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Unraveling the Power of Braze’s Connected Content: A Comprehensive Guide for Newbies

In an era where consumers crave personalized experiences, 90% express frustration when brands’ outreach feels irrelevant. Recognizing this, Braze introduced Connected Content in 2015, a powerful tool designed to enable real-time personalization​1​.

Understanding Braze’s Connected Content

At its core, Connected Content allows marketers to extract data and content from an external source, such as a company’s backend system or public APIs. This information can be used to dynamically tailor the content of messages sent to customers, providing a highly personalized, relevant experience​1​.

Example: An online retailer can use Connected Content to pull in individual user’s past purchase data from their backend database to provide personalized product recommendations in their promotional emails.

How to Implement Connected Content

Connected Content can be applied across all Braze-supported messaging channels. This involves inserting the {% connected_content %} Liquid tag in the campaign composer within the Braze dashboard. Braze then makes an HTTP GET request to the endpoint specified within the tag at the time the message is sent. If the response is in JSON format, it is stored in a variable named connected, which can then be used within the body of the message​1​.

Example: A weather forecasting company can use a public API to retrieve real-time weather data for a user’s location and incorporate this information in their daily weather update emails.

Managing High Volume Traffic with Caching

While Braze is built to handle large volumes of messages, not all API endpoints used for Connected Content campaigns may have the same capacity. To prevent overwhelming these endpoints, Braze offers configurable caching, allowing marketers to control how caching is leveraged in connection with Connected Content. For instance, a :cache_max_age parameter can be added to the Connected Content call to specify a cache duration in seconds​1​.

Example: A travel company sending location-specific weather updates to a large number of customers can use caching to avoid making repeated calls to the weather data API for the same location.

Secure Connections with Various Authentication Options

In the ever-evolving digital landscape, security is paramount. Braze offers several authentication options for Connected Content, such as Basic Authentication, Token Authentication, and Open Authentication. Furthermore, dynamic Liquid variables can be included within both the headers and the body of a Connected Content tag, enabling the response from one Connected Content call to be used in a subsequent one​1​.

Example: An eCommerce brand can use Token Authentication to securely connect to their internal product database to pull in real-time inventory data for their promotional messages.

Maximizing Efficiency with Braze Content Blocks

For marketers seeking to simplify their workflow, Braze offers Content Blocks—reusable sections of content that can be used across any of a brand’s campaigns or customer journeys. This feature allows marketers to distribute their Liquid and Connected Content requests across the entire Braze platform, providing a streamlined process for creating dynamic, personalized content​1​.

Example: A music streaming service can create a Content Block with a Connected Content call to their song database API. This block can then be used across multiple campaigns to recommend top trending songs to their users.

In conclusion, Braze’s Connected Content is an incredibly powerful tool that can take your customer outreach to new heights of personalization. Whether you’re leveraging internal databases or public

APIs, the opportunities for creating dynamic, real-time messaging experiences are virtually endless.

Here are some simple examples of Connected Content calls using both internal and public APIs:

Internal API Example:

Let’s consider an online fashion retailer that maintains a database of their customers’ past purchases. They want to include personalized product recommendations based on this data in their promotional emails. A Connected Content call to their internal API might look like this:

{% connected_content :save recommend %}

In this example, is the endpoint of the retailer’s internal API that returns the top 5 product recommendations for a given user. :user_id would be replaced by each user’s unique ID. The :save recommend part of the tag instructs Braze to save the response in a variable named recommend that can then be used within the body of the email.

Public API Example:

Now, let’s say a fitness app wants to include local air quality data in their daily health tips emails to users. They can use a public API like AirVisual to retrieve this information. A Connected Content call to this API might look like this:

{% connected_content :save airquality %}

In this example, is the endpoint of the AirVisual API that returns air quality data for the nearest city to the given latitude and longitude. :latitude and :longitude would be replaced by each user’s location data. Again, the :save airquality part of the tag tells Braze to save the response in a variable named airquality to be used within the email.

Remember, when using any public API, it’s crucial to read through their documentation and understand any usage restrictions or rate limiting policies they may have​2†source​. Additionally, for secure and efficient data transmission, Braze offers features like configurable caching and multiple authentication options, which you can tailor according to your needs​1†source​.

With Braze’s Connected Content and a bit of creativity, you’re well-equipped to create personalized, dynamic, and real-time messaging experiences that can significantly enhance your customer engagement efforts.

I hope this guide helps you unravel the power of Braze’s Connected Content! Happy personalizing!

Author avatar
Kodie Critzer