So you are about to request or build an EDM? Perhaps the most important part to get right is what our team refers to as "the Dear Block". This is the introduction. The opening message. The Salutation.

Ill try to explain how these work and also illustrate a few helpful tools our application can provide.

Firstly lets start with the most simple form. One Field.

Code . : => Dear {{first_name}}

Output :=> Dear Scott

Our code refers to the first_name in your contacts database. It is the same as Microsoft word merge and can thus be used across a sample or large set of invites or emails you'd like to send.

Important Note - where ever you see {{field}} - the wriggly brackets - we are referring to a field or column in your contacts database.

Example number 2 - a few more fields.

Code . : => Dear {{contact_title}}{{first_name}}{{last_name}}

Output :=> Dear Mr Scott Hyde

So here we have simply added a few fields together....pretty simple and nothing special. You can add as many or as few fields from the contacts database as you like. Of course this assumes your contacts database is updated with data in these fields!.

Example 3 - the Event Hub "Dear Block" - Informal

Event Hub has created 2 special "code blocks" that try to simplify the above & other cases in this area.

Code blocks are new combined fields that do clever things in the background to make the process more simple. For example, it helps manage the output based on whether a partner for the guest exists or not.

Lets look at those now. The code block also takes into account the partner status.

Code . : => Dear {{guest_block}}

Output :=> Dear Scott - No Partner for event
Dear Scott and Guest - 1 Partner not-named
Dear Scott & 2 Guests . - "n" Partners not-named
Dear Scott and Sarah - 1 partner Named
Dear Scott, Sarah and guests - 1 partner named - others not-named
Dear Scott, Sarah and Chloe - 2 partners both named

NOTE: the Block equals 

{{first_name}} and {{IFpartners}}

It does not use any data from;


Hence this is known as the INFORMAL guest block.

Example 4 - the Event Hub "Dear Block" - Formal

Lets now look at our final example.

Code . : => Dear {{formal_guest_block}}

Output :=> Dear Mr Scott Hyde MP - No Partner
Dear Mr Scott Hyde MP and Guest - 1 Partner not-named
Dear Mr Scott Hyde MP and 2 Guests - "n" Partners not named
Dear Mr Scott Hyde MP and Mrs Sarah Hyde - 1 partner Named
Dear Mr Scott Hyde MP and Mrs Sarah Hyde and guests - 1 partner names - others not-named

NOTE: the Block equals 

{{contact_title}}{{first_name}}{{surname}}{{postnominal}} and {{IFpartners}}

Hence this is known as the FORMAL guest block.

{{postnominal}} is a separate field available to store post-nominal data if required....Like OAM or MP.

Some customers store this in the Surname. Thats fine but do not store in BOTH. Otherwise it will repeat.

Also try be consistent across your database ie if you do add post-nominal to surnames for some contacts - you'll need to apply to all of them.

What Else to consider?

  • "Dear" is a word - it can be removed or replaced with any other "word". It is NOT part of the "code" tools.

  • database data is database data and your company owns it. If there are spaces, commas, or incorrectly mis-spelled names - it will appear in the output. It's best to check your data using the next step.

  • Please, please, please Preview your data. Once your guest list is loaded run through a large preview process - 15-20 invites minimum - maybe all of them if it's your first time reviewing the quality of your data.

  • We do NOT suggest the use of Dear "Blocks" for Confirm replies. Keep it simple, first name or no name works better.

  • If you do the preview the concepts above will become easily understood and you'll see the quality of your data quickly. Its advised to run through a preview process - sometime before your first send, Plan some extra time to do this.

    Need more help? if you are still having trouble with the above let's SCREEN SHARE and work through the process together.

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