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Everything you need to know about Merge Tags

Published 29 Oct 2020 by Ellice Eadie, CANDDi
Read this in about 2 minutes

What is a merge tag? Merge tags are what we use to gather data on an individual level, usually from email campaigns/ other forms of digital marketing. To be able to do this, we need a unique value to tie the data to. If you’ve read our email marketing support pages, you’ll know that other names for merge tags are substitution strings, personalisation fields or personalisation tags. These tags are used to insert unique user data from your mailing list into emails (so you don’t have to!) Clever, really.

If you want to know how you can get this level of personalisation in your email platform, take a look at the below:

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 personalise 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.