INBOX Replacement Strings


We would like to have the ability to use Replacement Strings (or tokens) in the INBOX tool. Replacement strings allow to further personalize the content and communications directly for the user.




  1. Inbox: Ability to use strings like {FirstName}, {LastName}, etc that would replace with the individuals info on a per email basis - this would help personalize the messages.

I understand that this would have to happen after but this is still relevant and should be listed as a potential feature to be added in the future.

Community Contributor

This is a great idea. We used to be able to do this in D2L and I do miss it.

Coach Emeritus

Although we called them "tokens", we also had them in our previous LMS, and liked them. In fact, it was one of the few things I missed when we moved to Canvas.

Community Participant

Yes, please!!!

Community Champion

We used to do this in D2L. In addition to the Inbox, I would like this ability in Announcements (which D2L also allowed).

We did some A/B testing on how replacement strings affected student engagement with a D2L news post asking students to complete an optional activity (I believe it was filling out a course evaluation, but I'm not sure). To some classes, we posted a news post without replacement strings. In others we posted the same news post, but it began with a replacement string that use the first name registered in D2L.

I can't remember the exact numbers, but student engagement with the news post that had a replacement string was WAY more than student engagement in the news post without strings. We were convinced that replacement strings are a significant way to increase student engagement with news posts in D2L. I would imagine it would be similarly effective in Announcements and Inbox messages in Canvas.

Community Participant

We also used them with Qualtrics for course evaluations. The replacement strings could be passed in the URL to create a "generic" announcement in the courses.

It also personalized the messages/announcements--helping the student to feel more engaged in the course.

This feature would be very useful and could create many effeciencies for instructors and admins. 

Community Participant

I am definitely in favor of this. I'd like to see the functionality available in more places on the site, and not limited to the inbox or announcements. How cool would it be for students to see their name appear on a page welcoming them to the course??

New Member

Yes have used this feature in D2L Brightspace and is very usefull in creating that feeling of inclusion within a space or for emails , announcements and other notification. Please consider this. 

Community Member

I would love to have the ability to use tokens in announcements. 

Community Member

This is a great idea. It would also be good to have access to these replacement strings in emails sent from New Analytics. 

Community Member

I use this feature in D2L Brightspace (at another school) and it's amazing how much more the students feel personally connected to the instructor. This would be a fabulous feature for pandemic teaching (and inter-pandemic teaching and post-pandemic teaching) to reduce some of the disconnected feelings that remote students have.

Community Participant

I am also in favor of this feature. I'd like to add the ability to send read receipts to the sender or have some kind of way to see who has or has not read the message.

New Member

Our school is just switching to Canvas. I use replacement strings all the time in our current LMS. I cannot believe Canvas has not implemented this. This makes a huge difference to personalizing content for students in large classes. Now messages will just say dear student, blah!

New Member

Yes, Please!  That's why I came on the board see if this was possible.

New Member

Yes, please... I really need/want this functionality.

New Member

Definitely a needed feature!

New Member

Anything to help email cut through will be beneficial. This is a simple feature that could have a really big impact.