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Functional HTML code in Field Merges

pmannion
pmannion Posts: 1 Green Ribbon
edited February 2017 in Dream It

It would be great if HTML code that feeds into an Email via fields merges was interpreted by the emails going out as actual HTML.

Our number one need is for the <br> tag, when it appears in a field, and fed in to an email page via Field Merge, to actually cause a New Line.

Post edited by Unknown User on
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Comments

  • Bram van den Boomen
    Bram van den Boomen Posts: 2 Green Ribbon

    Shouldn't this be done via dynamic content? In there you can add a simple fieldmerge, and HTML code.

    I think it would be strange to save html code in Eloqua data (be it contact, account, CDO).

  • pshilton
    pshilton Posts: 8 Silver Badge

    This used to be the case and I think it changed. I had a working example of this around June 2015. Today the same example (Untouched since) no longer works.

  • Sara Howes-Oracle
    Sara Howes-Oracle Posts: 23 Green Ribbon

    Hi all -

    If you would be willing to share, I would love to gather your use cases for supplying raw HTML to field merge values. While we cannot allow that specific functionality (for security purposes), I do want to learn what you're hoping to generate so we can explore existing or new functionality that would accomplish your use cases.

    @pshilton if you find that you have non-functioning workflows as a result of that example no longer working, please let me know so we can help unblock you as needed.

    Regards,

    Sara Howes

    Senior Product Manager

    Oracle Eloqua

  • pshilton
    pshilton Posts: 8 Silver Badge
    edited September 2016

    Hi all -

    If you would be willing to share, I would love to gather your use cases for supplying raw HTML to field merge values. While we cannot allow that specific functionality (for security purposes), I do want to learn what you're hoping to generate so we can explore existing or new functionality that would accomplish your use cases.

    @pshilton if you find that you have non-functioning workflows as a result of that example no longer working, please let me know so we can help unblock you as needed.

    Regards,

    Sara Howes

    Senior Product Manager

    Oracle Eloqua

    My use case is similar to @pmannion. We're developing a single email that will be heavily re-used via automation for events. Most of the content of this email will be dynamic and controlled with field merges. Without the ability to merge in pre-formatted text or HTML this limits field merges to be strictly plain text. In most cases this is fine but in others where you might want a more flexible dynamic area of an email this is very limited.

    For example you may want to use a large text field to leave the body of the email open to be dynamically populated. If you have one short paragraph this is fine but any more than that there are no line breaks to make the content readable.

    Or you might have an agenda of items and you want line breaks to break up a list of times - Same problem. In most cases we would simply need to add a few <br /> tags in with copy to tidy it up. Either that or the ability to maintain pre-formatted text.

    The answer to these might be to plan ahead and create multiple fields but this could get messy trying to maintain and use.

    My past example that no longer works isn't too important to fix (It was a functionality test) but for reference that was actually an entire email built using a concatenation of large text field merges that contained all of the email code. So the Eloqua email itself was empty and the entire layout and contents of the email was stored in field merges. The use case for that is rare but as noted above the basics and flexibility of allowing HTML in a field merge is useful.

    Even if it means allowing only the <br /> tag would be nice.

  • Sara Howes-Oracle
    Sara Howes-Oracle Posts: 23 Green Ribbon

    My use case is similar to @pmannion. We're developing a single email that will be heavily re-used via automation for events. Most of the content of this email will be dynamic and controlled with field merges. Without the ability to merge in pre-formatted text or HTML this limits field merges to be strictly plain text. In most cases this is fine but in others where you might want a more flexible dynamic area of an email this is very limited.

    For example you may want to use a large text field to leave the body of the email open to be dynamically populated. If you have one short paragraph this is fine but any more than that there are no line breaks to make the content readable.

    Or you might have an agenda of items and you want line breaks to break up a list of times - Same problem. In most cases we would simply need to add a few <br /> tags in with copy to tidy it up. Either that or the ability to maintain pre-formatted text.

    The answer to these might be to plan ahead and create multiple fields but this could get messy trying to maintain and use.

