Introduction:

This MailChimp Merge Tags Template has been designed to guide you through the process of using MailChimp's merge tag feature.

This MailChimp Merge Tags Template walks you through the process of using merge tags in the example scenario of creating a newsletter in MailChimp. The template shows how merge tags are used in practice, with this given scenario, to aid the understanding and use of this template.

This MailChimp Merge Tags Template has organized the process of using MailChimp Merge Tags under the following headings:

  • Getting started
  • The types of merge tags
  • Using merge tags 
  • Consolidation 

MailChimp helps you manage and talk to your clients, customers, and other interested parties by acting as an all-in-one marketing platform. Using MailChimp, you can design campaigns, perform powerful data analysis and manage healthy contact practices. 

MailChimp sends billions of emails each month for millions of users. In 2018, Mailchimp tracked email campaigns that went to at least 1,000 subscribers, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to 1-person startups. 

MailChimp looked at the 'open rate' for these email campaigns. The 'open rate' is the percentage of email recipients that opened each email.

Assessing the 'open rate' for these email campaigns, MailChimp found that of the 1000 subscribers, 20.81% opened the incoming emails. 

To bring that 20.81% figure into perspective, a 20% open rate is indicative as 'healthy'. It is safe to conclude then, that using MailChimp as a marketing and a communicative tool to reach your customers appears to be effective. 

What is it that makes MailChimp so effective?

MailChimp features, such as merge tags, are the building blocks that add value and increase the usability of this pragmatic marketing tool.

Understanding how to use such features allows you to unlock the true value of MailChimp in your own marketing efforts.

This is where this MailChimp Merge Tags Template steps in, to take the endless scrolling through merge tag help pages off your hands.

Simply follow Process Street's MailChimp Merge Tags Template, task by task, and before you know it, you will be a MailChimp merge tag expert

As the manager, you will begin this MailChimp Merge Tags Template. You will assign the relevant employee to all relevant tasks. These tasks will walk the employee through the process of using MailChimp merge tags in the scenario of creating a newsletter, beginning with the creation of a MailChimp account.

As you and the assigned employee work through Process Street's MailChimp Merge Tag Template, you will be presented with form fields, such as long text form fields and multiple choice questions. You will be required to populate each form field with your specific data.

More information on how to use each form field is provided in the 'Enter Checklist Details' task. 

You will also be presented with Stop tasks that ensure task order.

Our conditional logic step has been used to create a dynamic template which caters to your specific needs. 

Our dynamic due date feature has been used to adjust a task's due date. 

Enter Checklist details

To begin the MailChimp Merge Tags Template, enter the required details into the form fields below.

This template has been created for training purposes, to train a given employee on how to use merge tags in MailChimp. You can assign the employee who needs to work through this template below using our role assignment feature.

These are all examples of form fields, which are fields of information which can be filled in by a user working through a checklist from this template.

More information is provided for each form field via our help pages:

This is a stop task, which means you cannot progress in this template until the required form fields are complete.

Getting started:

Set up a Mailchimp account

MailChimp merge tags allow you to personalize your email content. To show you how to use MailChimp's merge tags, we will be using the example of an email newsletter campaign. 

Follow the steps in this template which will indicate how to use merge tags in this case scenario of setting up a newsletter campaign. 

Complete the subtask checklist below:

  • 1
    Set up a MailChimp account

There is evidential support confirming that by personalizing the emails you send to your clients, you will receive the following benefits:

  • An increase in the conversion rate

  • Easier conversion 

  • Building a passionate audience

  • Improves lead nurturing 

  • Improves sales calls 

  • Helps you get the right information to the right people at the right time

Get an audience

You may already have an audience or a list of subscribers that you want to send the newsletter to. 

If you do not, then you would want to first consider creating a signup form. 

The dropdown form fields provided below use our conditional logic step to direct you to the required stage in this template, which is determined by whether you need to set up a signup form or import contacts you already have. 

Complete a signup form in MailChimp

Signup forms are used to extend the reach of your emails, and all-in-all work to enhance your long-term audience growth. 

