M for Merge Tags in A to Z of Email Marketing

Today we are going to dedicate an entire post on Merge Tags, and why not. They are the holy grail of Personalization in Email Marketing.

So What exactly is a Merge Tag

Well we can define merge tags as a reference for the actual data saved in the database. The name of the merge tag usually refers to the name/label of the field in database.
So here is a prime example of a sample database, Let’s say we have 3 records in our list-👍

Robbie Kohli – robbie@robbie.com
Abbhay Singh – abhay@abhay.com
Vishal – Vishal@vishal.com

The records are saved in our database as below – :


Robbie Kohli
Abbhay Singh



When we are composing an email template we can use the merge tags to personlize our content. So in above example the Name of the contacts can be referred as


So it can be like

Dear *|NAME|*,

Hi, How are you doing?

Data is the Key

For personalization and merge tags to work smoothly, we need to ensure that our database is properly setup and contains the correct data in requisite format.
At Deep Focus we used our Proprietary system to organize data using out inhouse built tool “Merge – SendMassEmails” link: https://sendmassemails.com/merge/

How can you use Merge Tags in Mailchimp?

Some important merge tags which mailchimp provides and some of my favorite ones are-👍

This is a great tag to provide feature to our reader to translate the email in their native language.
This is the default merge tag to add the First Name from the Audience.
This is probably the most critical merge tag and its also compulsory to provide the Un Subscribe button / link for your subscribers. The above merge tag will generate a unique link which allows the subscriber to automatically remove their email from the list.

A Thing about Conditional Merge Tags

Now this takes personalization to a whole new level, instead of just mentioning the First name and last name of users, you can literally customize the content blocks according to the data. A good example is below

*|IF:AGE >= 21|*
Check out our special deals on wine!

Above tag if only display the text Check out our special.. If the subscriber is older than 21.

A Little bit of Cheating is allowed

There are hundreds of different Merge Tags, Conditional Merge Tags and RSS Feed Merge Tags. It’s hard to remember all these merge tags. Mailchimp has a great cheat sheet where all the basic merge tags are mentioned. I find this very useful and its a great resource to keep handy.