How do I personalize an email with a person's first name?

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I have an email blast that needs to be sent to over 250 people but I want to find out if there is an easy way to personalize each email with each individuals name. Is there a way to get this done?
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Posted 6 years ago

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Katie Lewis, Official Rep

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Hi Justin! There is, indeed, a way to accomplish this. The most common way to personalize that we see is what you're suggesting, where the email begins "Dear (person's name here)."

You'll first want to make sure that you have a First Name field on your Audience page. There, click the Member Fields button and look for the First Name field you've added. It will look like this:

When you're in your campaign, place your cursor where you'd like each person's name to appear. Click the Insert button in the formatting toolbar, and select Personalization. That will insert a personalization field where your cursor is, and you want to tell Emma which field you're working with, so you'll select Name First.

In that placeholder field to the right, type in what text should appear if a recipient doesn't have anything in the First Name field of their member record. Something like friend or colleague is common. Once you type in that placeholder, you'll see that your personalization tag changes to this:

[% member:name_first default="friend" %]

A couple important things to note:
  1. You still need to format your text, and you'll highlight the entire personalization tag -- from bracket to bracket -- to format as though it's one word. Be careful not to format only a portion of the tag because you don't want to break it.
  2. Test sending this campaign to yourself or to your test group so you can see how it appears in your inbox.
And that's it! It's simple once you walk through the steps yourself, but give me a shout if you're scratching your head over a certain step. I'm going to tweak your topic's subject line a bit because I bet others have this question, too, and I don't want them to miss the steps!