Using personalisation tags in images

            NewZapp's editor has the option to use personalisation tags as a means to pull data, unique to each subscriber, into your email content. This is much like a mail merge.

            Doing the same within an image, rather than within a line of text, has until recently not been possible unless an image was made for every subscriber and you sent one email at a time!

            There is though an application called NiftyImages that enables you to serve personalised images into your emails with little effort, so that every Subscriber in your database gets their own unique image in their campaign from you. They explain that: "Personalised Images are dynamic images that change based on the recipient’s name (or any other data). Any email merge field can be used in your images."

            This article is a review of the application, with instructions on how to incorporate it into your NewZapp emails.

            Starting at www.niftyimages.com, at the time of writing this article a free trial will give you scope to have a good play around and even create an image for one of your campaigns with its generous limit of “10,000 opens” (an ‘open’ being every time an image is displayed on someone’s screen, so you’d probably be pretty safe sending an email with one Nifty image included to a database of up to 10k).

            Once logged into your account, first stop….

            Settings
            Here you can set the Time Zone you are working in. This will help when looking up accurate impression stats, and making countdown timers. Just as importantly, set your ESP (NewZapp is in the list!).  Click to Update, then onto…

            Create a New Personalised Image
            There are four options to pick from:
            1. Personalized Image – An image with one tag of personalisation in it
            2. Countdown Timer – Based on an “end date/time” of your choice
            3. Live Instagram Feed – Enabling you to populate an email with a live feed from an account of your choice
            4. Live Pinterest Feed – as above but with a Pinterest account
            In this article we're looking on making a Personalized Image (or Personalised Image as we'd call it in the UK!)

            Step 1 - Pick a template
            Not a template of the sort you have in your NewZapp account, you're picking an image for this step.

            There is a range of free ones to try, covering 11 different categories such as Alerts, Animated GIFs, Art, Birthday, Call To Action, Charts and Graphs, eCommerce, Holiday, Invitation, Outdoors, Photography. We’d suggest starting with one of these just to get the feel for the interface. .

            Don’t worry after you’ve picked a template/image that the first name tag doesn’t look exactly like the format you use in NewZapp – NiftyImages know what our tag style looks like and it will be correct in the url it creates for you. Or if you want to use a different data tag like [companyname], or a custom data tag like [Discount Code], either would be really easy to use too.

            In Template Options you can change the text phrase, change the personalisation tag, and set a default back up for the tag should you have any gaps in your data. eg. If using the tag [companyname] and you don’t have a company name for every subscriber in your database, you might use “Your Company” as a default backup.

            Step 2 - Generate the HTML that loads your image into an email
            On this Step you’ll be given the HTML for your new unique image. For example when we did a recent test, the url generated was:

                  <img src="https://img1.niftyimages.com/4s/740/sge?txt=[firstname]" />

            We don’t actually need quite all of this code, NewZapp just needs the part inside the quote marks, so we would copy this as our image code:

                  https://img1.niftyimages.com/4s/740/sge?txt=[firstname]

            This code will call the image into any email campaign, with the [firstname] tag automatically included. In other words, each time you send an email to your database it will….
                  – Look up the image that you chose
                  – Look up the data for the particular Subscriber
                  – Merge the two together as one flat image

            This is the point where you would change the [firstname] part to another tag if it was a different piece of data that you wanted to pull in from your Subscribers database.

            Step 3 – Head over to your NewZapp account
            We’re now ready to put a campaign together that includes the image.
            Having copied the part of the code mentioned above, it’s ready to paste in to my email, so we need to login and go to Create & Send.

            1. Create a new email and in the place where you want your NiftyImage to sit, insert any image.
            2. Right click on the image and choose the Source option, a pop-up will open to show you the HTML source code. NewZapp’s Drag and Drop editor doesn’t include the dimensions of an image in your HTML code, so it’s quite straightforward to now change the image path (just the part between the quotation marks) and the image will automatically size itself.
              e.g. in my example I’m replacing:  https://system5.newzapp.co.uk/servershare/17067/nz-images/heart-outline-md.png
              with: https://img1.niftyimages.com/4s/740/sge?txt=[firstname]
            3. Click OK, and you’ll see the image you originally insert replaced with your NiftyImage.
            Your NiftyImage can now be seen loading into your email at actual size

            Step 4 – Don’t depend on the image only
            It’s as true as it ever was that spam filters are at their happiest when an email has a good text to image ratio. Emailing a campaign that is one single image can still cause you issues with deliverability.

            So add some text to your campaign that supports/explains what the image depicts.
            Within that text, why not add another data (or custom) tag for good measure, and you’ll have a really personal email campaign.
            With my test I’m using one of our system templates, so I’ve also added a bit of complimentary colour to the surround with the Design tools.

            Maybe add another data or custom tag within this real text for good measure, and you’ll have a really personal email campaign

            Step 5 – As if we need to mention…
            Test, test, and test again! Don’t worry to much about how many impressions you are notching up when editing or sending yourself and colleagues a copy, in the scheme of things this is a tiny amount and are unlikely to make a difference in the pricing option you were to sign up to if you get hooked after your first personalised campaign.

            Things to bear in mind:
            - Even if you have set your time zone to a European, stats within your NiftyImages account will be shown in a US format. eg. the date 2nd of April 2017 will be shown as 4/2/2017.
            - The appearance of the image on mobile can be a little small so for some campaigns it might be worth using a mix of images in a campaign, with only one being your NiftyImage. On that one, use their editor to add your choice of font, colour, angle and position. The others will scale in the usual way, as controlled by the NewZapp editor. Use the mobile view within the editor to check you're happy with the mix.

            For an illustrated version of this article, please visit the following blog on our website:


            Updated: 21 Dec 2017 05:57 PM
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