How to use custom fields as merge tags

One of the best ways to ensure that you’re creating content that resonates with your audience is to personalize your newsletter with subscriber information. To do this, you can use merge tags to place subscriber's custom field values as the personalized content. 

This can be as simple as starting your newsletter off by greeting subscribers with their first name to more sophisticated implementations.

How to create custom fields

  1. From the left hand panel in your account, go to Audience > Subscribers.

  2. Your Subscriber dashboard will open on the Subscribers tab, switch over to the Custom Fields tab. To add a new one, click on Create Custom Field.

  3. Give the new field a Name (required) and then choose the Data Type; choose from Text, Number, True/False, Date, Date & Time, or List (Multi-Select). 

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  4. Be sure to click on Save to complete.

Custom fields can be anything you'd like, for example:

  • first name
  • last name
  • favorite color
  • birthday
  • subscriber rating
  • location

Importing custom fields

We've made it easy to import any previous custom fields you have created for your subscribers.

When going through the import process, you'll be able to choose from existing custom fields you've already created, or create new ones on the fly. 


This unlocks the ability to import metadata collected on a previous platform, or continue to bulk update additional subscriber data whenever you'd like.

Tech Note: There are select reserved fields that are not able to be used as custom fields, and you can view them here.

Using custom fields as merge tags

Once you've set up custom fields in your account, you can use them within a post or survey using merge tags.

{{ name of custom field | fallback value }}

For example, if you had a custom field first name and wanted to greet your readers by their first name, you could use this merge tag:

{{ first name | reader }}

If that specific subscriber has a value for first name (for example, "Shayna") then it will display accordingly. If the recipient does not have a value for that custom field, then the fallback value will be displayed (in this case "reader"). If there is no fallback value set, then it will be blank. 

Also note that on web, visitors who are not logged into their accounts (which is likely most web visitors) will be shown the fallback value by default, so be sure to include one. 

Using surveys with custom fields 

One of the many beehiiv platform perks is our fully integrated surveys that allow you to create custom surveys and collect information about your subscribers.

For example, if you create a survey form with the first_name field then it'll set that value as a custom field for each subscriber that fills out the form. 


Watch and learn: Personalize posts with custom fields

Disclaimer: The beehiiv platform has evolved since the filming of this video, so parts of the user interface featured in the video will be slightly different than what you see in your account. 

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