Audiences based on existing customer data from your ESP or CRM

Learn how to use existing customer information stored in your ESP or CRM to segment your visitors into audiences

How to set this up?

Your email service and your CRM platform hold information about your users that you can tap into to send visitors to different personalizations. For this, you will need to use the targeting condition "query string parameter" to create your target audiences.

The information you collect through things like sign-up forms are saved in audience fields along with unique, text-based identifiers called merge tags. These tags can be attached to any link in your emails. Unless can pick up these tags and create audiences based on it. This way you don't just personalize your emails, you can also personalize the pages that are linked within these emails.

You can watch the video below about email-based personalization to learn more.

Common email merge tags

How the email merge tag (=query string parameter) looks, depends on the email tool you are using. Here are some of the most popular tools and their merge tags.

  • MailChimp's merge tags: |TAG| (e.g. |FIRSTNAME|)
  • ActiveCampaign's merge tags: %TAG% (e.g. %FIRSTNAME%)
  • Drip's merge tags: {{ tag }} (e.g. {{ firstname }}
  • ConvertKit's merge tags: {{ tag }} (e.g. {{ subscriber.first_name }})

Common CRM merge tags (=query string parameters)

How the query string parameter looks, depends on the CRM you are using. Here are some of the most popular tools and their merge tags.

  • HubSpot's merge tags: {$tag} (e.g. {$FirstName})
  • Salesforce's merge tags: {!ObjectName.FieldName} (e.g. {!Contact.FirstName})
  • AWeber's merge tags: {!tag} (e.g. {!firstname})
  • Bronto's merge tags: %%tag%% (e.g. %%firstname%%)

Tips and best practices

  • To create an audience, use the final string or just the parameter (without a value). A dynamic string (parameter={{some_value}}) will not work - the audience has to be set up according to the parameter displayed in the final URL.

Example: within your email tool, you'll create the link{{preferences}} which for the subscriber will result in - always use the final result.

Query string parameter is set to preferences={{preferences}} will not trigger the audience. Query string parameter is set to preferences OR preferences=roses will trigger the audience correctly.

  • Remember to correctly use the AND/OR function. For example: You can target based on two query string parameters but a person might only match one at a time. In that case, use the "OR" function to combine those triggers.

Note: Alternatively, you can import contacts to Unless along with any traits you'd like to attach such as current plan, company size, product interest etc. For each imported contact, you will get a personalized link that you can then use in your email outreach. You can also use the Unless API for this purpose.