Personalization tokens
How to create and set up personalization tokens
Nastja Sodin avatar
Written by Nastja Sodin
Updated over a week ago

Note: Personalization is available only to customers with this feature enabled. If you’re interested in setting up personalization on your account, reach out to your CSM or contact

What’s a personalization token?

A personalization token is a core component of Doc personalization. Tokens are simply words that are replaced during personalization. When someone fills out a personalization form, the information entered into the form replaces the token.

When setting up a Doc for personalization, add personalization tokens by hovering over any text or media and clicking the lightning icon. You can then create a new token by inputting the word and selecting “Create new token” or select a previously created token from the list in the dropdown.

Once a token has been created you’ll see it is marked with percentage signs either side. For example, if you want your Doc title to be personalized with a reader’s name, you would add the token by clicking the lightning icon, typing ‘name’ and you’ll then see ‘%name%’ inserted into your title.

What is the character limit of tokens?

Personalization tokens should have a length ranging from 3 to 30 characters.

Find out more about setting up tokens to personalize:

Who can add personalization tokens into a Doc?

Any user with editing access can add personalization tokens into any Doc.

How do personalization tokens work?

Let’s say we want to personalize the heading of our sales proposal Doc. The title reads “A sales proposal for CompanyX”, but we want “CompanyX” to be replaced with the appropriate company name each time the Doc is personalized.

You can easily add a token to your heading by simply highlighting the text and clicking on the lightning icon.

To format your heading and subheading, simply highlight the text and a toolbar will appear. You can then choose to make your text bold, italicize it, change the colour of the text and even link it to a URL. You can also add a personalization token to give it your personal touch.

Note: if you aren't able to access these formatting options on your Doc, it may be because custom HTML has been used to format your Surf text previously. Reach out to our Support Team to enable this feature on your Doc.

That means we need to add a personalization token into the heading to replace “CustomerX”. Since we want the company name to be pulled through from the personalization form, we replace “CustomerX” with the token %cname% (short for company name). The title now reads “A sales proposal for %cname%.”

We can then create a field in our personalization form where someone can enter the appropriate company name. We’ll map this to the %cname% token so the company name entered in the form is automatically pulled through into the Doc. Once a Doc contains at least one token, it can be mapped to the personalization form in this way.

Note: You need to add a token to your Doc title to pull through a personalized title and make your personalization easier to find later. The titles of personalizations already created won't automatically update if you change the title in your master Doc.

What should I name my token?

Your token should best describe the personalizable element, for example, ‘fname’ for first name or ‘phone’ for phone number.

Tokens should not include any special characters - for example commas, periods, parentheses, dashes, numbers, or spaces.

Tokens can include underscores.

Example: first_name

Find out more about personalization:

We also offer these training videos as part of our onboarding:

#personalisation #personalise

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