    My past example that no longer works isn't too important to fix (It was a functionality test) but for reference that was actually an entire email built using a concatenation of large text field merges that contained all of the email code. So the Eloqua email itself was empty and the entire layout and contents of the email was stored in field merges. The use case for that is rare but as noted above the basics and flexibility of allowing HTML in a field merge is useful.

    Even if it means allowing only the <br /> tag would be nice.

    Thank you so much for the detailed use case, @pshilton!

    What you're describing matches what we've heard from other customers. I'm already investigating ways in which we could provide this through a future enhancement (specifically with regards to the line break issue).

    I recommend creating a new Dream It post that describes the need for line breaks to be respected in field merges (separate from the ability to inject raw HTML), so others on Topliners could vote for the enhancement as well. Votes help us determine the relative priority of an enhancement amongst the Eloqua community, which helps us build the right things at the right time.

    Again, thank you for the use case. I'm always happy to hear more!

    ---

    Sara Howes

    Senior Product Manager

    Oracle Eloqua

  • 3266053
    3266053 Posts: 10 Green Ribbon

    Hi all -

    If you would be willing to share, I would love to gather your use cases for supplying raw HTML to field merge values. While we cannot allow that specific functionality (for security purposes), I do want to learn what you're hoping to generate so we can explore existing or new functionality that would accomplish your use cases.

    @pshilton if you find that you have non-functioning workflows as a result of that example no longer working, please let me know so we can help unblock you as needed.

    Regards,

    Sara Howes

    Senior Product Manager

    Oracle Eloqua

    Ouch, I just spent over 40 hours redoing my emails since I was told this would not ever be possible going forward. I used to use 4 field merge tags to pull in a myriad of data for customers (items purchased, item numbers for those products, retail price, and sale price). Customers could have anywhere between 1 and 15 items so my CDO field merge would pull in data such as the following: "Item 1<br>Item 2<br>Item 3<br>Item 4<br>Item 5<br>Item 6<br>Item 7<br>Item 8<br>Item 9<br>Item 10<br>Item 11<br>Item 12<br>Item 13<br>Item 14<br>Item 15"

    Since the functionality went away I had to make 15 CDO fields, with corresponding field merge tags, and dynamic content for those tags to populate using logic. Multiply the 15 fields by the 4 pieces of data I was pulling in, and the 5 versions of the email I was sending... and my original 4 field merge tags turn into 300 CDO fields, 300 field merge tags, and thousands of lines of dynamic HTML code with logic.

    NOT COOL!

  • Sara Howes-Oracle
    Sara Howes-Oracle Posts: 23 Green Ribbon

    Ouch, I just spent over 40 hours redoing my emails since I was told this would not ever be possible going forward. I used to use 4 field merge tags to pull in a myriad of data for customers (items purchased, item numbers for those products, retail price, and sale price). Customers could have anywhere between 1 and 15 items so my CDO field merge would pull in data such as the following: "Item 1<br>Item 2<br>Item 3<br>Item 4<br>Item 5<br>Item 6<br>Item 7<br>Item 8<br>Item 9<br>Item 10<br>Item 11<br>Item 12<br>Item 13<br>Item 14<br>Item 15"

    Since the functionality went away I had to make 15 CDO fields, with corresponding field merge tags, and dynamic content for those tags to populate using logic. Multiply the 15 fields by the 4 pieces of data I was pulling in, and the 5 versions of the email I was sending... and my original 4 field merge tags turn into 300 CDO fields, 300 field merge tags, and thousands of lines of dynamic HTML code with logic.

    NOT COOL!

    I understand how frustrating that process must have been, truly. And since you'll never be able to use raw HTML in CDOs and pass that through to field merges, this was the right course of action for your use case. Any enhancements we may make in this area – if any – would not be available for some time, so this was not a wasted effort. If you have any further questions or concerns please speak with your Support, Expert, or Technical Advisory contacts.

  • Dave Zeltser
    Dave Zeltser Posts: 50 Bronze Badge

    I recently opened a case for a similar issue we were having by simply merging in a URL link from a field with unencoded characters and was advised that this was disabled for security concerns by support, similar issue - i was trying to embed html tags in the field merge values but no luck and no workaround.

