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Is it possible to use a CloudPage as an entry point for a visitor who originally receives a direct mail piece. In my scenario, I send a postcard to a Contact with an ID and a CloudPage URL. The Contact would visit the CloudPage where they would enter their ID. Upon clicking submit, the ID would be used to look for a record in an associated data extension. The Contact would then be directed to a new CloudPage where all their data from the data extension would be rendered, ie: Dear X at Address Y with ID Z. In theory, this is making sense (security alert aside) but not sure whether this is feasible in practice. I suppose at the very least it would mean linking a group of CloudPages and pushing data to and fro?

Is anyone's achieved something similar would be grateful for details.

Thanks

2 Answers 2

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Yes you can, but you wouldn't necessarily need to do it in two separate cloud pages, you could have one cloud page have a form input for an ID and then on form POST it could lookup their data from the data extension.

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  • Thanks, Matthew. Have you actually done that?
    – TonEco
    Oct 26, 2018 at 7:37
  • If you have would you be able to share the general process.
    – TonEco
    Oct 26, 2018 at 7:38
  • How would the form post look up a data extension and then render the content from the ID record in the same CloudPage? Moreover, aren't there serious security considerations exposing the content of a data extension in this way?
    – TonEco
    Oct 26, 2018 at 7:40
  • That's a separate issue. As far as security is concerned, you don't want to create a scenario where you're exposing PII, for sure. I don't think that your approach is very secure as-is since it could expose PII without any sort of second verification. I would recommend using a mailer code that sends an email to address on file with a link to the edit form instead. Although you could theoretically use the same page and show/hide elements based on information passed in a querystring, it might be simpler to send them to a different form instead. Oct 26, 2018 at 15:25
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It can be done, but I would certainly recommend that you consider the security of exposing contact data in this way.

You can certainly advertise a URL on a Direct Mail, containing a Unique Code specific to that contact.

The contact could visit the URL and input their unique code - which upon Submit, you process (either on same page or through another page) to validate the Code and then lookup the record from the data extension to print values on screen. An alternatively approach is to create unique URLs for the contact i.e. pass the code in as a variable on the Url e.g. ?code=1234

You need to ensure your solution is securely robust however, it fills me with dread when you expose customer data in this way. This you should consider :

1) What happens if the print run (mail merge) goes wrong and I issue the incorrect Code(s) to a contact i.e. someone then looks up and sees someone elses data

2) How secure is the algorithm for the code - could it easily be guessed in sequence, so I could go to the URL and keep trying different code combinations and discover PII data of other customers.

etc etc etc

If you are taking the approach, then I would suggest you use two part authentication of the data and strong unique codes e.g. :

1) Post Code & Unique Code 2) Customer ID | Unique Code

The Unique Code shouldn't be easily guessed, and certainly not in sequence i.e. 8 characters (4 lowercase letters, 2 special characters, 2 numbers) = 457,163,239,653,376 combinations

Added with having match a post code or other ID, then its less likely someone could script a brute force script to try and retrieve records.

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  • Your security points definitely resonate. Much appreciate your thoughts. Two step authentication sounds the way to go. In terms of using a CloudPage to look-up a data extension and render the data based on a direct mail piece, have you used this approach in the past?
    – TonEco
    Oct 26, 2018 at 9:46
  • Not specifically on Direct Mail, but have used the approach to lookup records from a data extension for multiple purposes - Surveys, Vouchers etc. You will use the AMPScript Lookup() functions. Another point I forgot to add is about use/cost of the CloudPages - be aware that for every view/visit on these pages, it's costing you a super message.
    – Gravitai
    Oct 26, 2018 at 10:05

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