Getting Started with Merge Tags

This feature requires Author user level or higher.

Merge tags correspond to field data in your MailChimp lists, and can be used to include personalized or dynamic content in your campaigns, some response emails, and Automation workflows. Whenever a new field is added to a list, we'll create a corresponding merge tag. Each time you send a campaign that uses merge tags, we'll pull the most recent data from your list to replace the merge tag.

In this article, you'll learn about merge tags, where to access them, and how to customize them for your needs.

How to Use Merge Tags

When you type, paste, or choose a merge tag to add to a content block in your campaign, it looks like a snippet of text. After you send your campaign, MailChimp replaces that text with the dynamic content the merge tag refers to, like subscriber profile or list information, or system tools.

Merge tags can be added to any campaign type, Automation workflows, and in the Final Welcome Email in the Form Builder. Some merge tags can also be used in the subject lines of your campaigns and automated emails.

Type a Tag

To type a *|MERGE|* tag directly into your content, be sure to surround the label with the asterisk and pipe characters. The pipe key is used to create the vertical lines. On most U.S. keyboards, you'll find the pipe key above the enter/return key on your keyboard.

Choose a Tag in the Toolbar

To choose a merge tag in the content block, use the Merge Tags drop-down menu on the editor toolbar. Place your cursor where you want to insert the merge tag, click the drop-down menu, and choose the merge tag you need. When you insert a tag this way, you never have to worry about syntax errors or typos.
Merge tag drop-down menu

List Merge Tags

Each list creates default merge tags for each list field.

Customize Fields

Edit and customize these merge tags in your list settings. Change the default tag from something like *|MMERGE1|* to a more descriptive name like *|BIRTHDAY|* or *|CITY|*.

You can also enter default merge tag values on this page. We recommend you input default content for your most commonly used merge tags, if not all of them.

Where to Use List Fields

List field merge tags can also pull list information into your campaigns, like company name or subscriber count, and footer information like a link to your signup form and campaign archive. 

You can even use list field data to build segments. When you create a new segment in the Recipients step of the Campaign Builder, you can choose list fields from the criteria drop-down menu.

System Merge Tags

MailChimp uses many system tags to dynamically create content within your campaigns, including social content, RSS content, account information, and translated content. Use our cheat sheet as a quick reference for each merge tag available in MailChimp.

System merge tags are also used to add unsubscribe, update profile, and forward links to your campaigns.

Testing and Troubleshooting

You should always test your merge tags in the Preview Mode before your campaign goes out. Preview is available on both the HTML and plain-text versions of your campaign.

To test merge tags in your signup forms and response emails, sign up to the list and go through the double opt-in process to review each step.

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