Mailchimp Tips and Tricks (Templates, Merge Tags, & More)

Updated


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This indispensable cheat sheet will teach you how to use keyboard shortcuts and merge tags for campaigns, personalization, video, social media, and products.

If you haven’t yet signed up for Mailchimp, there’s a free plan you can use to learn the platform and start building your email list at no cost. If you’re on the fence and not sure which email marketing platform to choose, check out our full Mailchimp review to learn more about where it’s great and where it’s lacking before signing up.

Mailchimp Tips and Tricks

When working with Mailchimp, the following email features are available to you. They’re often overlooked, so we wanted to start with the most obvious features and how you can use them to your advantage.

Templates

One of the easiest ways to create your email is to use a Mailchimp template. They are eye-catching and easily customizable, meaning you only have to worry about content, not design.

Simply select a template based on your goal (such as selling a product, updating your customer base, or engagement) and provide any information you want included.

If you aren’t sure of your goal, you can choose a template based on a theme. You can also build your templates from scratch, allowing you to take your branding further for additional customer impact.

Improve results with marketing automation

Rather than using manual methods to connect with your clients, you can take advantage of Mailchimp’s marketing automation features to ensure you contact your customers in the most optimized and timely way.

With Mailchimp’s convenient marketing automation tools, you can easily:

  1. Send a new subscriber a welcome email
  2. Send cart abandonment reminders
  3. Send customers updates on their orders post-checkout process
  4. Create an onboarding series to welcome and educate customers or prospective clients
  5. Send annual emails for birthdays or anniversaries
  6. Offer personalized product recommendations based on past purchases
  7. Reward customers with discounts triggered by their shopping behavior
  8. Re-engage customers who haven’t visited or purchased from you in a customizable amount of time
  9. Re-target customers who found you on social media

The sky’s the limit when it comes to the automation you can set up, so be sure to use Mailchimp’s rules and triggers to minimize your workload while maximizing your customer engagement levels.

Mailchimp offers a robust set of e-commerce integrations and ad campaigns so you can easily gather information on what your customers are purchasing. This information allows you to create targeted campaigns, automate follow-up emails, and send personalized communications.

Analytics

One of the perks of email marketing is that you can gather information on how successful your campaigns are. This allows you to actively and strategically grow your revenue and sales.

With Mailchimp analytics, you can easily track:

  • How many emails were successfully delivered (known as the open rate)
  • How many people opened your emails (known as the click-to-open rate)
  • How many people clicked the links you included in your emails (known as the click-through rate)
  • How your list grows over time (such as certain qualifying conditions and list preferences)
  • What content drives the most sales (via A/B testing to discover this)
  • How much revenue came from abandoned cart recovery emails
  • How much revenue or how many orders came from campaigns
  • How much revenue or how many orders came from pre-set automation pathways
  • Total revenue amounts
  • Total order amounts

WordPress

If you use WordPress as your content management system (CMS), you may be interested in the Mailchimp for WordPress plug-in. It allows you to easily collect sign-ups for your Mailchimp lists via your WordPress site.

What Are Some Keyboard Shortcuts?

ESC – Saves and closes the editor, hides preview

CTRL + 1 – Opens Toggle Preview mode

CTRL + 2 – Sends a test email

CTRL + 3 – Pushes to Mailchimp Mobile

CTRL + ? – Hides/Shows Hotkeys Cheat Sheet

What Are the Text Editor Shortcuts?

For editor-specific shortcuts, use the CTRL (Windows) or ⌘ (Mac) key:

⌘ + B – Bold selected text

⌘ + I – Italicize selected text

⌘ + L – Add link

⌘ + U – Underline selected text

⌘ + Y – Redo action

⌘ + Z – Undo action

What Merge Tags Can You Use?