Watch the below video is a useful tool for you to use to obtain the required information on how to use the MailChimp signup form. 

Alternatively, you can check out MailChimp's help page on signup forms

Once you have created a signup form, you can then share this form. In MailChimps ''create forms'' page, click Share It tab. 

  • 1
    Share your sign up form

Creating an Audience

  • 1
    Back in your MailChimp home screen, select 'Audience' in the top menu, and go to 'Create Audience'
  • 1
    Under 'Default From Name' fill out the name that you want to show up in the inbox of everyone on the list receiving your email
  • 2
    Under 'Default Reply-To Email' fill out the details for where the email will be sent if everyone receiving the email hits 'reply'
  • 3
    Under 'Remind People How They Got On Your List', enter why the subscribers are receiving the relevant email. E.g. because they signed up to your mailing list
  • 4
    Opt to receive updates whenever your list has a new subscriber under 'Notifications'
  • 5
    Save your list

In your list of contacts be sure to obtain all the required information you need for the merge tags. 

Import Contacts

Creat a google spreadsheet for your list of contacts.
  • 1
    Use Google Spreadsheet to enter your list of contacts and the required details
Import your contacts to mailchimp.
  • 1
    Import your contacts. In this case, the contacts from the excel file will be imported as a csv file
Add a tag to identify these contacts.
  • 1
    Add a tag that identifies the contacts
Import your contacts.
  • 1
    Import your contacts

In your list of contacts be sure to obtain all the required information you need for the merge tags. 

Consider the important definitions

Using MailChimp merge tags requires an understanding of the below terminology:

  • Audience: Contact collection, along with their profile details, preferences, and other data. 
  • Audience field: A cell or spreadsheet where specific contact details are filled. 
  • Merge tag: A text-based, unique identifier that corresponds to the audience field. 
  • Dynamic content: Personalized or otherwise unique content that is inserted into a campaign by a merge tag. 

The types of merge tags:

Understand merge tag basics

Audience field: A cell or spreadsheet where specific contact details are filled. 

Your MailChimp audience contains an audience field that refers to your contact's information. Each audience field looks like a snippet of text that is wrapped in special characters, *[EXAMPLE]*.

Inserting this merge tag into your campaign emails, the tag will be replaced with the corresponding audience field.   

So for example, you can include your contacts email by using the *[EMAIL]* merge tag.

The following must be critically noted for your use of merge tags:

  • Audiences often contain different audience fields, and therefore they have different merge tags. If you have more than one Mailchimp audience, make sure to use the correct merge tag for the audience you plan to send to
  • Merge tags are style sensitive. You must check for extra bolding, italics, and other formatting around and inside the merge tag. 

Learn the difference between system and audience merge tags

MailChimp merge tags can be split into two categories: System merge tags and audience merge tags

  • System merge tags: Can be used to include social sharing links, RSS content, account information, or to translate your campaign.
  • Audience merge tags: Refers to only the data that is stored in your audience, this includes contact data. Information, such as signup form URL or company name associated with the audience, first name, or email address, can be pulled.

Using merge tags:

Create your campaign

To show you merge tags in action, we will run through the process of creating a newsletter in MailChimp. This process can be applied to all of your campaigns. 

It is possible to edit this Process Street template to suit your own specific needs and campaigns.

In the MailChimp dashboard, head to the campaign page which is the second option in the top menu. 

  • 1
    Click the 'Create Campaign' button
  • 2
    Select the 'email' campaign
  • 3
    Name campaign appropriately
  • 4
    Select your audience as 'Newsletter subscribers'

Please note that your subscribers will not see the name of this campaign. Your subscribers can, however, see the email subject. 

Need more help on how to create a newsletter? Us Process Street's Newsletter Template Process [CLICK HERE]

Choose your template

You can create your own email template using the drag and drop editor or you can choose a range of template options.

For this example, we have chosen to use the basic template.

