How to use Message Variables in ActiveCampaign


A Message Variable is a body of text that you can assign a personalization tag to for use in any one-time campaign or automated campaign.

How to use a Message Variable

Message Variables pull one constant value from a centralized place within your ActiveCampaign account. 

Once created, you can add the variable to as many campaigns as you like. After you add the variable to the campaign, you can then update that variable at any time from the Message Variables page. Once you do, all campaigns using the variable will display that new information. This makes it easy to update a piece of content in your campaigns at once instead of one at a time. 

There are lots of ways to use a Message Variable in your campaigns. For example, you can use a variable for an email signature or a variable for a disclaimer. There is no limit to the number of Message Variables you can create. 

You cannot use Message Variables in:

  • Direct 1:1 emails sent from a deal record, contact record, or the Contacts overview page
  • Automated 1:1 sales emails (the "Send 1:1 email" automation action)
  • Opt-in confirmation emails
  • Email subject lines

How to create a Message Variable

  1. Click "Campaigns" then click "Message Variables."
  2. Type the Message Variable name into the "Personalization Name" field.

    The Message Variable name is internal only and should be something that you recognize. For example, if you want to create a signature message variable, you can call this "Signature."
  3. Create the personalization tag for the Message Variable. To do so, type the tag into the "Personalization Tag" field.

    As a best practice, make sure that the tag is something you would recognize and remember. This is so you can type it into your campaign. In this example, we'll use "signature."
  4. Click a list(s) to assign it to the variable.

    The information contained in the variable will appear for contacts in that list only. 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, and insert conditional content (Plus, Professional, and Enterprise plans). You can add personalization with personalization tags also.

    If you prefer to add custom HTML when creating a message variable, you can do so by clicking on the "Code Editor" tab.
  7. When finished, click the "Add" button.

Add a Message Variable to your campaign

To add your message variable to your campaign, type the personalization tag (see step 3 above) for the variable into your message.

Continuing with the example above, we would type the following into a campaign:


Once your contact receives the email, they will see the information contained in your variable.

If you insert the message variable into an automated campaign, 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.

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