Pardot Knowledge Base

Mail Merge Overview

Last Updated: Apr 29, 2016 | Print this Article

Mail merge is useful when you want to personalize the messages you send to your prospects. Studies show that tailoring your messaging, even slightly, can significantly increase your response rate. Personalization can be accomplished using Pardot's Variable Tags to dynamically insert information.


When creating an Email Template or sending a New Email, select the variable you would like to use from the Insert Variable Tag drop down located in WYSIWYG menu of the email content editor. Like many marketing solutions, Pardot utilizes tags such as %%first_name%% to automatically pull in data that you have collected on your prospects. You can also include mail merge tags in the subject line of your email.

Note: Variable tags will only pull in values when the email is sent to a prospect. "Test" emails sent through the Email Wizard will not display merged values for these tags.  To see variable tags in action, send an email to a test prospect. Additionally, if you've inserted the %%view_online%% tag into your email, when the a prospect clicks the "View Online" link, the variable tags from the email will be populated with the prospect's field values at the time the link is clicked, regardless of what the values were when the email was initially sent.

Default Mail Merge Values

Any Pardot custom field can be used as a variable tag in Pardot content when the %% values are appended around the field name. You may want to set up default mail merge values for your prospect fields that are displayed if there is no available data for a given prospect. For example, you could set up your first name field to display as 'valued customer' in the event that it is not present. Default values can be set up in the following manner:

  1. Navigate to Administration > Configure Fields > Prospect Fields.
  2. Find the Default or Custom Field you would like to work with and click Edit.
  3. Check the "Set a default mail merge value to be used when this field doesn't have a value" box
  4. Enter whatever value you would like to use for your default in the Default mail merge value text box.
  5. Click the Save button to save your changes.

Mail Merge Tags in Links

You can also include dynamic tags in your URLs if you want to dynamically insert links in your emails. 

You can append a tag to a URL in an email (the tag does not contain the entire link). For example:

If you are using a tag to insert an entire link in an email, you will want to use the {raw} modifier. For example: %%website_url{raw}%%

Need more? Start a conversation with other Pardot users in our Success Community