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AMPscript 101: Hot to use Salesforce Programmatic Language for Personalized Content

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Published by jetbi
16 May 2023

You're reading this article because you're probably looking for ways to personalize your marketing content without pulling your hair out, or you want to elevate your marketing cloud campaigns to the next level. Perhaps you're also thinking about how to boost your skills deck without spending too much time on learning. Whatever your reason may be, this article will help you to dive into AMPscript with some real-life business cases.

AMPscript is a programmatic language that can be used in the Salesforce Marketing Cloud to create dynamic and personalized content for your customers. Whether you're a programmer looking for a new language to add to your toolbox, a marketer who wants to increase engagement rates, or someone who works with marketing automation and wants to streamline their processes, AMPscript can help.

As a programmer, AMPscript can be a valuable asset. It has a shorter learning curve compared to other programmatic languages, and it integrates seamlessly with marketing automation platforms. You can use AMPscript to create dynamic content that's tailored to each customer, making their experience with your brand more personal and engaging.

For marketers, AMPscript is a game-changer. It allows you to create customized content for each customer, making them feel like a VIP. This can help to increase engagement rates and drive more sales. No more generic greetings or bland subject lines - with AMPscript, your customers will receive content that's tailored to their interests and needs.

And for those who work with marketing automation, AMPscript can help you to streamline your processes and create more effective campaigns. By using AMPscript to personalize your content, you can save time and improve the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.

So, whether you're a programmer, marketer, or someone who works with marketing automation, AMPscript has something to offer. It's time to take your marketing efforts to the next level and give your customers the personalized experience they deserve.

Let us start exploring the fundamental aspects of AMPscript, its capabilities, and how it enables businesses to deliver highly tailored messages to their audience. Personalization plays a crucial role in capturing and retaining the attention of recipients, and one powerful tool in achieving this is AMPscript. As a dynamic scripting language, AMPscript allows marketers and developers to embed code within various messaging formats, including HTML emails, text emails, landing pages, SMS messages, and push notifications from MobilePush. We will delve into examples of how to craft personalized email campaigns and create dynamic landing pages.

Why choose AMPscript:

  • You can use AMPscript for conditional logic in messaging. With its simple and efficient syntax, AMPscript excels at handling inline personalization or straightforward IF ELSE statements. This makes it an ideal choice for marketers and developers looking to customize content on a subscriber-by-subscriber basis, ensuring each recipient receives a unique experience.
  • When compared to Server-Side JavaScript (SSJS), AMPscript shines in use cases where individual subscribers require personalized content. AMPscript's design and functionality make it inherently well-suited for such scenarios, allowing for seamless integration and rendering of dynamic content.
  • AMPscript has a shorter learning curve, making it more accessible for users new to scripting languages.

To harness the full potential of AMPscript, understanding how to declare variables and utilize attributes or constants is essential. The variable declaration allows us to store and manipulate data, while attribute functions enable us to retrieve information from the sendable data extension effectively. Additionally, constants play a crucial role in establishing fixed values for variables.

Let’s delve into a practical business case to illustrate the power of AMPscript in personalizing communication. Consider an IT company that aims to ensure that the recipient's first name is properly capitalized in their email communications. By utilizing AMPscript, the company retrieves the first name using the AttributeValue function and passes it as an argument to the ProperCase function. This function capitalizes the first letter of the name and stores the result in a variable called @firstName. This variable can then be seamlessly integrated into the email, allowing the company to greet each recipient with a personalized message containing their correctly capitalized first name.




Another important function in AMPscript is the Format function, which allows us to set dates in a specific format. Additionally, the Concat function proves invaluable when combining multiple attributes from a data extension. Let's explore a practical example to further illustrate these capabilities.

Continuing with the JET BI example, let's assume they have a membership solution in place. As part of their communication strategy, they need to send reminder emails to members who are due for renewal within the next 30 days. These emails should include the member's full name and the expiration date of their access in the format of yyyy-mm-dd.

In this given scenario, we use the Concat function, which combines the subscriber's first name and last name to form a complete full name. This concatenated value is stored in the variable @fullName. Furthermore, the AttributeValue function is employed to retrieve the subscriber's renewal date from a sendable data extension. The obtained date is then formatted using the Format function, resulting in the creation of the variable @renewalFormattedDate, which holds the formatted date in the "MMMM dd, yyyy" string format.




Another case is for an auto shop intending to send emails once in six months to its customers, suggesting services based on their vehicle's mileage recorded during the last service. The recommendations for services are stored in a distinct database, and the marketer aims to dynamically showcase these services in the email for each customer. 

In this example, the code retrieves the customer's email, full name, and mileage using the AttributeValue function, storing them in the @email, @fullname, and @mileage variables, respectively. The LookupRows function is then utilized to search for matching rows in the Services data extension based on the customer's mileage, storing the results in the @services variable. The @servicesCount variable is set to the number of rows returned by the LookupRows function using the RowCount function. This count is used to determine if any services were found for the customer's mileage. The email message is constructed using HTML tags, with the customer's full name inserted using the @fullname variable. An IF statement checks if any services were found, and if so, a FOR loop iterates over each service to retrieve the name and description using the Field function. The services are then inserted into the email using the v function. If no services were found, an ELSE statement executes, raising an error using the RaiseError function.





In this article, we have explored the power and versatility of AMPscript by providing several practical business cases. Through these examples, we have demonstrated how to effectively declare variables, utilize attributes and constants, and leverage various essential functions such as AttributeValue, ProperCase, Format, Concat, LookupRows, RowCount, and Field.

However, the scope of AMPscript extends beyond the functions covered here. To further enhance your understanding and unlock the full potential of AMPscript, we encourage you to explore additional functions and syntax available in the official Salesforce Marketing Cloud documentation and the comprehensive AMPscript Guide.


Should you require assistance with Salesforce Marketing Cloud instance implementation or consulting, our team is here to support you. Don't hesitate to reach out to us for expert guidance and personalized solutions tailored to your specific needs.

By harnessing the capabilities of AMPscript and leveraging the available resources, you can create compelling and highly personalized messaging experiences that drive engagement and deliver impactful results.

Anna Metsik-Peshko
Certified Salesforce Marketing Cloud Consultant / Administrator / Developer

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