Can I personalise emails? What are merge fields?

Merge fields are system tags which pull information automatically from within the user profile and/or entries. Merge tags are a way to populate notifications and certificates with personalised information like a user's name, the name of their entry, their category selection, and more.

Merge fields are available in the following places in Award Force:

Some merge fields are essential to the successful management of your program. For example, the merge field used in the account confirmation notification - which is sent to new users when they register - contains an important link which allows new users to verify their email address (see below). This is a required step to complete registration.

Confirmation URL merge field in notification configuration

The curly brackets {} are merge fields. When the message is sent the merge field is replaced with data. For example, the {confirmation_url} field will be replaced by a unique confirmation link for new users to click to confirm their account.

When merge fields are available they'll appear as clickable links.

Screenshot of available merge fields

To add a merge field, all you need to do is place your cursor where you want the merge field and then click the merge tag you want, it will automatically be placed where your cursor is in the email subject line, email body, or SMS body:

Merge field example

Note: broadcasts are available with Pro plan and above. 
Important: to learn about regional regulations and limitations association with SMS, check out our dedicated guide: SMS limitations

Custom merge fields

You can create custom merge fields from fields you’ve created by using the {entry_field:abcd1234} and {user_field:abcd1234} merge fields, however, these are subject to the notification trigger type.

Example: Trigger: Entry submitted

Custom merge fields example

For this to work you’ll need to replace the 'abcd1234' sample slug with the actual slug for the field. The slug is the unique ID for each field which can be found at the very end of the URL of that field. To find it, open the Manage workspace, go to Settings > Entries > Fields, and click on any field to open it for editing in your browser. Check the URL in the browser address bar and you’ll see something like this:

https://yourprogram.awardsplatform.com/field/YlegNDAo

The eight-character code at the end is the slug. This is the unique ID that references that specific field. If it’s an entry field the merge field in this example will look like this:

{entry_field:YlegNDAo}

If the field is a user field then it will look like this:

{user_field:YlegNDAo}

Tip: to learn more about slugs please refer to What is a slug?

Default merge fields

Depending on what trigger you've selected, the available merge fields will change. Below you'll find a handful of common merge fields and the information that they pull. 

Merge field Definition
{account_name} The name of your Award Force account.
{first_name} The first name of your recipient. This is pulled from their user profile. 
{last_name} The last name of your recipient. This is pulled from their user profile.
{entry_name} The name assigned to the recipient's submission. 
{entry_slug} The slug associated with the recipient's submission. Learn more about slugs here: What is a slug?
{entry_local_id} The ID number of the submission within your program.
{category} The category associated with the recipient's submission.
{account_url} The URL / web address of your Award Force account.
{password_set_url} Generates a unique link for the recipient to reset their Award Force password.
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