1. Knowledge Base
  2. Contact and Media List Management

How to use Custom Variables

Personalize your pitches efficiently and effectively

Personalizing your pitches is a guaranteed way to increase open and response rates, as no journalist wants to receive a generic, irrelevant pitch. The only problem is: personalization takes time! Standard variables such as first name and publication can only take you so far, so we created Custom Variables, where you are able to assign your own unique values to contacts within media lists. By using custom variables, along with Propel's generate drafts feature, your pitching can be both efficient and effective. 

How to use custom variables

  1. After creating a pitching initiative, click on the Custom Variables icon on the pitching list.

  2. Click the "Add Custom Field" button in the upper right corner. Then, fill in the field name, type, and whether it is required or not.

    Example: If I was pitching a list of journalists about where their publication ranked in a Best Place to Work list, the fields might look something like this: 


  3.  Now that you've created the custom variable for this media list. You can add journalists and assign their custom variables in a few ways:
    1. If you already have contacts in your list, you can add custom variables by clicking on the 3 dots on the contact card or row, then the Custom Variables icon. 

    2. If you want to import a CSV of contacts, simply add a column into your CSV. The header name should be the same "Custom Field Name" you entered in Step 2. Then, each cell should be the variable that corresponds with the journalist in that row.

  4. Once you've associated all of your contacts with their custom variables, you can start pitching! While preparing your pitch, you can access the custom variable(s) for this pitching initiative at the bottom of the variables list.

When using variables, you will want to use one of the following send options: Mail Merge, Schedule Mail Merge, Generate Drafts or Pitch Booster. After clicking one of these options, Propel will provide a modal where you can review all of the variables to ensure they are correct. If you edit a standard or custom variable in Gmail or Outlook, it will be automatically updated in Propel. 

Happy Pitching!