personalisations allows us to remove some of the slightly odd restrictions we previously had on the way custom fields could be used. This means you can now use multiple lists at the same time with a campaign that uses custom fields.
When you assign multiple lists to a campaign, the lists page will check for you that every list has the same custom fields, and warn you if some are missing. You will only be able to use the custom fields that every list has in common.

Another benefit is that you can now move the content from one campaign to another, even if the lists change with each send - maybe because you have an updated customer list each month. This also means you can use custom fields in template campaigns more easily.

The old style of personalisation will still work of course, so you don't need to worry about any of your older campaigns, but I think you'll agree that the new style works a lot better. We don't support campaigns that use the new syntax in the older versions of Messenger though.

Enjoy the new custom tags !

Posted by Tom Chiverton
New Features

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