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Campaign emails may have blank merge field content
Answer ID 5289   |   Last Review Date 08/14/2019

Why do campaign emails have blank merge field content?


Campaigns, Merge Fields, Email
Oracle B2C Service


When processing a campaign email out to an audience determined by an audience segment, some content of the email may be missing.  More specifically, this may occur if the email uses merge fields within its template to determine content to be included.


When creating emails to send out for a Campaign, Oracle B2C Service uses queries against the database to select the Audience Segment (i.e. the email recipients).  In more complex orchestrations, it is possible to create email templates used in these campaigns that incorporate merge fields to insert content relative to each recipient.

However, these two activities use different databases.

The Audience Segment process queries on the replication server.  When CX comes to build each unique email to send out, the content merge fields are queried against the Operational database.  If there is a significant delay in replication between the two, this can impact the content of the email.  An example of this scenario is;

  • Audience segment chooses customers who registered in last two days exactly.
  • Customer "JohnD" registered two days ago at 2:45pm
  • Campaign email is scheduled to send out at 3pm
  • There is an unusual delay in replication between Operations and replication server, 25 mins. 

The result of this scenario is;

  1. At 3pm, Campaign processing starts.  It's looking for customers after 3pm two days ago
  2. Audience Segment includes JohnD as recipient (as it uses replication server, which is 25 mins behind. It therefore views JohnD's registration as 2:45pm plus 25 mins, i.e. as 3:10pm)
  3. When the merge fields within the email template come to be populated, the process queries against Operational database, finds JohnD's registration was 2:45pm which is outside the time, so the merge fields show empty results.
  4. Email is still sent to JohnD, but arrives with missing content.

This is an extreme example and depends upon many items being in certain arrangements.  However, the key point is that the Audience Segment process uses the replication server, and the campaign email content uses the live Operational database.  Replication differences can cause unexpected campaign email results.

Note: The use of the replication server by the Audience Segments process is by default not changeable.

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