Adding personalization to an email template

You can tailor the email message body, subject line, address settings fields, and links so that they are specific to each contact who receives your email. You can add information from your custom or system database fields, such as given name, surname, and birth date. You can also insert data in table format.

Before you begin

Important: Attach a contact source to your template before you add personalization.

About this task

To add personalization, insert a personalization placeholder into the template. When you send the email, the system pulls data from your contact database records and inserts the information from that field into the email.

Limitations for personalization

  • Personalization is not case-sensitive.
  • For personalized links, make sure that there are no spaces in the field name or within the data. Underscores are acceptable.
  • In landing pages, you must associate an Acoustic Campaign database with the site (on the Site Settings page) to make personalization available.
  • You can insert relational table data from relational tables that are associated with the database.
  • Personalization might not work if a visitor arrives from a different website because no contact encoding information is present. When you use personalization, create and test your content to ensure that the page works properly for visitors who find your page accidentally.

You can insert personalization into any of the following areas in your email template:

  • Email body
  • Subject line and address settings fields
  • Links, including clickstream and Email (mailto) links


  • Add a default value to list fields that are used in personalization. The default is used if there is no value in that field.
  • When you use personalization, be careful to not change the email list that is associated with your message. If you do change the list, make sure to update the personalization fields. Any personalized fields that do not match the fields in the new list are not merged but are displayed as they are in the editor.
  • Use %%format%% to add personalized dates, currency, and other numbers to the email body, such as:
    %%format(Price, "#,###.00")%%
    %%format(Price, "####")%%
    %%format(blankNumeric, "##.##")%%

    For example, if your database has a custom column "RAND", you can add %%format(RAND, "#,###.00")%% to get the correct currency format in the email body.


In the following example, the recipient has the value Joanne in the FirstName field. You want her to receive a message that states Dear Joanne, so you add Dear %%FirstName%%, in email body.

You can also create links with personalization. For example, you have a team of people who write blogs, with each blog having its own URL. In the following URLs, the domain is static and the blogger name and subject are variable.


One of your subscribers is interested only in product review blogs. You want to provide a generic email and provide a personalized URL to the recipient's chosen blog subscription. You could have a field in your database that is called blogger and another called subject. Then, in your email body, you have the static elements with the personalization calls in the relevant places:

Alternatively, you could have one field that is called subject, which contains:

  • joeblogs/productreview.html
  • joeblogs/productcomparrison.html
  • janeblogs/marketing.html

Your email template would include

It is also possible to build more complicated personalized URLs, such as In this example, catalogue and itemID are the only fields that can have different values, which are populated by the fields of the same name in your database.