  • 1
    Choose how you will create your template
  • 2
    Edit your template, e.g. add a logo and edit the text
  • 3
    Look for where there is the option to add 'merge tags'. This will be a drop-down menu from the top menu
Choose you newsletter template.

Learn about campaign merge tags

Campaign merge tags can be used in any kind of email campaign. A summary of these Merge Tags is provided below, from MailChimp's All The Merge Tags Cheat Sheet.

Move forward in this MailChimp Merge Tag Template and we will work through an example of using a campaign merge tag in your newsletter.

*|ARCHIVE|*

Creates a View this email in your browser link to your campaign page.

*|BRAND:LOGO|*

Adds a default logo placeholder to your campaign. Use this merge tag in place of an image URL in a custom-coded template or Code content block.

*|CAMPAIGN_UID|*

Displays the unique ID for your campaign.

*|REWARDS|*

Adds the MonkeyRewards badge to your campaign.

*|REWARDS_TEXT|*

Adds a text-only version of the Rewards link.

*|MC:TRANSLATE|*

Inserts links to translate your sent campaign into different languages.

*|TRANSLATE:xx|*

Adds a list of links to translate the content in your campaign. Replace xx with the code for the language your campaign is written in, and we'll display other available languages.

For example, for an English campaign, use *|TRANSLATE:en|* and we'll include a list of links to all supported languages except English.

*|MC_LANGUAGE|*

Displays the language code for a particular subscriber. For example, if your subscriber's language is set to English, the merge tag output will display the code en. Use this merge tag to show conditional content based on subscribers' language settings.

*|MC_LANGUAGE_LABEL|*

Displays the plain-text language for a particular subscriber. All languages are written English, so if your subscriber's language is set to German we'll display "German" instead of Deutsch.

*|DATE:X|*

Use *|DATE:X|* to show the current date in a given format. Replace X with the format of your choice. For example, *|DATE:d/m/y|* where d is replaced by the day, m by the month, and y by the year. View a full reference of date options on the PHP website. The merge tag will display as the date the email is sent to the subscriber.

*|LIST:RECENTX|*

Displays a list of links to recent campaigns sent to the audience indicated. Replace X with the number of campaigns to show. If you leave X blank, it will show five.

*|MC:SUBJECT|*

Displays the campaign's subject line.

*|MC:TOC|*

Creates a linked table of contents in your campaign.

*|MC:TOC_TEXT|*

Creates a table of contents in your campaigns as plain-text.

*|MC_PREVIEW_TEXT|*

Use this merge tag to generate preview text in a custom-coded campaign. Insert *|MC_PREVIEW_TEXT|* just after the opening < body > tag in your HTML. To ensure the preview text isn’t visible in the body of your campaign, wrap the merge tag in a hidden < span > element.

Locate or add < style type= "text / css" > < /style> to your HTML, and add this code to the "style type" value:

*|MC_PREVIEW_TEXT|*

Use this merge tag to generate preview text in a custom-coded campaign. Insert *|MC_PREVIEW_TEXT|* just after the opening < body > tag in your HTML. To ensure the preview text isn’t visible in the body of your campaign, wrap the merge tag in a hidden < span > element.

Locate or add < style type= "text / css" > < /style> to your HTML, and add this code to the "style type" value:

.mcnPreviewText{display: none !important;}

After the opening < body > tag, add:

<!--*|IF:MC_PREVIEW_TEXT|*--> <!--[if !gte mso 9]><!----><span class="mcnPreview Text" style="display:none; font-size:0px; line-height:0px; max-height:0px; max-width:0px; opacity:0; overflow:hidden; visibility:hidden; mso-hide:all;">*|MC_PREVIEW_TEXT|*</span><!--<![endif]--> <!--*|END:IF|*-->

*|POLL:RATING:x|* *|END:POLL|*

Creates a poll to record subscriber ratings of 1-10. Learn how to add a poll to your campaign.

*|PROMO_CODE:[$store_id=x, $rule_id=x, $code_id=x]|*

Use this tag to include a promo code in a campaign. Replace the “x” variables in your Promo Code merge tag to specify what promo code to display.

