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How to Use Conditional Shortcodes
How to Use Conditional Shortcodes

Save time and make your episode creation flow smoother with this awesome feature!

Danny Brown avatar
Written by Danny Brown
Updated over a week ago

With Captivate’s awesome Conditional Shortcode feature, you can create time-saving rules for episode show notes that only take effect when a certain criteria is met.

Not only does this make creating an episode even faster, but it also gives you the flexibility of determining when they should appear, and what they should say.

Here’s how it works!

What is a Conditional Shortcode?

Simply put, this is a series of shortcodes that only appear under certain conditions (hence the name!). If that condition isn’t met, then the shortcode(s) won’t appear.

Shortcodes are perfect for adding extra functionality to your default episode Template that you can set up using our Dynamic Show Notes Builder.

Currently, there are four Conditional Shortcodes, with more on the way:

  1. Episode is Full - used when “full” is selected as episode type

  2. Episode is Bonus - used when “bonus” is selected as episode type

  3. Episode is Trailer - used when “trailer” is selected as episode type

  4. Episode Has Guests - used when a guest is assigned to the episode from the Guest Booking section

Each of these shortcodes work on an “if this, then this” basis. So, for example, if the episode is a full episode, only the shortcode for Episode Is Full will appear in your show notes. It’s up to you what that shortcode displays, so let’s show you how that works.

How to create a Conditional Shortcode

Conditional Shortcode types are preset, and can be found under the Shortcodes drop down on your Template editor.

You can either add a single shortcode, or a mixture of the four. When you add all four, then the rule for each shortcode will determine if it appears in your episode.

Once you add the code, this inserts a parenthesis for each shortcode that allows you to add your custom text between the code. This can be whatever you want, but it’s a great idea to make the text contextual to the type of shortcode that’s being used.

As an example, let’s say you’ve added all four codes and want to encourage four different calls to action based on the episode type.

  • For a Full Episode, you want people to sign up to your online course that complements your podcast

  • For a Bonus Episode, you want people to sign up to your newsletter to get bonus content before everyone else

  • For a Trailer, you want people to follow on their preferred podcast app

  • For an episode with Guests, you want to drive potential guests to your Captivate guest booking page

Four different calls to action, and each only appearing based on the rules of the Conditional Shortcode.

Here’s what that might look like:

As you can see, each shortcode has a different call-to-action, and each links out to a preferred URL for each action.

How to use a Conditional Shortcode

Once you’ve added the text to each shortcode you want to use in your Template, check the Set as Default checkbox to make this the default show notes that are loaded for every episode (all you have to do is add any extra text, research links, etc).

Now, when you create a new episode, you just need to select the episode type, and the relevant Conditional Shortcode for that will appear in the public-facing show notes.

So, if a full episode, your online course CTA; if it has a guest featured, then your “be a guest yourself” CTA.

Simple. Easy. Fast!

And, like any Captivate feature, the great thing is you can create multiple templates with multiple variations of shortcodes, giving you a really powerful and time-saving option when it comes to creating new episodes!

Recommended reading: Dynamic Show Notes Builder

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