Contact your Iterable CSM to discuss adding Catalog to your plan.
Catalog stores information about your organization and projects right in Iterable and make it possible to use this data to personalize a campaign's messages at send time.
Table of contents
Personalizing campaigns with Catalog
Catalog can be used to personalize the messages sent by an Iterable campaign. For example, Catalog can help send messages that provide:
Retail store locations in close proximity to the user's shipping address.
Real estate listings that fall within a certain radius of a recipient's preferred location and match specific search criteria (number of bathrooms, number of bedrooms, budget, etc.).
Products similar to a recipient's past purchases (clothing of similar size or color, similar toys, accessories, new books by the same author, etc.).
Links to new content.
Music, movies, films, TV shows, or books that match a recipient's preferred genres, actors, or directors.
Restaurants a recipient might be interested in, based on cuisine, price, location, and rating preferences.
Flights or hotels that match a recipient's preferred carriers or destinations.
Online classes matching a recipient's interests or course history.
To enable these scenarios, a collection uses the values stored on a recipient's Iterable profile to search your organization's catalogs for relevant information.
How does Catalog work?
Iterable projects, catalogs, catalog items, collections, and message templates work together as follows:
Each Iterable project can have many catalogs. For example, a project might use a
Restaurantscatalog to store details about various restaurants, and a
Productscatalog to store information about products.
Each catalog can have many catalog items. For example, each item in a
Restaurantscatalog would represent a single restaurant.
Each catalog item has a set of descriptive fields.
Each of these fields has a data type: long, double, string, date, boolean, object, or geo_location. This data type must be explicitly defined.
For example, each restaurant in the
Restaurantscatalog might have fields such as
Collections search a catalog for items that match specific criteria.
Collections are saved as part of an Iterable project and can be used in any of its templates. They can incorporate both static and dynamic search criteria.
Static search criteria find catalog items that match a specific, known value. For example, all restaurants in the
Restaurantscatalog for which
averagePriceis less than 10.00.
Dynamic search criteria find catalog items that match values on a recipient's Iterable user profile. For example, all restaurants in the
Restaurantscatalog for which cuisine matches the recipient's
Message templates use Handlebars to fetch and embed collections in their content, providing content specifically tailored to each recipient of a campaign.
Catalog vs data feeds
Catalog is similar to data feeds, which can also personalize campaigns on a per-user basis.
However, while data feeds require you to build and host web services on your organization's servers (or elsewhere), Iterable hosts catalog data. Because of this, you don't need to manage any additional infrastructure.
Key differences between Catalog and metadata stores
Catalog is an upgrade to metadata stores, which also store information in Iterable and can be used to customize campaign messages. However, metadata stores:
Do not provide a searching mechanism. Templates can directly reference a known metadata store item and field, but they cannot use user profile fields to dynamically search a metadata store for relevant information. Catalog can do this, using collections.
Are accessible only through APIs, not a web interface. Iterable provides a web interface for Catalog.
Do not support geographic data. Catalog provides a geo_location data type, and collections can search for catalog data by proximity.
All metadata stores in Iterable have been converted to catalogs. Metadata Store APIs and Handlebars functionality will sunset on March 10, 2020.
You will not be able to use collections to search previously existing metadata store data unless you re-upload that data and define types for it. However, you can continue referencing metadata store data directly through Handlebars.
Viewing a project's catalogs
To view a project's catalogs, navigate to Content > Catalogs. Each catalog in the list represents a collection of related items.
Creating a catalog
To create a catalog:
Navigate to Content > Catalogs.
Click Create New Catalog, which brings up the Create New Catalog modal:
![Creating a new catalog](https://iterable.zendesk.com/hc/article_attachments/360038049372/create-new-catalog.png "Creating a new catalog")
Enter a catalog name.
Catalog names may contain letters, numbers, and dashes (no spaces, underscores, or other special characters), and must be unique within the project. A catalog name may be no longer than 255 characters.
A notification will indicate that the request to create a new catalog has been received. After a moment, the new catalog will appear in the list. If it does not appear, refresh the page.
Deleting a catalog
To delete a catalog, click the trash can icon next to its row on the Content > Catalogs screen:
After you delete a catalog, it will no longer appear on your Catalogs page. Catalogs are permanently deleted after 30 days. After that, data from the deleted catalog will not display when you click the View In Browser or View Sent Message links in a sent campaign.