How to use a fallback text in email variables

In this article, you will find out how to add a fallback text to your variables and how fallbacks work.

TL;DR: In campaigns created earlier, you may notice that your variables appear as plain text with format {{first_name:FALLBACK}}.

To add a fallback in older campaigns:

Delete the word “FALLBACK” from a variable and type in the text that will be used if we can’t find the necessary data in the prospect’s profile. e.g. {{first_name: friend}}.

If you don’t want to use a fallback, delete the word and keep the default variable format: e.g. {{first_name}}.

In new campaigns, valid variables are displayed as a highlighted icon . Read more on email variables here.

How fallbacks work

Using fallback text, you can assign a fixed value to a variable for cases when a required piece of information is missing in the prospect’s profile. 

If there is no fallback, a variable will be replaced with a blank space in your email content.

For instance, if you use a variable and some prospects don’t have a first name on their profile, but you still don’t want to send an email with a blank space, you may want to use a fallback to fill in the gaps.

So, whenever the prospect’s profile lacks particular data necessary for a variable, fallback text fills in the blanks with a fixed value that you add before sending a campaign.

Before we proceed:

If you don’t have variables in your email yet, here’s a quick explainer on how to add it: 

  • On the sequence editor page, drag & drop an email element to the field
  • Click the email element to open an email editor on the right
  • On the email editor toolbar, click the curly braces and select a variable to add

How to add a fallback

To add or edit a fallback:

  • Click the variable icon
  • Type in the fallback text in the pop-up window
  • Click Save

A valid variable with a fallback is displayed as follows: .

In the above example, when the email is sent, the recipient with no data in the First Name field, will receive an email with “friend” as a fallback text for the {{first_name}} variable.

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