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The default property fields for receivers in Newsletter Studio are: name, e-mail, subscribed date and status. But some clients want to add custom data to their contacts.

Since version 2.1 we've decided to prepare the underlying data layer for this by adding a new property called “Data” on the Receiver-object. This means that we can pass key-value data from our subscription providers into the send out engine and use them in our render tasks.

At the moment the default mailing lists in Newsletter Studio don’t use this data-collection and there is no user interface to work with custom data but that is in the backlog of the project. The good news is that if you are sending to Umbraco members or using a custom data source – you can leverage this feature now. In the case of Umbraco members all custom property values will be added to the custom data collection.

Activation needed

For the feature to work, the first thing you'll have to do is to activate the it. Go to "General settings", check the "Activate custom data collection"-checkbox and save the settings.

Custom -data -image

Adding content to the message

Since we are in the process of streamlining this feature the UI support isn’t 100% so if you want to include content from the custom data-collection you’ll have to write the merge field placeholders manually.
Let’s say you have a custom property on your member type called “Age” with the alias of “age” to include this in your email just write something like:

Your age is: [#age]

And Newsletter Studio will replace this with the value from that unique member.  So the basic idea is to use [#aliasOfProperty] to include the value in the message body.

Using custom data in subscription providers

If you are using a custom subscription provider you only need to add your custom data to the Data-property of the Receiver-objects that you return for the GetSubscribersForSendOut()-method.  The built in subscription provider for Umbraco members fetches the data like this:

var receiver = new Receiver()
    Fullname = member.Name,
    Email = member.Email,
    DataProviderKey = member.Id.ToString(),

    var data = new Dictionary();
    data.Add("email", member.Email);
    data.Add("username", member.Username);
    data.Add("loginname", member.Username);
    data.Add("login", member.Username);
    data.Add("name", member.Name);

    receiver.Data = data;

We will improve the editor experience for this in the future and we're also looking at how we can add custom data as settings for the built in mailing lists.

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