  • $store_id identifies your connected store, and is set by the API. It defaults to the earliest connected store. You can retrieve store IDs via our API.
  • $rule_id indicates the conditions that must be met in order for a promo code to apply, and is set by the API. For example, a rule that sets a specific discount for a promo code. You can retrieve rule IDs via our API.
  • $code_id identifies your promo code, and is set by the API. You can retrieve code IDs via our API.

Add campaign merge tags

Let's look at the merge tag: *|MC:TRANSLATE|*

This merge tag inserts links that will translate your given campaign into different languages.

The tag:*|TRANSLATE:xx|*  however gives you a bit more flexibility, as by using this tag, you can set what language you would like your campaign to be translated to, helpful if your subscribers are segmented based on their country of origin. xx = en for English.

Add the *|MC:TRANSLATE|* to our campaign as our subscriber list has not been segmented in regards to individuals country of origin.

  • 1
    Go to the Merge Tag icon in the top menu
  • 2
    Find the translate merge tag and add this to your newsletter
The translate merge tag added has been highlighted for your view. I have added this merge tag to the bottom of the newsletter.

Another useful campaign merge tag is the create a poll merge tag: *|POLL:RATING:x|*

This merge tag will allow you to gauge the ratings of your newsletter content. The X represents the orientation of your poll. So V = vertical and H = horizontal.

*|POLL:RATING:x|*   
Type or paste your poll question text here.   
*|END:POLL|*
The insert poll merge tag has been added and is highlighted as shown.
  • 1
    Go to the Merge Tag icon in the top menu
  • 2
    Find the translate merge tag and add this to your newsletter

You can edit the merge tag style and size as you would do with any text.

Learn about personalization merge tags

Personalization merge tags display subscriber information and allow you to make sure your newsletter has a personal touch.

A summary of these Merge Tags is provided below, from MailChimp's All The Merge Tags Cheat Sheet.

Move forward in this MailChimp Merge Tag Template and we will work through an example of using a personalization merge tag in your newsletter.

*|FNAME|*

Inserts your subscriber's first name if it's available in your audience.

*|LNAME|*

Inserts your subscriber's last name if it's available in your audience.

*|EMAIL|*

Inserts your subscriber's email address.

*|PHONE|*

Inserts your subscriber’s phone number if it’s available in your audience.

*|ADDRESS|*

Inserts your subscriber’s address if it’s available in your audience.

Add personalization merge tags

You can add the *|FNAME|*to personalize your campaign by adding the first name of the given subscriber. This information must be already present in your audience.

In the above image, you can see where I have used the First name *[FNAME]* merge tag in the newsletter. The first name tag has been highlighted.
  • 1
    Go to the Merge Tag icon in the top menu
  • 2
    You can add the first name merge tag to your newsletter

To add a personalization merge tag, you must make sure that the data is enterd into your audience.

Learn about email subject line merge tags

Add email merge tags to add details about your audience, contact information, date and more. You can use these merge tags in your subject line, or in the body of your campaigns.

A summary of these Merge Tags is provided below, from MailChimp's All The Merge Tags Cheat Sheet.

Move forward in this MailChimp Merge Tag Template and we will work through an example of using an email subject line merge tag in your newsletter.

*|LIST:NAME|*

Inserts the name of your audience.

*|LIST:COMPANY|*

Inserts the name of your company or organization that's listed in the required email footer content for your audience.

*|LIST:SUBSCRIBERS|*

Inserts the number of subscribers in your audience in plain-text.

*|USER:COMPANY|*

Inserts the company or organization name listed under Primary Account Contact info in your Mailchimp account.

*|MC:DATE|*

Displays MM/DD/YYYY or DD/MM/YYYY based on your settings in your account Details.

*|CURRENT_YEAR|*

Displays the current year. This is great if you include a copyright date in your campaign, because it will update automatically every year.

Add email subject line merge tags

You can add the *|DATE:d/m/y|* into the subject line of your campaign.