  • Ok, I was not notified that this was being taken away.  This is an issue for me as well.  I use <br> tags to make quick tables to display data for our customers.  There is literally no other way to do this apart from manually creating hundreds of versions of the email or hundreds of dynamic content options.  Adding in simple tags like <br> tags is NOT a security concern. 

    Furthermore - when you are removing functionality from the platform, you should thoroughly inform anyone using that functionality.

  • 4Thought Marketing
    4Thought Marketing Posts: 55 Silver Trophy

    Hi all,

    To help with many of the issues being expressed here, we have worked with cloud content apps quite a bit and feel this may be an option for many of the struggles being discussed here. I know it is not ideal because there was standard functionality for this before, however cloud content can allow you to be even more creative with your communications. Just an idea that may help.


    Regards

    Chris Metcalfe

    4Thought Marketing - Marketing Automation Specialist

  • Sara Howes-Oracle
    Sara Howes-Oracle Posts: 23 Green Ribbon

    Hi all!

    I'm happy to report that we are prioritizing a secure method that would allow Field Merges to respect and display line breaks created in CDOs. This is a direct alternative for the previously disabled capability of adding <br> tags to those values, which was removed for security purposes as noted above.

    While I can't yet offer a timeline for its delivery, I do want to convey that we are aware this functionality is important and is being treated as such.

    If you have any questions about the security issue that resulted in this change or would like to communicate your affected use cases, please reach out to me, Support, an Expert, or your Technical Advisory team.

    ---

    Sara Howes

    Senior Product Manager

    Oracle Eloqua

  • bkhayes
    bkhayes Posts: 79 Silver Badge

    Hi all!

    I'm happy to report that we are prioritizing a secure method that would allow Field Merges to respect and display line breaks created in CDOs. This is a direct alternative for the previously disabled capability of adding <br> tags to those values, which was removed for security purposes as noted above.

    While I can't yet offer a timeline for its delivery, I do want to convey that we are aware this functionality is important and is being treated as such.

    If you have any questions about the security issue that resulted in this change or would like to communicate your affected use cases, please reach out to me, Support, an Expert, or your Technical Advisory team.

    ---

    Sara Howes

    Senior Product Manager

    Oracle Eloqua

    Hi Sara Howes,

    I've run into exactly the same issue. I need line breaks to be allowed in order to create a receipt e-mail. Without it we cannot create different products on different lines that work in e-mail.

    Is there any update on this? I am excited for it's implementation as it is needed!

    Thank you!

    Ben

  • Maksy
    Maksy Posts: 1 Red Ribbon

    Hi all!

    I'm happy to report that we are prioritizing a secure method that would allow Field Merges to respect and display line breaks created in CDOs. This is a direct alternative for the previously disabled capability of adding <br> tags to those values, which was removed for security purposes as noted above.

    While I can't yet offer a timeline for its delivery, I do want to convey that we are aware this functionality is important and is being treated as such.

    If you have any questions about the security issue that resulted in this change or would like to communicate your affected use cases, please reach out to me, Support, an Expert, or your Technical Advisory team.

    ---

    Sara Howes

    Senior Product Manager

    Oracle Eloqua

    Hi Sara,

    Do you have any updates on this?

    Br,
    Joonas

  • Hi all!

    I'm happy to report that we are prioritizing a secure method that would allow Field Merges to respect and display line breaks created in CDOs. This is a direct alternative for the previously disabled capability of adding <br> tags to those values, which was removed for security purposes as noted above.

    While I can't yet offer a timeline for its delivery, I do want to convey that we are aware this functionality is important and is being treated as such.

    If you have any questions about the security issue that resulted in this change or would like to communicate your affected use cases, please reach out to me, Support, an Expert, or your Technical Advisory team.

    ---

    Sara Howes

    Senior Product Manager

    Oracle Eloqua

    Hi Sara!

    Having a similar issue and looking for an update as well.

    Thank you,

    Taylor

  • Sushant Thapa
    Sushant Thapa Posts: 1 Red Ribbon

    Hello, I realize this is an older thread, but i wanted to see if the method mentioned above was ever deployed in Eloqua. We are looking to design some emails where blocks of paragraph-type texts will be merged in from the CDO, and it would be nice if we could add <br> tags to create line breaks in the HTML once the text is merged in.


    Thanks,

    Sushant

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