As 2015 comes to an end, it’s time to make those trusty New Year’s resolutions. Eat healthier, go to the gym, use Bronto’s Products feature in your emails, reconnect with old friends … wait, what was that? While most resolutions require lots of effort and are hard to keep, using Bronto’s Products feature to improve your messages definitely doesn’t. It’s quick and easy to set up, simple to use and pays dividends all year long. Many marketers are already using it. Are you? From its time-saving tags and dynamic functionality to its ability to help you add the most accurate product information and images to your messages, don’t miss out on all that this feature has to offer. Let’s take a look at five different ways you can leverage your products in messages to make your life easier.

1. Skip the time-consuming “copy and paste.”

Rather than manually cutting and pasting data, insert product tags in your messages that will pull product data directly from your product catalog for you. When you schedule your send, simply indicate which products you want the message to include. This timesaver not only speeds up your content creation. It also ensures you use the most up-to-date product content with every delivery.

2. Forget about reinventing the wheel (er, message).

Create a template message with product tags to use over and over across many deliveries. This allows you to promote different products each time you send a message. You can easily replace subject line content, hero images and product details, such as product images, webpage links, titles, descriptions, and prices. Just indicate the products you want to include for each delivery at scheduling time. Here’s a great example from one of our customers. They created template messages, which contain blocks of content for each product, and used product tags to pull in the image, link, title, price, and percentage off for each one. Then, when they schedule each send, they only have to indicate which products to include in that delivery. Here’s some simplified code from their message that references their product data: <a href="%%$product.p1.product_url%%" target="_blank"><img src="%%$product.p1.small_image%%"></a> %%$product.p1.title%% <font-weight:bold">$%%$product.p1.price%%</span> Save %%$product.p1.percent_off%%&#37; <a href="%%$product.p1.product_url%%" target="_blank"><img src="" /></a> And here’s what it looks like in the customer's inbox:

Products example
3. Create more detailed order confirmation and cart messages.

If you’re sending transactional messages to your customers today, the data you display is limited to what’s in the order or cart details. By using product data, you can augment this information with robust product content, including product images, review ratings, and so much more. Here’s a snippet of a customer example demonstrating how they use the product image from their product catalog because the image isn’t accessible from the order details. Their code (items in red are cart loop tags, but the item in blue demonstrates how they reference the image_url field from their product catalog): {dynamic_code}{cart_loop} … <a href="%%$cart.item.producturl%%">%%$</a></span><br /> … Item #: %%$cart.item.sku%%<br /> Price: %%$cart.item.unitprice%%<br /> QTY: %%$cart.item.quantity%%<br /> Total Price: %%$cart.item.totalprice%%</td> … <a href="%%$cart.item.producturl%%"><img src="%%$cart.item.product.image_url%%" alt="%%$" /></a> … {/cart_loop}{/dynamic_code} Here’s what the cart recovery email looks like:

Cart Recovery email
4. Let the product data make decisions for you.

Build dynamic message content based on the value of a product field. For example, set up a dynamic content block that looks at the value of a product’s sale price. If the item’s on sale, display the sale price and strike through the list price. Maybe even display the date the sale will end. If the item isn’t on sale, just show the regular list price. Here’s how one of our customers did this using Bronto’s new message editor: New Message Editor exampleAnd here’s how it shows up in the message (notice the one product on sale):

New Message Editor example
5. Code it yourself.

Bronto’s add Deliveries API allows you to schedule message deliveries outside of the Bronto platform. As part of that API call, you can specify the products to use in place of your product tags. This gives you the option to programmatically decide what products to use. For example, you might choose to “look up” alternate products to items in an order when scheduling an order confirmation email through the API and suggest those in your message as a cross-sell opportunity. What you code is up to your own imagination! If you missed any of my blog posts earlier this year on how to configure your product feed and pull those products into your emails, don’t worry. They’re still available:
  • Enhance Your Message Content with Product Data
  • What’s New With Bronto’s Product Catalog Data Feature?
  • Webinar Replay: Leveraging Product Catalog Data for Content-Rich Messages That Deliver
And as always, if you need more information, read our detailed help documentation or contact Bronto Support. Happy Sending, and Happy New Year!