You can add the date merge tag to your email newsletter. *[DATE:xx]* where 'xx' allows you to set the format of the date. In the above, as highlighted in green for your view, d = day, m = month and y = year. The date merge tag has been highlighted.
  • 1
    Go to the Merge Tag icon in the top menu
  • 2
    You can add the first name merge tag to your newsletter

Learn about email footers merge tags

Essential information can be grabbed and added to the footer of your template using the email footer merge tags.

A summary of these Merge Tags is provided below, from MailChimp's All The Merge Tags Cheat Sheet.

Move forward in this MailChimp Merge Tag Template and we will work through an example of using an email footer merge tags in your newsletter.

*|UNSUB|*

Gives your subscribers the opportunity to unsubscribe from your emails. (Required by law and our Terms of Use.).

*|LIST:DESCRIPTION|*

Inserts your audience's permission reminder.

*|EMAIL|*

Inserts your contact's email address. This is commonly used in the unsubscribe link, which helps them know who will be removed if they click the Unsubscribe link.

<a href="*|UNSUB|*">Unsubscribe</a> *|EMAIL|* from these emails.
*|HTML:LIST_ADDRESS_HTML|*

Inserts in your mailing address and the "Add us to your address book" link that points to the vcard (.vcf) file with your address details.

*|LIST:ADDRESS_VCARD|*

Inserts an "Add us to your address book" link to your campaign.

*|LIST:ADDRESS_VCARD_HREF|*

Inserts a text URL that points to your vcard (.vcf) file of your address details. Use this as a link's Web Address to create a linked version. Or use this to translate the Add us to your address book link.

*|LIST:NAME|*

Inserts the name of your audience.

*|ABOUT_LIST|*

Creates a link to the About Your List page.

*|LIST:UID|*

Inserts your audience's unique ID from your audience's hosted forms.

*|LIST:URL|*

Inserts the website URL set in the Required Email Footer Content for this audience.

*|LIST:ADDRESS|*

Inserts your company or organization postal mailing address or P.O. Box as plain text.

*|LIST:ADDRESSLINE|*

Inserts your mailing address as plain text on a single line.

*|LIST:PHONE|*

Inserts your company or organization telephone number.

*|LIST:COMPANY|*

Inserts your company or organization name.

*|LIST:EMAIL|*

Inserts your default "Reply-To" Email set in the Audience name and defaults for this audience.

*|ABUSE_EMAIL|*

Inserts the email address located in the Required Email Footer Content for this audience.

*|LIST:SUBSCRIBE|*

Inserts the URL for your audience's hosted signup form.

*|UPDATE_PROFILE|*

Inserts a link to the contact's update profile page.

*|FORWARD|*

Inserts the URL to your audience's Forward to a Friend form.

Learn about social share merge tags

You can connect your MailChimp account with your social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and more.

A summary of these Merge Tags is provided below, from MailChimp's All The Merge Tags Cheat Sheet.

Move forward in this MailChimp Merge Tag Template and we will work through an example of using a social share merge tag in your newsletter.

Twitter
*|TWITTER:FULLPROFILE|*

Populates your campaign with your Twitter avatar, follower, tweet, and following counts; a follow link, and your latest tweets.

*|TWITTER:PROFILE|*

Populates your campaign with your Twitter avatar, follower, tweet, and following counts; and a follow link. Doesn't include your latest tweets.

*|TWITTER:PROFILEURL|*

Displays your direct Twitter profile URL. For example: http://www.twitter.com/mailchimp.

*|TWITTER:TWEETS2|*

This lets you control the number of tweets to show in your campaign. Replace 2 with the number of tweets you'd like to display. If you don't include a number, we'll default to your five most recent tweets. Use this in combination with |TWITTER:PROFILE| to customize what you're sharing with your subscribers.

*|TWITTER:PROFILE:TWITTERUSERNAME|*

Can be used to insert multiple Twitter profiles in your Mailchimp campaign. Replace TWITTERUSERNAME with the the Twitter display name of any profile you want to show in your campaign. To work properly, the Twitter feed must be publicly available.

