How to Add a First Name to your Mailchimp Campaign

Learn how to add a first name to a campaign and to a subject line when you send out your email.

Head over to Mailchimp and sign in

I’ve signed in to my Mailchimp account, now I’m going to go to campaigns and choose the campaign that I’ve written specifically for this. I’m going to do edit my design.

Click edit design to add a first name to your Mailchimp campaign
Click edit design

I thought this would be the perfect place for a first name. Right here, I could say, “Amy, is it just me or do you hear it, too?”

The perfect place for a first name

So I’m going to add the first name, I’m going to put my cursor all the way at the beginning. Go up here to merge tags, click on first name

Screenshot of inserting the first name field.
Put your cursor at the beginning of the sentence.

Now the first name is in. Now I’m going to put a comma, a space, I’m going to take out this capitalization.

The merge tag is added to the email

So now, when I save and close it and go to preview and test, I should see a first name there as when I enable the live merge tag info. Yes, “Shea, is it just me, or do you hear it, too?”

Voila! A first name on your Mailchimp campaign
Voila! A first name on your Mailchimp campaign

Add a first name to the subject line

All right let’s go to the subject line. So I’m going to save and close the newsletter editor. Then I’m going to go to the blast editor. Right here is the subject.

Screenshot of where to add a first name to the subject line of your Mailchimp campaign
Screenshot of where to add a first name to the subject line of your Mailchimp campaign

Now you can see that what I did was I copy and pasted the first name tag into the subject line.

So now when it’s sent, it will say, “Shea, this is 2020 in Barbara Walters voice.”

Here’s a list of all of the Mailchimp merge tags and how to use them, just in case you want to use more.

If you have any questions, please put them in the comments below.

Want more tutorials on Mailchimp? Check out my Mailchimp tutorial section.


  1. Dan on May 13, 2020 at 2:06 pm

    Ok so I found you just googling around mailchimp vs constant contact. These tutorials help, but what makes you choose one over the other? Do you have a post on that?

    • Amy Hall on May 14, 2020 at 12:31 pm

      Hi Dan,

      I don’t have a post on Constant Contact vs Mailchimp. All email platforms have their pros and cons and the best email service provider is the one you will use.

      If you like the Constant Contact interface better go with that. If you like Mailchimp better, like I do, go with that.

      If you’re not sending emails it doesn’t matter which email platform you’re using cause you’re not using it. So go with the one that’s easy for you to use.

  2. Sylvia on September 16, 2020 at 2:52 pm

    Hi Amy,

    When I send a Mailchimp eblast some recipients get additional text which says ‘Website help’ in the subject line. Is there anyway at all to fix that at my end?

    Thank you!

    • Amy on September 18, 2020 at 12:04 pm

      Hi Sylvia,

      The only way that could be in the subject line is that text is in your subject line. You’ll need to remove it in the setup area of your campaign. If you don’t see it in the subject line area can you send me a screenshot of the setup area so I can see what’s going on?

  3. Clark on December 9, 2020 at 2:11 pm

    I have a big list of contacts- some have names input, some do not. What does MailChimp do if there’s no first name in the database?

    • Amy Hall on December 11, 2020 at 12:27 pm

      It leaves the first name field blank. If you’re asking what does it do when you’re adding a first name in the content or at the beginning of the email… it leaves it blank.

  4. Susan Jacobs-Meadows on December 29, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    I have the first name merge tag in the Subject line, but when I send a test email, it doesn’t replace the code with the name?

    • Amy Hall on January 1, 2021 at 10:47 pm

      Hi Susan, It won’t add in the first name for a test. A test doesn’t have an email address associated with it like a regular send. If you have a test tag or group that you send to the first name should show up in the subject line then.

  5. Anu on May 24, 2021 at 9:50 am

    I have first name merge tag in the email. But the test email just has the code. No first name. We use the free mail chimp version for the temple. Is this option available for the free version? Please let me know. Thanks!

    • Amy Hall on July 5, 2021 at 6:12 pm

      The first name merge tag, *|FNAME|* will only fill with a name when you send the actual email and not a test.

  6. Manny Regalado on July 5, 2021 at 11:02 am

    Hello, Amy. When I click on “enable live merge tag info” and it turns on, I then click on the X to go back and it still shows *|FNAME|* – even on my sample email it shows *|FNAME|*. Has this occurred to you? I’m somewhat stuck here. Thanks a mill!

    • Amy Hall on July 5, 2021 at 6:10 pm

      The first name merge tag, *|FNAME|* will only fill with a name when you send the actual email and not a test.

  7. Pierre Theriault on August 15, 2021 at 6:45 am

    I Have been looking for this feature for a while!

  8. Scott on August 19, 2021 at 7:41 pm

    My contacts just have name tab. How can I segment contacts to First Name Last Name so I can use the *|FNAME|* tag?

    • Amy Hall on August 23, 2021 at 8:46 pm

      The names have to be separate before they go into Mailchimp. There is no way to separate the names in Mailchimp. You can export your audience and separate the first and last name and they upload the audience again.

  9. Amy Fletcher on February 13, 2022 at 8:16 am

    So useful!! Thank you for doing this! I have a question, when i send a test email it appears in my inbox and after the subject line and preview text [https://mcusercontent.com5875t4er7t8387fgf8w3… this text follows? Is there any way to remove this?

  10. Amy Hall on February 24, 2022 at 8:11 am

    Test emails are completely different from emails that you send. So the subject line may look different in a test email than an email you send. Try sending the actual email to only yourself to see what the real subject line will look like.

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