Personalization by Merge Tags

In terms of marketing automation, personalization refers to the substitution of dynamic variables for personal contact data. Variables called Merge tags are substituted by the corresponding data taken from a contact card at the moment of the message sent.

The most common example of personalization is the %FIRSTNAME% tag that is substituted by a customer's name if the corresponding field is filled in the contact card.

Not only First Name is available, but also a huge variety of customized data such as

  • Contact surname;
  • City or country;
  • Promo code or QR code link;
  • Name of the operating manager;
  • Address, email, and phone number of the physical location;
  • Bonuses in the customer’s account, etc.

There’re two ways to add Merge Tags in Reteno

  1. Use the personalization button when creating a Web push, Mob push, App Inbox, SMS, or Viber message via Reteno editor.
  2. Use the Merge tags option in the email editor when creating a template or a campaign.

Merge Tags types

The default and custom tags can be used.

Default Merge tags are:

  • First name > %FIRSTNAME|%
  • Last name > %LASTNAME|%
  • Full name > %FIRSTNAME|% %LASTNAME|%
  • Email > %EMAIL|%
  • SMS > %SMS|%
  • Date of birth > %PERSONAL.DATE_OF_BIRTH|%
  • Town > %TOWN|%
  • Address > %ADDRESS|%
  • Region > %COUNTY|%
  • Postcode > %POSTCODE|%
  • Group name > %GROUP.NAME|%



The Group name tag is replaced with a value of a segment name on which the campaign was launched and this particular contact was in. If the campaign was sent to three segments and the contact was in each of the three, likewise the %GROUP.NAME|% tag will be replaced with three-segment names. FOR BULK CAMPAIGNS ONLY.

The custom tags are made from Additional fields by adding the List name and the key of the Additional field created in your Reteno account.


Go to your account Settings > Additional fields. Additional fields can contain any contact data you send to Reteno through API or imported from file.

Additional fields

The Merge tag will be replaced with the corresponding contact field's value at the moment of the message sent. Push Notifications, App Inbox, Email, and SMS campaigns support variables based on Merge Tags corresponding to the contact fields.

SMS, Web Push, Mobile Push, App Inbox

These editors have a similar interface, with the personalization icon placed identically. Click it to unroll the list with available Merge tag options.



In the email editor, the personalization feature is hidden by default and gets available only when you edit text. To use it, click any text piece to disclose the top menu and click Merge tags.


You can add any personal info depending on the available data in the user profile. For example, to address a customer by name, use the %FIRSTNAME% variable.

Personalization by name

In the message, a Merge tag is substituted by the value specified in the contact card data field. If the particular field is empty, the Merge tag will be ignored and no data will be substituted.

In this case, the user may receive a message with an evident space or missing word, depending on the punctuation and copy.

Merge tag punctuation

To avoid it:

  • Add a vertical bar (|) after the Merge tag you’re using (%FIRSTNAME|%). In Reteno, it’s added by default to any Merge tag.
  • Enter alternative text after the bar (%FIRSTNAME|friend%).
Alternative text after personalization

Contacts whose names are specified on the cards will receive messages with a personal greeting. Contacts without known names will receive messages with a standard greeting.

Different emails

This substitution principle applies to all Merge tag. Take a look at the example with more Merge tags.

Example of substitution

Used Merge tags:

  • %EVENT%



Merge tag keys can differ depending on the contact field names you have in your account.

To add a Merge tag for an image, click the image block, click URL and insert the variable (for example, %PERSONAL.QRCODE%) in the Image path.

Image path

Or you can add a Merge tag as an src attribute straight to code.

Merge tag



The Merge tag value should be a link with an absolute path, for example:

The more contact data you have, the more dynamic variables you can use. Make sure to update your contact base on a regular basis. You can do this through import or API integration. Also, you can send campaigns to collect additional contact data.