MailChimp has merge tags, which can be used for all dynamic information insertion. You can conveniently add dynamic or personalized content by pasting these merge tags into your campaign. Here are some of the handiest tags available:

Campaign merge tags

*|ARCHIVE|* – Creates a link for the user to view the email on their browser via your campaign page

*|CAMPAIGN_UID|* – Displays your campaign’s unique ID

*|MC:SUBJECT|* – Displays the subject line you’ve written in the Setup page as you were building the campaign

Personalization merge tags

*|FNAME|* – Subscriber’s first name (if included in your list)

*|LNAME|* – Subscriber’s last name

*|EMAIL|* – Subscriber’s email address

Subject line merge tags

*|LIST:NAME|* – The name of your list

*|LIST:COMPANY|* – Organization/company listed in your list’s required email footer content

*|MC:DATE|* – Displays the date

*|CURRENT_YEAR|* – Displays the year the email’s sent —great if you need to copyright your campaign

Footer merge tags

*|UNSUB|* – Inserts unsubscribe link

*|LIST:DESCRIPTION|* – Inserts the permission reminder for your list

*|EMAIL|* – Displays the subscriber’s email address — normally used as part of the unsubscribe section so they know which email address will be removed

*|HTML:LIST_ADDRESS_HTML|* – Inserts your mailing address along with the text “Add us to your address book”

*|LIST:ADDRESS|* – Displays your company’s address as plain text

*|LIST:PHONE|* – Displays your company’s phone number

*|LIST:COMPANY|* – Displays your company’s name

*|LIST:EMAIL|* – Inserts your default “reply to” email

Merge tag for inserting a promo code

*|PROMO_CODE:[$store_id=x, $rule_id=x, $code_id=x]|* — but be sure to eplace “x” variables to specify your promo code:

$store_id – Identifies your connected store (this will be determined by the application programming interface, or API)

$rule_id – Indicates the promo code’s conditions (these are set by the API and have identifiers that denote the deal “type” – e.g. a specific discount)

$code_id – Indicates your promo code (this is also set by the API)

Merge tags for welcome emails and confirmation pages

*|OPTIN_DATE|* – The date the recipient subscribed to your list

*|OPTIN_DATETIME|* – The date and time the recipient subscribed to your list

*|UPDATE_PROFILE|* – Allows you to update your profile details

Merge tags for translating content

*|MC:TRANSLATE|* – Inserts links so your campaign can be translated into different languages

*|TRANSLATE:xx|* – Displays a list of links for translating your campaign’s content—simply replace “xx” with the code of your campaign’s language:

  • Arabic – ar
  • Afrikaans – af
  • Belarusian – be
  • Bulgarian – bg
  • Catalan – ca
  • Chinese – zh
  • Croatian – hr
  • Czech – cs
  • Danish – da
  • Dutch – nl
  • English – en
  • Estonian – et
  • Farsi – fa
  • Finnish – fi
  • French (France) – fr
  • French (Canada) – fr_CA
  • German – de
  • Greek – el
  • Hevrew – he
  • Hindi – hi
  • Hungarian – hu
  • Icelandic – is
  • Indonesian – id
  • Irish – ga
  • Italian – it
  • Japanese – ja
  • Khmer – km
  • Korean – ko
  • Latvian – lv
  • Lithuanian – lt
  • Maltese – mt
  • Malay – ms
  • Macedonian – mk
  • Norwegian – no
  • Polish – pl
  • Portuguese (Brazil) – pt
  • Portuguese (Portugal) – pt_PT
  • Romanian – ro
  • Russian – ru
  • Serbian – sr
  • Slovak – sk
  • Slovenian – sl
  • Spanish (Mexico) – es
  • Spanish (Spain) – es_ES
  • Swahili – sw
  • Swedish – sv
  • Tamil – ta
  • Thai – th
  • Turkish – tr
  • Ukrainian – uk
  • Vietnamese – vi

*|MC_LANGUAGE|* – Displays the language code for each subscriber

*|MC_LANGUAGE_LABEL|* – Displays the plain-text language for each subscriber

Merge tags for social media

*|MC:SHARE|* – Includes all the icons and links to a large selection of social media sites

*|MC:TOPSHARE|* – Includes links to the most popular social sites, showing a smaller list than the above

*|SHARE|* – Allows you to customize the social sharing icons that are displayed. Separate the list of sites with a comma – e.g. *|SHARE:facebook,twitter|*

Facebook merge tags

*|FACEBOOK:LIKE|* – Adds a Facebook Like icon

*|FACEBOOK:LIKE:URL|* – Allows your subscribers to “Like” a particular link within the campaign

*|FACEBOOK:FULLPROFILE|* – Imports your Facebook profile, including recent posts

*|FACEBOOK:PROFILE|* – Imports your Facebook profile, doesn’t include recent posts

*|FACEBOOK:PROFILEURL|* – Displays the URL of the Facebook profile connected to your Mailchimp account

