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Feature Update: Introducing Custom Merge Tags

Have you ever sent a proposal to a client only to see you've written the wrong address in the terms and conditions? Whether you accidentally misspelled it or forgot to change it from a previous client, it's an embarrassing situation to be in. To make sure it never happens again, we’ve rolled out custom merge tags.

While you're already familiar with our system merge tags, now you can also create your own on our Premium and Enterprise plans. Since custom merge tags have been a highly requested feature, we hope you enjoy using them as much as we've enjoyed making them happen. So, let's jump right in and see what they're all about.

What are custom merge tags?

In short, they're automatic fields that allow you to save even more time and further reduce the margin for error across proposals. In addition to that, custom merge tags also give you the freedom to adapt Better Proposals to the way you and your team work. That way, for example, you don't have to worry about your client's tax ID missing a number ever again. But before we go into more detail with use cases, let’s start by creating some custom tags first.

Setting up custom merge tags

When you go to your Settings menu, you'll notice there's a Custom Merge Tags section under Proposals. Once you click on Create New Custom Merge Tag, you'll see three fields that you can fill in.

creating custom merge tags

Once you populate the Name field, your tag appears automatically, but you do have the option of modifying the Tag field as well. For example, if you don't want the above tag to be {{expiration_date}}, you can edit the field to make it simply {{expiration}}.

However, make sure to pay attention to the Default field while creating custom merge tags. If you don’t want to customize it every time you create a proposal, the Default field in Settings determines the text that’s always displayed. So, if you create a custom tag for a client’s address and add it to your proposals, you can leave it blank in cases where you don’t have that information. That way, the field won’t display anything.

Once you've added your custom tags, you'll see them on the setup page of every new proposal you start writing. The Default fields will be filled with the information you provided in Settings, but you can edit them in case you need to. And to help you see which tags appear in your proposal, there is a green icon next to every tag that you might want to change.

proposal merge tags setup page

That said, if you do forget to populate the Default fields in your Settings or on the setup page, you don't have to exit the proposal draft to fix the tag. Instead, you can modify all custom tags you've created directly from the editor.

modifying custom merge tags in editor

Using custom merge tags

When it comes to your proposal structure, it's good to know that you can use custom merge tags in the same places as the default ones:

  • Client emails
  • Proposal cover
  • Proposal content
  • Cover templates
  • Template content
  • "Thank you" page and email
  • Payments page

However, when it comes to use cases, the possibilities with custom tags are endless. For example, you can create tags to automatically fill in:

  • Addresses
  • Contact information
  • Tax IDs
  • Reference numbers
  • Changes to terms and conditions

Wrapping up

We've had the default merge tags for years now, so the logical next step was to allow you to create custom ones. And if you need more help setting them up or are just starting to use merge tags altogether, our support team has got your back 24/7.

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There's much more where that came from. Want to see what else we've been up to? Check out other awesome features we've rolled out below!

Patricija Šobak's profile image
Patricija Šobak puts her talent in spotting questionable grammar and shady syntax to good use by writing about various business-related topics. Besides advocating the use of the Oxford comma, she also likes coffee, dogs, and video games. People find her ability to name classic rock songs only from the intro both shocking and impressive.