Message Tags

There are several types of message tags that can be included in your email and SMS messages so you can target message content to each contact who receives the message.

Message tags allow you to do things like address a contact by their first name, send product recommendations based on products a contact has shown interest in, use the API to use data stored outside of Bronto into a message, or include an unsubscribe URL.

Types of Message Tags

There are a number of message tags that you can use to personalize your email and SMS messages. A tag represents a piece of variable data and different types of data are represented by different types of tags. Each type has its own unique syntax so that Bronto can recognize the tag and manage it appropriately. Types of tags include:

  • Field Tags: Map to stored contact data. Example: %%firstname%% For more information, see Field Tags.
  • Special Tags: Map to default, Bronto-managed data. Example: %%!unsubscribe_url%% For more information, see Special Tags.
  • RFM Tags: Map to the RFM metrics collected for a contact. Example: %%rfm_newest_order_date%% For more information, see RFM Field Tags.
  • Cart/Order Tags: Map to data collected from shopping carts. Example: %%$cart.discount%% For more information, see Add Cart and Order Data To A Message. Your account must be configured to pass cart and order data to Bronto in order to use this type of tag.
  • Product Tags: Map to imported product data. Example: %%$product.placeholder.field%% For more information, see Product Tags.
  • API Message Tags: Unlike other tags, these tags do not map to Bronto-stored data. Instead, you can use this type of tag to insert HTML content into the body and subject line of messages using the API. Typically you would use these tags to include data stored outside of Bronto in your messages. Example: %%#userdefined%% For more information, see API Message Tags.
Note: While content tags are a type of tag you can use in a message, they are not a type of message tag. Content tags allow you to create reusable "blocks" of content that you can use in messages; they can only pass contact-specific content if you use a message tag within the content tag or make the content tag dynamic. See Content Tags for more information.

In addition to these message tags, you can use loops with both API Message tags and Cart/Order tags. Loops save message design time by allowing you to include an array of data by providing multiple message tags within the opening and closing loop tag. For example, you can use a cart loop to include the product name, description, and image for all products that were in an abandoned cart. For more information see Cart Loop Tags and API Loop Tags.

Note: When working with email, only the email message editor, HTML/WYSIWYG editor, and email template editor can support tags.

Tag Formatting Guidelines

In order for tags to work properly, they must be properly formatted. All message tags:
  • Must begin and end with %%. For example, %%!contact_eid%%.
  • Require specific, additional formatting rules that must be followed. For example, cart and order tags require a $ after the opening %%: %%$cart.createdate%%.
Special, RFM, Product, and Cart/Order tags can:
  • Only use lowercase characters.
    Note: Field tags can use uppercase, but will be case sensitive when you use mixed case.
Special, RFM, Product, Field, and Cart/Order tags cannot:
  • Contain spaces.
  • Use any of the following characters within the body of the tag:
    • %
    • <
    • >

If you're using the email message editor to design messages, we recommend you use the Insert menu to add tags to your message. When you use the Insert menu, the editor automatically uses the correct tag format.

How Tags Are Replaced With Real Content

Messages tags are variables that can be added to a message as a placeholder that will be replaced with real content. Most tags are replaced with content at the time a message is sent. However, some tags are replaced with content at the time a message is scheduled for delivery. Handling some tags at the time a message is scheduled, versus handling all of the tags at the time a message is sent, allows Bronto to expedite the delivery of messages. The following tags are pulled into a message at the time a future delivery is scheduled:

  • All Content Tags
  • %%!account_address1%%
  • %%!account_address2%%
  • %%!account_cc_email%%
  • %%!account_city%%
  • %%!account_country%%
  • %%!account_email%%
  • %%!account_firstname%%
  • %%!account_lastname%%
  • %%!account_organization%%
  • %%!account_state%%
  • %%!account_telephone%%
  • %%!account_zip%%
  • %%!message_api_id%%
  • %%!message_id%%
  • %%!subject%%
  • %%!account_address%%
If you want to change the content for one of these tags in a scheduled message, you can:
  1. Cancel the delivery.
  2. Change the message content.
  3. Schedule a new delivery.