Oct 4, 2011

Linking to Conditional Content from a MailChimp Campaign

We’ve had some customers ask if they can send a MailChimp campaign with only part of the content in the actual email, and include a link to the full version of the campaign, hosted by MailChimp. The answer is yes: You can do that with merge tags.

Though we typically recommend hosting your own conditional content offsite and linking to that from your MailChimp campaign, there’s a way to create a "Read more" link that directs subscribers to your campaign archive page with the full content.

Essentially, what you can do is hide the full article and article descriptions between conditional tags, in order to only display certain information in certain areas within your newsletter.  So if the whole article is a little too long to send in a newsletter (or you’d just prefer to send a teaser), you can add a conditional tag to include a summary in the email, and another conditional tag to include the entire article on your archive page. It’s easier than it sounds. Place your tags like this:

Article Title
Here’s the part of your email you want in the campaign itself.
*| END:IF |*

*| IF:ARCHIVE_PAGE |*  Super Cool Article!
Here’s the full text of your article. It can be a little longer than usual, because your subscribers already clicked to read more.
*| END:IF |*

Now that you’ve got the structure for the content set up, you need to direct your subscribers to the archive page so they can actually read all that content you worked so hard to prepare. To create a "Read more" link that goes directly to your archive page, copy and paste this code into the source of your email:

<a href="*| ARCHIVE |*">READ MORE</a>

Make sure to include the "Read more" link in ONLY the summary of the article and between the conditional merge tags. Otherwise, you’d have a link to your archive page on your archive page, which would make your readers’ brains hurt.

Here’s an example of what those tags look like in a MailChimp template:









And here’s what a teaser campaign looks like:









Finally, here’s what the campaign archive looks like when readers click the "Read more" link.









It’s that simple. Keep in mind that this trick works best for single-story campaigns. If you want to get fancy with your "Read more" links, then we recommend hosting your conditional content elsewhere.