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Tips and tricks on how to use Maxprog products

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How to make your email's look more personal


I want to show you a cool trick today that will help you make your email messages more friendly. Actually the idea is simple, every single recipient on your list should believe your message is a message addressed personally to him, not a bulk message, a common problem I see with people using MaxBulk Mailer where their emails look like they come from some kind of automated system. You have to change your mind, think you are talking to one person only. Your message has to look like it is coming from a real person (you), not a robot and is addressed to one only recipient. How? Using the recipient data you have in your list, its name, company, gender or whatever you have. Yes, all you need to do is simply to modify your message depending on the recipient, that's all. There are several ways:

- By using tags, tags are pieces of text that represent a list column. [Firstname] and [Company] are tags you can use in your message.

- By using Tags with Alternative Text, same as before but like [Firstname|Friend], an alternative text is provided in case the data is missing.

- By using Conditional Statements, a kind of 'programming code' that lets you modify the message depending on a tag value, [Gender] for example.

Tags and conditional statements work with all formats, not only with plain text messages but also with styled text and HTML messages. In this tutorial we will use styled text and plain text to keep things simple.

I decided to write this because one of our MaxBulk Mailer user added our company email address to its list and send us a message that tricked me... I though it was for me and I replied... :-/

Tag with an Alternative Text

We love that feature a lot because it is really clever, handy and user friendly. Remember, Tags are pieces of text you can add to your message from the recipient list. Every single list column has its tag with the same name, you can rename if you wish. For example we have the [Firstname] tag that will insert the recipient first name into the message. As said above a tag is useless when the data is missing, in that case, no first name! If your message begins with for example 'Dear [Firstname]' you would end with 'Dear'. We actually fixed that issue by adding the possibility to add some alternative text directly into the tag. In the example above we could use [Firstname|Friend]. 'Friend' will be used if 'Firstname' is empty. That's simple! No need to use complex conditional statements, just the tag including '|' and the alternative text right after.

Conditional Statements

MaxBulk Mailer also offers the possibility to add conditional statements to your message. It is a bit more complex but much more powerful. A conditional statement is a set of instructions that you can use to modify your message contents depending on the recipient data. With conditional statements you can go a step further and insert text depending on tag/column data. For example you might need to add a 'Mr.' or 'Mrs.' prefix depending on the recipient  gender, use a generic string in your greeting when you don't have the name of a given recipient or add a piece of information only if it is available in the recipient list (by using a tag). This is what the example above does. The conditional statement used is:

<IF [[Gender]] = "M" <AND> [[Surname]] <> "">Dear Mr. [Surname],?<ELSEIF [[Gender]] = "F" <AND> [[Surname]] <> "">Dear Mrs. [Surname],?<ELSE>Dear Friend,</IF>

To insert a conditional statement, use the button on the right of the tag pull-down menu, choose the tag to be used in the condition from the tag pull-down menu, the operator, the value to compare the tag with and the result (the text you want to be used if the condition is verified). It is fully explained here:

http://www.maxprog.com/site/manuals/mbm/mac/us/conditionalmessages.php Note that the Gender column is actually the Opt1 column that has been renamed.

There are actually lots of cases where conditional statements can help you achieve your message with great effectiveness. You can send formal or informal text depending on the recipient age, send custom attachments <IF [[Gender]] = "F">{File:"cat.jpg"}?<ELSE>{File:"ostrich.jpg"}</IF>, change the signature, insert billing information...

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