When creating a campaign in MailChimp, you can test your merge tags to make sure they are working correctly. Below, we walk through how to test merge tags in your campaign or on your sign up form, as well as some troubleshooting steps to take if you run into any issues.

In this article:

Preview your campaign content

You can test your merge tags before your campaign goes out with our Preview Mode. Preview Mode is available for all campaigns, and allows you to view Live Header Info for each subscriber.   

Test merge tags on signup forms

To run a test of the *|MERGE|* tags in the signup forms, you'll have to actually to sign yourself or a test email address up to your list. See Example.


If your merge tags aren't working in the way you expected, there are some considerations.

  • I only see << Test First Name >> << Test Last Name >>. Check out this article on why you're seeing this.
  • Is the merge tag syntax correct? Check to see if you've surrounded your merge tag name with *| and |*. Use the pipe key to create |.
  • No recipient data is being pulled in to my campaign. Different lists might have different merge tags, depending on how you set up each different signup form or set of list fields. Make sure you're using the corresponding merge tags for current list, otherwise your merge tags may not display correctly.
  • Merge tags are case sensitive. Make sure your merge tag matches exactly what your cheatsheet says. Find your merge tags.
  • Merge tags are style sensitive. If you're using a merge tag that involves variants like *|FACEBOOK:LIKE|* (separated by : or _ )make sure that FACEBOOK and LIKE aren't two different styles (like bold and default text). How to remove styles.
  • There's no view live merge info button. How to fix it.

If you want to see merge tags in an email, or if it appears that the merge tags are not working, you might consider sending a test campaign to a live list for further testing. To do so, make sure your email address is on your own list. Then you can segment your real list down to just you (or a couple of your email addresses) and send the campaign out to the small "segment" instead of using the send a test button. How can I segment a list?

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