When it comes to marketing, the more personal you can make your content, the better. This used to mean adjusting your copy and graphics to engage and entice the widest audience of people possible, so that you could grab a huge chunk of people’s attention while minimizing your marketing efforts. Well, things couldn’t be more different now! With all the advances in automation and how it relates to digital marketing, you can actually create content that automatically curates *itself* when requested by a certain person or group!

There are multiple ways to accomplish this, and we’d like to go over a few of them with you today. Bear in mind that if you’d like to know more about these methods, and would like a breakdown of how they might benefit you and your organization, you can request a demo with us! That being said, let’s get into it!

Handlebars Merge Language (HML)

No, we didn’t just throw a bunch of fun words together for the sake of it. This is actually a thing! HML (also known as merge values) is probably the most basic way of personalizing your marketing assets.

In essence, it allows you to insert a word or phrase that changes based on the data you have about the individual prospect viewing the content. You can use pardot default fields such as First Name or Country, or custom fields you create that are unique to your audience and needs. But what happens if the prospect viewing your content doesn’t yet have data in the field you are using? No problem- you can either define a default value for the field, or use Conditional HML to create “if/then” statements for when your prospect records are missing certain values.

Not quite sure what we’re getting at? Picture this: You’re sending an email to a prospect, and you want it to feel personal when they receive it. You can use HML to put their name in the opening line! However, if their name isn’t a part of the data you’ve collected thus far, you can have it default to something else in order to avoid the dreaded “Hi !” where the prospect sees a blank space where their name should have been. Pretty neat, right?

Example: {{#if Recipient.FirstName}} Welcome {{Recipient.FirstName}}!, {{else}} Welcome to SalesLabX! {{/if}}

In the example above, if we know the prospect’s first name, they will see “Welcome First-Name!” and if we don’t yet know their name, they will just see “Welcome to SalesLabX!” So either way it looks organic and natural, as if it were personally hand typed.

Dynamic Content

Sounds *powerful*, doesn’t it? Makes you think of Batman and Robin without the tights. The Dynamic Duo. Well, it just so happens that that dynamic content can be *your* hero when it comes to your marketing strategy.

Dynamic Content allows you to display custom content with a default content to Prospects based on a single field parameter. It’s incredibly powerful, as it can apply FULL HTML, and it can be used on a live website that isn’t Pardot, list emails, email templates, 1:1 emails, forms, landing pages, or even layout templates!

We’ve employed this tool to great effect for one of our clients. When we started doing marketing for a nationwide K-12 publisher that helps entire classrooms of children collaborate and publish their very own books—we were able to create an ever-changing email that featured children holding up books they’d created. When those emails were sent to teachers or parents that had participated in the program before, the child in the image would be holding a copy of the recipient’s actual book design from the previous year! We even utilized two different dynamic images that would change depending on whether or not the book cover had a horizontal or vertical layout. The hundreds of different book cover image files are hosted in a separate server outside of Pardot, the URLs of which are then stored in a custom Pardot text field unique to each prospect!

By combining the dynamic image of the children holding either a portrait or landscape book, and the URLs of the individual book covers, we were able to create dynamic content to pull in images of the actual cover design if the prospect had a made previous order. Now THAT’S a personalized experience!

Snippets

Honestly, this one is more of an efficiency tool than it is a personalization tool, but we still believe it deserves a mention. Snippets are merge fields for Pardot marketing emails that are not specific to the prospects, and have a lot of benefits.

For example, when you use a Snippet multiple places, you only need to edit it in one place, and it’ll apply that edit to every other Snippet, they reduce the need to duplicate recurring emails that have the same body, but different event information, they can be associated with more than one campaign, and they can be embedded into an email, form, or landing page.

If you’re wondering how this could apply to your marketing strategy, consider this: Imagine that you have recurring events that you’re wanting to advertise to your prospects that have different locations, times, presenters, or any other such information. Remember how you used to go through and change those things? Going through, bit by bit, and changing all the necessary information by hand for each new event? We remember. We’ve been there, and we didn’t enjoy it. If you’re using the same email template with the same copy, then instead of needing to copy the email content and go into the email builder to change the event information, you could use snippets and would only need to update the snippets. The same event info snippet could be used on the corresponding landing page for the event as well.

It’s personalization in a much more general sense, in that specific people get the specific information that they need, and you don’t have to put in the crazy amount of effort that it would normally take without automation to achieve the same results.

As you can see, personalization tools can improve your marketing strategy and create more meaningful connections with current and new Prospects. They are applicable in all marketing platforms including WordPress, however the property must be owned by the user where Pardot Tracking can be added. It takes a little bit of doing to get it going, but once you’re there, it’s smooth like butter.

We’re more than happy to go through your strategy with you, and see how it can apply to what your organization is trying to accomplish. Give us a little bit of your time by signing up for a demo, and we’ll get you well on your way!

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