How to use Message Variables in ActiveCampaign

The Message Variables feature allows you to create short, reusable pieces of content that you can insert into your campaigns and automation emails with a personalization tag. This is ideal if you find yourself using the same content often in your communications, like a signature, and don't want to re-type it each time. Once the Message Variable is inserted into your campaign, you can edit the content on the Message Variables page to update many messages at one time without having to edit each campaign. There is no limit to the number of Message Variables that you can create in your account.

Message Variables cannot be used in:

  • One-to-one emails sent from a deal record, contact profile page, or Contacts overview page
  • Opt-in confirmation emails
  • Email subject lines

To create a Message Variable:

  1. From the Campaigns overview page, click “Message Variables.”

2. Type the name of the message variable into the "Personalization Name" field.

The name you assign to your message variable is internal only and should be something that you will recognize. For example, if you wanted to create a message variable for a signature, you can call this “Signature.”

3. Type the tag for the personalization name into the “Personalization Tag” field.

You will want to use something that you would recognize and remember so you can easily add it to your outgoing communications. In this example, we'll use "signature."

4. Click the list(s) that this message variable will be associated with.

In this step, you are restricting the variable to that list and the information contained the variable will only appear for contacts who are in that list. You can select more than one list by holding the SHIFT key.

5. Click the "Format" dropdown to select a format.

Here you can choose either HTML or Plain text. HTML means you can only use this message variable in your HTML emails and Text means you can only use that message variable in your plain-text emails.

6. Add content to your message variable in the Editor box.

In this section, you can add and format text, add images, insert conditional content (Plus, Professional, and Enterprise plans), and add personalization with personalization tags. If you prefer to add your own HTML when creating a message variable, you can do so by clicking on the “Code Editor” tab.

7. Click the “Add” button.

To add your message variable to your campaign, type the personalization tag (see step 3 above) associated with your variable into your message. Continuing with the example above, we would type the following into a campaign:


Once the email is received by your contact, they will see the information contained in your variable.

If you are inserting the message variable into an automation email, the content for that variable will render for all contacts. It does not matter if they are in the list selected for the Message Variable.

For an in-depth look into Message Variables and how to use them, check out this guide.

Was this article helpful?

Have more questions? Submit a request

Start free trial