Adding Dynamic Content

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Dynamic Content refers to content (either text, images, or "content snippets") that has been split into multiple "versions", each targeting a different Segment of your membership. For the purposes of creating a mailing using a template, content that specifically targets the online version of a mailing is also considered "dynamic."


By default, the content for each section of your template is "static": it targets only e-mail messages, rather than the online version of your mailing, and it will appear identical -- with the exception of mail merge fields -- for all recipients. The interface for creating and editing dynamic content is nearly identical for the three different types of content: text, images, and content snippets.


To turn a static content field into a dynamic content field, click on the button labeled Make Dynamic:


Your content (in the case of this example, a content snippet representing a physical address) will remain unchanged, but a Segment drop-down will appear in place of the "Save", "Cancel", and "Make Dynamic" buttons:


Choosecontentsegment1.png


The top entry in the Segment drop-down will always be --ALL RECIPIENTS--, indicating that the selected content section will be visible to all recipients of the mailing (-ALL RECIPIENTS-- is classified as a "pseudo-Segment" because it does not represent an actual Segment). If you click Save, add no further recipients, and close the content window, your content section will still be static and will appear as such the next time you edit that section.


The second item in the drop-down list (after --ALL RECIPIENTS--) will always be --ONLINE VERSION--. This pseudo-Segment is used to specify the content for the online version of your mailing. In the common scenario in which you'd like to have one version of your content for message recipients, and another for the online version, but further segmentation is not required, you would specify the message content under --ALL RECIPIENTS-- and the online content under --ONLINE VERSION--. If no --ONLINE VERSION-- pseudo-Segment is specified, content from the --ALL RECIPIENTS-- pseudo-Segment will be used to populate the online version of your mailing. If neither --ONLINE VERSION-- nor --ALL RECIPIENTS-- is specified, but at least one other Segment is specified, this content section will not appear in the online version of your mailing. It is your responsibility to ensure that mail merge fields and predefined links do not appear within the online version.


To make your content dynamic by Segment, select a specific Segment for the content section:


Choosecontentsegment2.png


For each of the Segments you have defined in Enterprise, there will always be an additional "negated" Segment in the drop-down list. For the Segment named Bethesda_Location, for instance, there will be a drop-down entry named --ALL EXCEPT-- Bethesda_Location. These negated Segments are designed to facilitate the specification of two mutually exclusive content sections.


To save the content and the Segment selection for the currently selected section, click Save. To cancel your changes to the currently selected section, click the cancel icon. Once you have saved or canceled, the content portion of the window will disappear (because no Segment will be selected) and the Segment portion of the window will remain:


Choosecontentsegment3.png


To edit (or view) the content for a targeted Segment, click edit. To delete the content definition for a targeted Segment, click delete. To add a new Segment, choose from the drop-down list, then click the Add button. To save all the content and Segment definitions for the current template field, click the "Save" link. To cancel all changes to the content and Segment definitions for the current template field, click the "Cancel" link. NO CHANGES TO ANY OF THE SELECTED SEGMENTS WILL BE PRESERVED UNTIL YOU CLICK THE "SAVE" BUTTON.


Bear in mind that the Segments you choose are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Take, for example, the following configuration:


Choosecontentsegment4.png


In this example, the first two Segments are mutually exclusive (since a Member can't be associated with two locations in this case), but the third (VA_Residents) might overlap with the other two. A member who is associated with the Bethesda location but who lives in Virginia, in this case, would receive both the content for the Bethesda Segment and the content for the VA_Residents Segment. Whether or not this overlap is desirable depends upon the nature of your content. Depending on the circumstances, it may be necessary to tweak your Segment definitions to achieve the desired results. Also, remember that the pseudo-Segments beginning with --ALL EXCEPT-- (as described above) are a surefire way to create content for exactly two mutually exclusive groups of Members.