*|TWITTER:TWEET|*

Adds a Tweet button to your campaign that allows subscribers to share your campaign page link. By default, the tweet includes your campaign's subject line, your Twitter handle, and a link to your campaign page.

*|TWITTER:TWEET [$text=my custom text here]|*

Includes your own custom text, as opposed to the subject line of your newsletter in your Tweet. Also includes a link to your campaign page. It's important to be aware of the following when using this tag:

  • Plain-text only.
  • No quotation marks.
  • $text needs to be lowercase.
  • The space between Tweet and [$text] is intentional and required.
Facebook
*|FACEBOOK:LIKE|*

Adds a Facebook Like button that allows subscribers to like your campaign on Facebook.

*|FACEBOOK:LIKE:URL|*

Allows your subscribers to like a specific link in your campaign.

*|FACEBOOK:FULLPROFILE|*

Places your full personal Facebook profile into a campaign. Includes any recent posts.

*|FACEBOOK:FULLPROFILE:mailchimp|* or *|FACEBOOK:FULLPROFILE:IDnumber|*

Allows you to specify which Facebook profile or page to place into a campaign. Includes any recent posts.

*|FACEBOOK:PROFILE|*

Places your personal Facebook profile into a campaign. Doesn't include any recent posts.

*|FACEBOOK:PROFILE:mailchimp|* or *|FACEBOOK:PROFILE:IDnumber|*

Specify which Facebook profile or page information is pulled into a campaign. Doesn't include any posts.

*|FACEBOOK:POSTS3:mailchimp|* or *|FACEBOOK:POSTS3:IDnumber|*

Place just your recent Facebook profile or page posts into a campaign. Replace 3 with any number to specify the number of posts that will be shown on your campaign.

*|FACEBOOK:PROFILEURL|*

Displays the URL of the personal Facebook profile that's connected to your Mailchimp account. For example: http://www.facebook.com/mailchimp.

Add social share merge tags to your newsletter

You can display your twitter account URL in your newsletter using the*|TWITTER:PROFILEURL|* merge tag.

Add a social share merge tag to your template.
  • 1
    Go to the Merge Tag icon in the top menu
  • 2
    You can add the first name merge tag to your newsletter

Consider adding your own merge tags

There may be information that you would like to enter into your newsletter campaign that is not provided in the MailChimp merge tag options available. If this is a case it is possible to create your own.

The dropdown menu below is a conditional step in this MailChimp Merge Tag Template. Selecting 'Yes' or 'No' will direct you to the relevant steps in this template.

Create your own merge tags

  • 1
    Go to your audience page
  • 2
    Go to Settings
  • 3
    Click on 'Audience fields and *|MERGE|* tags'
  • 1
    From the 'Audience fields and *|MERGE|* tags' page, you can edit the merge tags, create your own your, or edit the already present merge tags

Send test email

Once you have completed you're newsletter campaign, you can send this as a test email to your email address to make sure everything is as required. 

As you can see, the required information from the merge tags has been entered into the test email. The first name hasn't as this is a test email, so the information from the audience uploaded hasn't pulled through due to the test email not being directed to the audience.

Make the required edits to your test email

Having viewed your test email, you have decided that there are alterations that are needed. You can use our long text form field to make a note of these required alterations.

This is a stop task, which means you cannot proceed further in this template until this task is complete, and the required alterations to your newsletter have been made.

  • 1
    The required alterations have been made.
  • 2
    Re-send the test email.
  • 3
    No further alterations are required.

Newsletter completion

Congratulations!

You have managed to create a newsletter using the MailChimp merge tag features. Move onto the next stages in this template to confirm your understanding.

Consolidation:

Confirm your understanding

This is a conditional step in the Mailchimp Merge Tag Template. Selecting 'Yes' or 'No' from the dropdown menu will guide you through the correct steps in this template.

Use alternative sources to aid your understanding

If you are still a little unsure over how to use Mailchimp's merge tag features, check out the below PDF guide provided by MailChimp.

Sources:

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