Working with external dynamic content

Note: External dynamic content is different to dynamic content. If you which to tailor content based on contact data, dynamic content is generally easier to use. You can find out more at our Using dynamic content in campaigns article.

Contents

Turning external dynamic content on
Adding an external dynamic content block to your campaign
Setting up your external dynamic content block
Sending your campaign
Link tracking
Limitations

Summary

External dynamic content enables you to provide campaign content through a URL endpoint. You can pass data to your URL by attaching contact data fields to the query string.

This article assumes you have your URL endpoint set up and ready to go.

Turning external dynamic content on

To activate dynamic content blocks in your account, mouse over Hi [your name]! in the top right-hand corner and click on Account settings from the menu that appears, then look under the 'Features' section and ensure Enable drag and drop external dynamic content is selected. You need to be the account holder in order to do this.

Adding an external dynamic content block to your campaign 

Edit a campaign, and ensure the Build tab in the side panel is selected. Under the Building blocks section, there is a block called External dynamic content under 'Tools'. This can be dragged and dropped into your campaign.

Setting up your external dynamic content block

When an external building block is dragged onto a campaign, it will show Set up external dynamic content link. Click this to supply a name for the block, and also your URL endpoint.

The name is for your reference only, but we'll show it in the block's heading.

The address is the URL of your endpoint. The format of this URL matters; it must start with either 'http' or 'https', and the location of contact data fields (if used) is also important.

Examples of valid URL endpoints

http://example.com/handler.php?token=@EMAIL@

Where @EMAIL@ contains something like 'alias@example.com'.

https://example.com/handler/token/@DATAFIELD@

Where @DATAFIELD@ contains something like 'filename.php'.

http://www.example.com/php/@DATAFIELD@.php

Where @DATAFIELD@ contains something like 'filename'.

http://www.example.com/php/@DATAFIELD@

Where @DATAFIELD@ is a folder name, for example.

http://example.com/pathtest.aspx

Where no contact data fields are used.

Examples of invalid URL endpoints

@URISCHEME@example.com/handler.php

Where @URISCHEME@ contains 'http://' or 'https://'.

http://@DATAFIELD@/php/pathtest.php

Where @DATAFIELD@ contains a domain, for example.

Sending your campaign

A campaign containing external dynamic content may take longer to send than a regular send; as each individual send may require us to pull content from your webserver.

You should also note that whilst a triggered campaign is being sent using External Dynamic Content, it will not be editable until the send is complete.

Link tracking

Links in external dynamic content blocks are tracked differently to links elsewhere in your campaigns. For link tracking to work, you need to ensure that:

  1. Either your account has Google Analytics configured, in which case any external links found in your external dynamic content blocks will be rewritten to have Google Analytics tracking information appended to them.
  2. Or your links are part of a link group.

Note: If you're not configured with Google Analytics and you don’t use link grouping, there will be no tracking on external dynamic content links. 

Limitations

You can have a maximum of 20 external dynamic content blocks in any one campaign.

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