activecampaign personalization tags

Powerful ActiveCampaign Personalization Tags

Hey Dude,

That is how a recent email was addressed to me after I had completed an online form.  

Now, if the site had been for the surfing entrepreneur, then it might have made sense, but other than that, the message immediately struck me as being non-professional.

Obviously, the owner of that site was not using ActiveCampaign Personalization Tags.

If they were, they could have used my name as the greeting. That would have been much more personal and warm and friendly, and professional.

So what exactly is a ActiveCampaign Personalization Tags, and how can I Affiliate Marketers use them?

Personalization tags are a product feature of ActiveCampaign that allows you to replace codes with information that is specific to the contact that you are addressing.

In the previous example, the email greeting could have been written as follows:


It would have displayed as:

Hey Robert,

Example of Personalization Tags in Action

activecampaign personalization name

I could have selected a full name or, as you can see, several other choices that pertain to the contact or my venture. 

Here is another example. Take a look at it, and then I will explain how it works.

Can you tell what this means? ActiveCampaign Can…

activecampaign personalization

So what does all of that code mean? Any place that you see a %% word or phrase, this is a personalization tag in action. The %FIRSTNAME% tag that was used will insert the data from the contact record.  

The %DEAL_OWNER_FIRST_NAME%​​​​ %DEAL_OWNER_LAST_NAME% would be the name of the sales associate on my team that the deal is assigned to in their pipeline. Because you can manually assign contacts or round-robin assigns contacts to Deal Pipelines, this information will vary from contact to contact. 

The %WHAT_IS_YOUR_NUMBER_ONE_QUESTION_RIGHT_NOW% is actually the information that was provided by the contact on the form and stored in a custom field. I talk more about custom fields in this post that I recently completed.

%SOCIAL-FACEBOOK-LIKE% includes the link to my Facebook Business page without me having to remember the code every time.  

You see, the personalization tags also function as a place for me to include space holders for content that I have the option of adding across my marketing automation. 

What is the difference between personalization tags and a contact tag?

A personalization tag is used by the Campaign or email creation tool to insert a field from the customer record or your ActiveCampaign account settings into a message. The information about a contact will be varied for the specific contact. 

In comparison, a tag is the field of data added to a contact record. Tags can be used to trigger or stop automations, or they can be used to move a contact from one stage to another or one automation to another. You usually would not include a tag as personalize content.

You could use the information in a contact tag to change the Conditional Content in an email message.

What are the default personalization tags in ActiveCampaign?

The list is too long to list out here because it covers the areas of Contacts, Message, Accounts, Deals, Social, Apps, SurveyMonkey, Dropbox & eCommerce.  

ActiveCampaign Personalization Tags - Available Choices

Here is a list on the ActiveCampaign site.

How can I use these personalization tags in an email?

Some of these personalization tags can be modified with tracking code, particularly the links, to help you identify if an action has taken place.

I have already shown you some of the ways that personalization tags can be used in emails.  

What I didn’t show was the ability to add the tags to the Subject line of an email. The system does not provide this as an option in the subject edit box. It was only through trial and error that I perfected this method and have gotten higher open rates by the use of adding the recipient’s name in the subject line. 

Use with SMS Text Messages

Select fields can also be used in the SMS text message if the user has activated the feature on their system. Some fields just don’t make sense to use in a text message, or the data in the field will be too long for included in an email.  (SMS Messaging is available as an add on to the Pricing Plan Tiers)

Are there limitations on personalization tags usage?

You can use personalization tags in each and every email message that you send. 

Also, you can use the personalization tags when you assign a contact to a ‘Deal’ Pipeline. This can be used so that the contacts name and phone number become the title of the deal. I like to do this to create a “call list” that I can use at a glance when viewing the pipeline without having to drill down into the contact record details. This truly aids in efficiency.

Other places you can use personalization tags:

  • Content of campaigns and automation emails
  • Email subject lines
  • Preheader text in emails
  • One-to-one emails
  • Site messages
  • SMS messages
  • Form fields (custom contact fields only)
  • “Thank you” messages for forms
  • Deal titles (Plus, Professional, and Enterprise plans)

And if a Field is left blank?

What if the contact did not fill out a non-required field in a form, yet I use the field as a personalization tag. What will the system display? The short answer is nothing. The longer answer is that it depends if you set the default value in a field. 

To add a default value to a contact field or custom deal field:

  1. Click either ‘Lists’ or ‘Forms’ in the left menu.
  2. Click ‘Manage fields.’
  3. Click the ‘Contacts’ tab on the Manage Fields page to add a default value to a contact field. Click the ‘Deals’ tab to add a default value to a custom deal field.
  4. Locate the field you wish to add a default value to and click ‘Edit.’
  5. Type the default value into the field provided and click ‘Save.’

As you can see from the instructions above, you can set this from the List or Forms selection on the menu and can also work with custom deal fields. (Custom deal fields are not available on the Lite level tier)

What if my personalization tags are not working?

Your first place to check would be the email or design creation screen. You might have entered an incorrect format. The first place to look would be the placement of your % symbols.

The next place to check would be the personalization tag name. The system expects the underscores and naming conventions to be formatted in exact order and placement.

You may have also done something when you formatted the text fonts and color.  

Can I format the output of the personalization tags?

Yes. If the output is text in an email, you can apply text formatting, including size and font color. You can also add the list of modifiers provided by ActiveCampaign to format the text output professionally. 

Here is the list of modifiers from the ActiveCampaign website:

Modifiers are placed after a pipe symbol ( | ). So a first name personalization tag including a modifier to capitalize the first letter would look like this:


UPPER (converts entire tag to all uppercase letters)
UPPERFIRST (converts first letter to uppercase)
UPPERWORDS (capitalizes the first letter of every word)
TITLECASE (capitalizes the first letter of every word, and forces all other letters to be lowercase)
LOWER (converts entire tag to lowercase letters)
LOWERFIRST (changes the first letter of the text to lowercase)
LOWERWORDS (changes the first letter of every word to lowercase)

Personalization Tags with Forms

Are you like me and you get tired of having to fill out forms every time you visit a website, especially one that you have been to before.  

You can use personalization tags in forms as long as you know the tag for the field that you are using. You may need to open a second window when you are creating the form because you will need the form field personalization code and the form field. 

A prospect visits your website and completes a short form with their email address and name. They are then taken to another page that provides information for an opportunity to get even more details on the topic, say detailed pricing, or a request for a free consultation. You can now display a 2nd form that requests the additional information from the contact, but the name and email address have already been populated in the form fields. Pretty cool. This could also happen if the contact came back to the form a week or a month later.  

Once you collect the additional information, you can then include them into a Facebook Custom Audience, based upon their answer. This is great for product interest or location. The location field answer would open up the possibility to run retargeting ads that cater to the interest of your contact. These Facebook ads would be supported by your professional messages using the ActiveCampaign Personalization Tags.

The best part about this form usage with personalization tags is that you do not have to be a programmer to implement this customized marketing. No coding is required, it is already built into the ActiveCampaign system.

This functionality is available for you to try yourself as part of the 14 Day Free Trial of ActiveCampaign.  

ActiveCampaign Free Trial

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