Twitter merge tags

*|TWITTER:FULLPROFILE|* – Imports your Twitter profile, including recent Tweets, your avatar, and a total count of your tweets, followers, and who you’re following

*|TWITTER:PROFILE|* – Imports your Twitter profile, including your avatar, and the total count of Tweets, followers, and who you’re following (NOTE that this countdoesn’t include your latest Tweets)

*|TWITTER:PROFILEURL|* – Displays the URL of the Twitter profile that’s connected to your Mailchimp account

*|TWITTER:TWEETS2|* – Allows you to determine the number of Tweets you display _— simply replace the value “2” with how many you’d like to show

*|TWITTER:PROFILE:TWITTERUSERNAME|* – Displays any public Twitter name, showing more than the Twitter account designation that is linked to your Mailchimp account

*|TWITTER:TWEET|* – Adds a “Tweet” button to your campaign so your subscribers can share it. (NOTE that the subject line of your campaign page, the link to your campaign page, and your Twitter handle will be included in the Tweet by default)

*|TWITTER:TWEET [$text=my custom text here]|* – Allows you to customize your text instead of the above information being used

  • (NOTE that it’s generally best to make sure all text is lowercase, is plain-text only, has no quotation marks, and that there’s a space between TWEET and [$text])

Tumblr merge tags

*|TUMBLR:SHARE|* – Adds a Tumblr share button to your campaign (NOTE that this includes the title of your campaign)

Instapaper merge tags

*|INSTAPAPER:|* – Saves your campaign to Instapaper by adding a Read Later button

Video merge tags

*|SERVICE:[$vid=XXXX]|* – This is the basic format where SERVICE indicates the service name where your video’s hosted and XXXX is the video’s unique identifier

  • BLIPTV – finds the unique identifier in the embed code
  • VIMEO – finds the unique identifier at the end of the page URL
  • VZAAR- finds the unique identifier in the second part of the URL
  • YOUTUBE – finds the unique identifier at the end of the page URL

$max_width – Determines how wide your video’s thumbnail is in pixels (NOTE that 450 is the maximum value)

  • This command can only be used to reduce the thumbnail size

$title – Y/N value (NOTE that you use Y to display, N to hide the title of the video)

$border – Sets the image border of the thumbnail using a Y/N value (NOTE that you can use Y designation for a border; and N for no border)

$ratings – This is established using a Y/N value (NOTE that you use designation Y to display video ratings; and N to hide)

$views This is established using a Y/N value (NOTE that you use designation Y to display video views; and N to hide)

Merge tags for product recommendations

*|PRODUCT_RECOMMENDATION:[$store_id=x, $total=x, $start_index=x]|*
Replace “x” variables to specify your product recommendation:

$store_id – Identifies your connected store (which is set by the API)

  • NOTE that this is generally only required if you have connected more than one store to your list, and want to alter the default ID

$total – Identifies how many products to display

$start_index – Indicates the product from your list that you’d like to recommend

*|PRODUCT:TITLE|* – Defines the name of your product

*|PRODUCT:URL|* – Defines the URL of your product page

*|PRODUCT:CART_URL|* – Adds the product to a customer’s shopping cart

*|PRODUCT:IMAGE_URL|* – Inserts an image of the product from its webpage

*|PRODUCT:PRICE|* – Adds the price of your designated product

Merge tags for creating content via the Mailchimp API

  • Please remember that you will need the appropriate API key to call the Mailchimp API.

*|EMAIL_UID|* – Gets the e-parameter from your campaign tracking links, URLs on your hosted forms, and so on

*|UNIQID|* – The unique_id (more specifically, the $member->email->unique_id). In a campaign, this tag returns your subscribers’ unique IDs and allows you to create unique links for each individual

*|CAMPAIGN_UID|* – Defines the unique ID for your campaign

Merge tags for use with marketing automation

When used, the following merge tags can automatically display the numeric position of the email within your marketing automation project. (It’s generally recommended not to use these with regular campaigns). You can, however, use these values in the subject line or the body content.

