Merge tags are used to populate personalized or dynamic content in your campaigns, signup forms, response emails, and automation workflows. MailChimp automatically generates merge tags whenever new fields are added to a list in your account, so you can pull up to date subscriber information into your campaigns.

A set of system merge tags can be used to pull in account and list information, populate RSS or social media content, along with many other options. Below we walk you through how to use or edit merge tags and show you where they are located in your account. Take a look at All The Merge Tags Cheatsheet for a full list of all available merge tags. 

In this article:

Using merge tags

In the beginning, merge tags just look like snippets of text you place in your campaign. Type, paste, or select a merge tag to insert into a content block, and when you send your campaign, MailChimp will replace that piece of text with the dynamic text—subscriber profile and list information, or system tools—that the merge tag refers to.

When you design your campaign in MailChimp there's a merge tag drop-down menu on the editor toolbar you can use to easily add tags to content. Just place your cursor in your content where you want to insert your merge tag and choose the merge tag from the menu. We'll add it to your content for you so you never have to worry about mistyping a merge tag.
Merge tag drop-down menu

If you type a *|MERGE|* tag directly into your content use the pipe (|) key on your keyboard to create the straight lines on either side of the tag. The pipe key is located directly above the enter/return key on your keyboard.

Merge tags can be added to the content of all campaign types, automation workflows, and in the Final Welcome Email step of the Signup Forms & Response Emails. Some merge tags can also be used in the subject lines of your campaigns and automation emails.

List merge tags

All fields added to your lists and signup forms for capturing subscriber data are assigned a corresponding merge tag. You can edit and customize the list specific merge tags in your list settings. You can change the default tags such as *|MMERGE1|* to something more descriptive like *|NAME|* or *|CITY|*. Use the steps below to find and edit your merge tags.

  1. Navigate to the Lists page.
  2. Click on the drop down menu and choose Settings.
    List drop-down menu
  3. Select List fields and *|MERGE|* tags.
    List fields in list settings

To change a merge tag click in the merge field and edit the text. Once the text has been changed click the Save button to store the new information.

Other list specific tags can be used to pull in list information such as your company name, subscriber count, or a link to the list's hosted subscriber form. You can also use list specific merge tags to populate the footer with required information. You can also use your list's merge tags as segmenting conditions. They appear as options in the list's New Segment drop down when you create a new segment and also in the Recipients step of the campaign builder.

System merge tags

In addition to merge tags associated with your list, there are a number of system tags provided by MailChimp to dynamically create content within your campaigns. These tags can be used to pull in social content, RSS content, account information, translate content and a whole lot more. Use this 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

We recommend testing your merge tags using the preview before your campaign goes out. Preview is available on both the HTML and plain-text versions of your campaign. To test any merge tags added to the Signup Forms and Response Emails, you have to signup to the list and go through the double opt-in process.


  • Merge tags will not render in previews or test emails when working in the Template Editor. If you want to see how merge tags will render for subscribers, create a campaign, then use our preview and test options.
  • Different lists might have different merge tags, depending on how you set up each signup form or set of list fields. Make sure you're using the corresponding merge tags for the current list, otherwise your merge tags my not display correctly.

Was this article helpful?
What can we do to improve your experience with articles like this?
Thanks for submitting your feedback!
At this time, we are unable to reply to any responses, but we'll use this information to keep the site up-to-date.
Sorry, we were unable to submit your feedback. Please try again later. Thank you for your patience.

Related Articles