Mail merge is useful when you want to personalize the messages you send to your prospects. Studies show that tailoring your messaging, even slightly, can significantly increase your response rate. Personalization can be accomplished using Pardot’s Variable Tags to dynamically insert information.
When creating an Email Template or sending a New Email, select the variable you would like to use from the Insert Variable Tag drop down located in WYSIWYG menu of the email content editor. Like many marketing solutions, Pardot utilizes tags such as %%first_name%% to automatically pull in data that you have collected on your prospects. You can also include mail merge tags in the subject line of your email.
Note: Variable tags will only pull in values when the email is sent to a prospect. “Test” emails sent through the Email Wizard will not display merged values for these tags. To see variable tags in action, send an email to a test prospect.
Default Mail Merge Values
Any Pardot custom field can be used as a variable tag in Pardot content when the %% values are appended around the field name. You may want to set up default mail merge values for your prospect fields that are displayed if there is no available data for a given prospect. For example, you could set up your first name field to display as ‘valued customer’ in the event that it is not present.
Default values can be set up in the following manner:
- Click Administration in the left navigation.
- Click Prospect Fields in the resulting sub-navigation.
- Find the Default or Custom Field you would like to work with and click Edit.
- Check the “Set a default mail merge value to be used when this field doesn’t have a value” box
- Enter whatever value you would like to use for your default in the Default mail merge value
- Click the Save button to save your changes.
Mail Merge Tags in Links
You can also include dynamic tags in your URLs if you want to dynamically insert a parameter to links in your emails. One thing to keep in mind is that you will need to encode any special characters than you insert into the HTML version of your emails through the WYSIWYG. For example, a & would need to be entered as %26. A comprehensive list of encoding references can be found here.