Creating a mail-merge email in Zoho that includes a dynamic image field (image changes for each contact)

coachjim
coachjim used Ask the Experts™
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I'm in my 30-day trial period of Zoho one.  What I want to do first is use it to create dynamic, mail-merge email that include a dynamic, rectangular,  image field.

Although it looks like the Contacts module allows for an image, the intent is a photo of the contact and it's set-up to be square.

Ultimately, I want to have access to up to 10 rectangular image fields, but one is enough to live with.

One problem is, Zoho does not appear to have a field type for an image. A possible work-around is their module for Products which does include an image field for a product as in the image of a home for a realtor.

I don't see a way to get access to that product image field while also having access to the contact's details.

Finally, it looks to me like this would not be accomplished as a campaign, but as a mail-merge document.  

Can anyone help with this?
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Serena HsiMarketing Consultant

Commented:
This is not an existing feature of Zoho campaigns / mail merge; if you wanted to send a unique brochure, QR code, or image file to each recipient on your mailing list, it isn't possible. As far as I can tell from Zoho's drop-down list of mail merge fields, the ability to mail merge an image isn't one of the fields that can be picked.

An alternative would be to setup different email templates with those unique images and broadcast based upon a set of list filter criteria that those recipients get.  You'd be able to, for example, send out a generic certificate of completion that populates with a recipient's ${Leads.First Name} ${Leads.Last Name}.

Also, if you were sending QR codes unique to each recipient, you could add the recipient's link as a custom field; though, using a service like what Denso Wave offers would add to your marketing costs.

You shouldn't have to create 200 unique email templates if you have to support 200 realtors, imho. The only other alternative I can think of is to use the Zoho API. And that, is far beyond what I know how to do with email automation. Zoho support gives some examples of how to accomplish this; though it seems that it might just be for the Zoho Pages..
coachjimProfessional Business Coach

Author

Commented:
First, thanks for your response and your ideas.

A friend gave me some ideas that led me to set up an Excel spreadsheet that included a field that had the path and name of the image file I'd use. Per instructions I found, I needed to change the image path by doubling the back-slashes in the path as seen below. So, instead of the path being C:\Users\Dropbox\Business, etc. it use two slashes. This change is accomplished by a normal search/replace all in Excel:

C:\\Users\\Dropbox\\BUSINESS\\Marketing\\Drip Campaign\\2017 Image.jpg

Then, in the word document, I use the following to grab the image for the particular contact:

(Note: the code wouldn't copy here, but it looks like this:)

{INCLUDEPICTURE "{MERGEFIELD "IMAGE_NAME"}" \*MERGEFORMAT\d}

My friend said there was some way to accomplish something similar using HTML. I haven't tried that.

The approach above does work. Unless I come across a more elegant solution, at least this works.

I've talked to two Zoho people who couldn't help. I hope to have a conversation today with a higher-level resource. If I learn anything useful, I'll report back here.

Again, thanks for your help.

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