Email Marketing

A Comprehensive Guide to Merge Tags in Email Marketing

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Tereza Zemanova  |   November 8th, 2023

12 Min.  read

In the realm of email marketing, personalization is a key ingredient for success. Gone are the days of generic, one-size-fits-all messages. Today’s customers expect tailored content that speaks directly to their needs and preferences.

Image preview for article: A Comprehensive Guide to Merge Tags in Email Marketing

Enter merge tags, the secret weapon of email marketers.

Merge tags enable you to customize emails by inserting specific variables from a contact’s profile, allowing you to address recipients by name, offer unique discounts, and more. In this guide, we will explore the world of merge tags and how to leverage their power effectively.

Predefined Merge Tags

Merge tags are essentially placeholders that are dynamically replaced with custom variables pulled from a contact’s profile. Instead of creating a separate email for each recipient, you craft one template and insert merge tags that correspond to specific data points. When the email campaign is sent, each merge tag is automatically replaced with the corresponding value from the recipient’s profile.

Here’s an overview of some predefined merge tags you can use:

:|NAME|: First name
:|SURNAME|: Last name
:|EMAIL|: Email address
:|VOKATIV|: First name in the 5th case
:|VOKATIV_S|: Last name in the 5th case
:|PRETITLE|: Title before the name
:|SURTITLE|: Title after the name
:|GENDER|: Gender
:|STREET|: Street address
:|CITY|: City
:|ZIP|: Postal code
:|COUNTRY|: Country
:|COMPANY|: Company name
:|PHONE|: Phone number
:|BIRTHDAY|: Birthday
:|NAMEDAY|: Nameday
:|UNSUB|: Unsubscribe link
:|WEBVERSION|: Online newsletter link
:|PREFERENCES|: Preferences link

Custom Merge Tags

Creation of Custom Merge Tags

If you need to use merge tags that aren’t predefined, you can create your own. To do this, you must define the custom merge tag within the contact list in the custom field section or create the field during the contacts import process.

What to Watch Out For

·      It’s recommended to write all merge tags (including custom ones) in capital letters without spaces, which can be replaced with an underscore.
·      Integer (int) merge tags have a universal limit of 2,147,483,647. For higher numbers, consider changing the custom field type to text (string).
·      When inserting links via a custom field, use the standard merge tag format with the link protocol.
·      Date type merge tags should be formatted as YYYY-MM-DD for better automation and segmentation capabilities.

Testing Merge Tags

While merge tags dynamically replace content in live emails, it’s important to note that test emails might display empty values since they lack recipient-specific data. Keep this in mind when testing your emails, and ensure that your merge tags are correctly configured.


Merge tags are a powerful tool for personalizing your email marketing campaigns and delivering relevant content to your contacts. Whether you’re using predefined merge tags or creating custom ones, understanding how to leverage these tags effectively can significantly improve your email marketing success. Start using merge tags to create more engaging and personalized emails that resonate with your audience.

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