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Everything You Need to Know About Merge Tags

Published 04 Mar 2022 by Chris Glover, CANDDi
Read this in about 2 minutes

What is a merge tag?

A merge tag (also known as personalization fields, personalization tags, or substitution strings) is a code which pulls through a specific bit of information about an individual from a database.

For example, if you work in sales or marketing you’ve probably used a “Firstname” merge code plenty of times. When constructing a message, you’d input the merge code like or Firstname, which then pulls through the recipient’s name to create a sense of personalization.

Merge tags in your Email Marketing Platform

As mentioned, you’ll use merge tags in your Email Marketing platform to create personalized outreach. Things like first name, surname, company name, and location can all be used to dynamically change the content of your email marketing outreach to the values relevant to the recipient.

If you’re looking to add CANDDi tracking to your email marketing, but your platform isn’t in this list of our current integrations, don’t worry! We can build an integration for you if you send us the merge tags your platform uses.

We’ll just need to know the merge tag codes (for example, is it or =First_Name=?) for the following:

  • Email Address
  • First name
  • Surname
  • Company name

Once we have these, we’ll build an integration no problem!

Generating merge tags in Outlook

Mail Merge with Microsoft Outlook can be used to create CANDDi tracked emails which improve the number of identified visitors within CANDDi. This requires a little bit of mangling of the Outlook merge codes.

First up, make sure you have our Outlook plugin set up, then download our pre-set-up contact spreadsheet from here. This sample spreadsheet contains formulas to generate the UTM codes and CANDDi merge codes. If you wish to have multiple target links within your website then duplicate the Column D.

Within Outlook, construct your mail merge as usual, selecting the contact spreadsheet you just made under ‘select recipients’, ‘use existing list’. Leave your links as plain text for now, and use merge fields (under ‘insert merge field’) to personalize your content, e.g. ‘Dear {firstname}’.

When you come to insert links to your website, highlight the text (for example ‘click here’) and select ‘insert hyperlink’. Enter your website URL for now into the Address field. Click OK to add this into the body of the email.

Delete your website URL, and insert the Merge Field for the URL.

Return to normal View (in Outlook 2003 press Alt + F9 again), and repeat for each URL that you wish to enter in the email. You will need to put CANDDi tracking on every link to track visitors in as many ways as possible. Update all hyperlinks in the document by pressing CTRL + A, followed by F9.

Your email is now ready to send. Please send one to us, so we can confirm that all is working perfectly and your visitors will be tracked and identified.

If you have any questions about merge tags, get in touch at