Any fields you have in your TalkBox account can be merged into your SMS messages. The classic example is first name but of course you're not limited to this. For example, if you know your contact’s music preferences, you can create a message that uses that information. This tells your recipients that they're not getting the same message as everyone else. It’s a great way to engage your audience by sending more personalised content.
For example, you can compose a message like this in TalkBox:
The merge fields are added by selecting them from the 'Insert merge field' dropdown on the right.
Following this example, the message might be received like this.
What happens if one of the recipients doesn't have a first name?
There are two options for this situation
- Supply a default value, this is a word or phrase to use in place of the contact's first name.
- Choose to not send the message to people who do not have a first name.
These options are controlled by clicking the settings link under the ‘Insert merge field’ dropdown. This launches a popup where you can specify a default value for each merge field or nominate them as ‘required for send.’
In the example above I used the following settings.
A message sent to someone without values for these fields would appear like this.
What about multipart messages?
When you add a merge field the character counter under the composition box vanishes. This is because individual messages have different lengths as people have merge fields of different lengths such as different first names. It no longer makes sense to talk about an exact character count.
You can still see how many SMS credits you will be using in total further down on the confirmation page. This count is based on the exact individual messages you will be sending. If one recipient has a long merge field, such as a very long first name, you might see something like:
Here three recipients will receive a normal sms, and one will receive a long sms consisting of two parts.