Using the personalization tags in emails will fill the data for you. For example, using the tag %FIRST_NAME% will automatically fill your customers first name. 

What happens if your customers data is not complete? 

By default, if you use the personalization tag %FIRST_NAME% with a contact that doesn’t have their name filled, the email will insert a blank space, so it could state: Dear ,

However, there are three possible solutions for this:

1. Set a fallback

Using the format below, give the system a fallback option to use if the personalization tag is blank.

%FIRST_NAME%[fallback='Hi']

This will display the word 'Hi' if there is no First Name set.

2. Conditional content

Use conditional content to make 2 versions of the module (paragraph) within your email, both identical except one has personalization tag i.e. Dear %FIRST_NAME%, while the other has your fallback text if no first name is stored. 

Then you make them both conditional, so the one with "Dear %FIRST_NAME%"only shows if the contact has a name (condition = Field > FirstName > Does not match [blank]) and the other module is given the inverse rule (condition = Field > First Name > Matches >[blank]")

This way, all contact with names in Pathfinder will receive the email with personalization tag and all others will receive the fallback text instead of blank space. Note that conditional email content is only available to Pathfinder Pro users.

3. Do nothing!

As an alternative solution you can do nothing at all! Depending on your copy, your module might make perfect sense if %FIRST_NAME% is missing. If it's missing, it'll just insert a blank space. In many cases, this reads perfectly fine.

Example:

"Hello Adam,

Here are our latest articles on..."

vs.

"Hello ,

Here are our latest articles on..."

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