Is there a way to send a completely dynamic message through ExactTarget?

We would like to create a "template" email, and then if at all possible, specify the subject and body of the email/message when we go to send the message. We are in the process of writing an application that would choose the best subject/body for the recipient based on information we have on them in our system.

I've looked into personalization strings, using AMP Script, and Email Templates, but they don't seem to give us the flexibility we're looking for.

From my understanding of the documentation available, it seems like we would need to manually create an email for each possible subject/body combination in ET, and then choose which one to send, instead of choosing the subject and body at send time.

I would just like to know if that's the way it needs to be done before we start going down that road.

Thank you!


Yes, I just did a demo of this very thing. You need to create a data extension that holds all the content of your desired email. It can be part of the sendable DE you are using to do the send, or a different one.

The very first part of your email would have an AMPscript block to call LookUpRows on this content data extension. You would get the desired row, and set a bunch of variables using FIELD() on all the columns of the row, like @var1, @var2, @var3, @var4, etc.

Then, make the rest of the email. Your subject would be %%=v(@var1)=%%. The rest of the email would be something like:

Dear %%=v(@var2)=%%: Thank you for %%=v(@var3)=%%.... etc. You can have the entire email in a variable if you want to. Just remember it still needs to pass validation.

Hope this helps!

  • Thanks! That makes a lot of sense. We were discussing it with our resident ExactTarget expert, and that's pretty much the solution we came to as well.
    – user8094
    May 9 '14 at 15:54
  • But ... how would one populate the subject line from the data extension, if the LookupRows function is called from the email code (proper)? Nov 10 '16 at 15:00

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