Personalized pages and forms create the ideal customer experience. One way to accomplish this is by passing contact information through the page URL using a custom link that you create. For example, if you pass a contact’s first name through the URL, the name can populate on the page or be used to pre-fill a form on the page.
There are many ways you could apply these custom links to create personalized experiences:

  1. Pre-fill forms: If you want to save your contacts some time when they fill out your forms, you can pre-fill text fields with the information you have already collected from them. 
  2. Hidden fields: You can pre-fill fields on forms that aren’t visible to contacts to personalize a form submission. They’re often used with custom links to add contact-specific information to pages. 
  3. Update deals from forms: The best way to update the correct deal through a form is to use its unique ID, and you can easily create a custom link to a form with your deal’s unique ID.

Note, you can also create personalized experiences with PURLs on non-secure domains.


Creating Links to Personalize Pages

When you create your custom link, you add the information you want to send by attaching a few parameters to the end of your URL. Before you begin this process, be sure that the page you are creating a link for is already published

Here’s an example of a link to a sales page that sends a contact’s first and last name to the page:[First Name]&Last+Name=[Last Name]

Creating these links is less daunting than it might seem. What you need first is your URL, the names of the fields you want to pass, and the merge fields for those fields. 


Field Names: “First Name” and “Last Name”

Merge Fields: “[First Name]” and “[Last Name]”

All that’s left is putting them together. There are a few characters that need to be added to your link to string your parameters together:

? – This will go at the end of your URL. It should go directly after your top level domain — don’t add a “/” at the end.

+ – This will replace the spaces of your field names. 

= – This matches your field name to your merge field. 

& – This can be used to add multiple fields in your URL.

Follow these instructions to put it all together:

  • Start with your URL, and add “?” at the end of your URL:
  • Add your field names formatted with “+” replacing spaces:
  • Add “=” and the matching merge field; you can leave spaces in this one:[First Name] 
  • Add “&” and start again at step 2 if you have another field you would like to pass:[First Name]&Last+Name=[Last Name] 


 Using your custom links

Once you’ve created your links, you’re ready to put them into action. If you want to use your links in an email, all you need to do is hyperlink it in your message. If you have multi-step forms on a secure page and want to prefill form fields or hidden form fields follow the steps below:

Using ad hoc merge fields (advanced)

You can create your own merge fields that don’t require a field in the contact or custom object record. This can be really useful to either mask the fields you want to pass with custom links or to add content that changes based on the links your contacts click — without actually creating fields for that content.

The main difference between using ad hoc merge fields and default merge fields is that it’s up to you to make sure that the variable you add to your URL matches the merge field you add to your page. 

For example, would populate a merge field [new merge field] on your page with “new value.”

  • Start by deciding what ad hoc merge field you want to use: [ad hoc merge field] and add it to your page.
  • Add “?” at the end of your page’s URL:
  • Add the text you’re using for your ad hoc merge field without brackets, and replace spaces with “+”:
  • Add “=” and the value you want to populate your ad hoc merge field. If your value is more than one word, replace your spaces with “+” as well:

Note: if you type in an ad hoc merge field to your page and that variable isn’t passed by the URL, your merge field will be visible on your page. This is the opposite of the default merge fields you can insert on your page which will disappear if you don’t have a value to populate them.