Troubleshooting Merge Tags

Before you send a campaign that uses merge tags, be sure to test thoroughly to make sure everything works correctly.

In this article, you'll learn how to test merge tags in your campaigns and signup forms, as well as some troubleshooting steps to take if you run into any issues.

Preview your campaign content

Test your merge tags before any campaign goes out with our Preview Mode. Preview Mode is available for all campaigns, and allows you to enable live merge Info for each subscriber.

Test merge tags on signup forms

To run a test of the *|MERGE|* tags in your signup forms or response emails, subscribe yourself or a test email address. As you fill out forms and receive emails, you should see your audience field merge values appear where you added merge tags in the Form Builder. If the right information appears in those places, your merge tags are working.

Troubleshoot merge tags

Sometimes, merge tags are tricky. Consider these possibilities if you see behavior you don't expect.

Merge tag format

  • Is the merge tag syntax correct?
    Make sure your merge tag name is surrounded by the asterisk and pipe characters *| and |*.
    Square brackets that surround merge tags, like [*|FNAME|*], can also cause the merge tags to break.
  • Merge tags are case sensitive.
    To be read and rendered correctly by the system, tags must match exactly what appears in our merge tag cheatsheets.
  • Merge tags are style sensitive.
    Check for extra bolding, italics, or other formatting around or inside your merge tags. To be safe, you may want to clear styles around every merge tag you use.

Other issues

  • I only see << Test First Name >> << Test Last Name >> in Preview Mode.
    This is expected. Enable live merge Info to view how your merge tags will look in a subscriber's inbox.
  • I can't find the Enable live merge tag info button.
    Your audience may be missing important audience field data. Be sure your audience and its subscribers have dynamic or default merge tag values for each merge tag you use in the campaign.
  • You aren't pulling subscriber data into my campaign.
    Different audiences often have different merge tags, depending on whether they were customized or left default when the audience was created. Make sure your merge tags correspond to the correct fields on the correct audience on the Audience Fields and Merge Tags page.

Run another test

If it still seems like merge tags aren't working, try to send a test email to yourself or a small test segment. Be sure your test email accounts have default values for each merge value in your campaign, and segment your audience to send to only these test addresses.

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