By default, the numeric values will display as a digit (1, 2, 3, and so on), but you can change this by preceding the value with any of the following text values:

* (DIGIT) – Displays a number (i.e., 1, 2, 3)

* (DIGITORDINAL) – Displays a number as an ordinal (i.e., 1st, 2nd, 3rd)

* (TEXT) – Displays the number as text (i.e., one, two, three)

* (TEXTORDINAL) – Displays the number as ordinal text (i.e., first, second, third)

As an example, you might use *|AUTOMATION:TOTALEMAILS(TEXTORDINAL)|*

*|AUTOMATION:TOTALEMAILS|* – Indicates the total number of emails in the automation

*|AUTOMATION:CURRENTPOSITION|* – Indicates the current position of the email within the automation

*|AUTOMATION:NEXTPOSITION|* – Indicates the next position in the automation

*|AUTOMATION:PREVIOUSPOSITION|* – Indicates the previous position in the automation

*|AUTOMATION:NEXTSUBJECT|* – Indicates the subject line of the next email in the automation

*|AUTOMATION:PREVIOUSSUBJECT|* – Indicates the subject line of the previous email in the automation

Subscriber counts

*|LIST:SUBSCRIBERS|* – Displays the number of subscribers to a list.

  • You can pre-pend/append text to this value (e.g., “*|LIST:SUBSCRIBERS|* people hear from us daily” displays as “100 people hear from us daily.”)

*|LIST:SUBSCRIBER_BADGE|* – Changes the badge style of your list based on the numeric value provided

Account and list information

The following merge tags allow you to display details about your Mailchimp email list, company or organization, or point of contact information.

Accounts

Account information comes from the Administrator contact information in your Mailchimp account.

*|USER:COMPANY|* – Indicates the name of your company or organization

*|USER:ADDRESS|* – Indicates the account admin’s address (which is generally displayed in a single line)

*|HTML:USER_ADDRESS_HTML|* – Indicates the account admin’s address (which is generally displayed on multiple lines)

*|USER:PHONE|* – Indicates the account admin’s telephone number

*|USER:URL|* – Indicates the account admin’s website URL

*|USER:UID|* – Indicates the **u** parameter from your hosted Mailchimp list form(s)

Lists

*|LIST:NAME|* – Indicates the name of your list

*|LIST:COMPANY|* – Indicates the name of your company or organization (as set in the Required Email Footer Content)

*|LIST:SUBSCRIBERS|* – Indicates the number of subscribers to your list

*|LIST:RECENT|* – Indicates the five most recent campaigns for the list to which you’re sending

*|ABOUT_LIST|* – Indicates the link to the About Your List page

*|LIST:UID|* – Indicates the unique ID for your list

*|LIST:URL|* – Indicates the URL for the website (as set under Required Email Footer Content)

*|LIST:ADDRESS|* – Indicates the mailing address for the list

*|LIST:PHONE|* – Indicates the telephone number for your company/organization (as set under Required Email Footer Content)

*|LIST:EMAIL|* – Indicates the default “Reply-To” Email

*|ABUSE_EMAIL|* – Indicates the email address located (as set under Required Email Footer Content)

*|LIST:SUBSCRIBE|* – Indicates the URL for your list’s hosted subscribe form

Frequently Asked Questions About Mailchimp

Is Mailchimp free?

Yes, but only for a limited number of subscribers and emails. For Mailchimp’s free plan, you are limited to 500 contacts and 1,000 emails a month (with a daily limit of 500 emails per day).

Can I use Mailchimp to send drip campaigns?

Yes, Mailchimp offers many email automation features, including the ability to send drip campaigns — or emails sent to users who have performed a specific action. This can be especially useful if you’re counting down to a specific launch or event and wish t build excitement or general brand awareness.

For example, you might create a drip campaign leading up to an event to remind people what to bring with them, send information about parking, and send updates about speakers.

How much does Mailchimp cost per month?

Pricing varies based on how many subscribers you have and how many emails you send per month. Your plan is free if you have up to 500 subscribers and send at most 1,000 emails each month. After a free month, the essentials plan starts at $13.00, and the standard plan starts at $20.00 per month. The priciest premium plan begins at $350.00 per month.

Additional Mailchimp Learning Resources

Mailchimp is full-featured and powerful, but we acknowledge that the product can overwhelm new users. Mailchimp offers many learning resources to help you gain your bearings that will get you on the right track quickly.

In addition to the expected help pages, you will find blog posts, research papers, and more. Mailchimp has also partnered with third-party education providers, such as Udacity, Skillshare, and Primer, to offer interactive, online classes.

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