I'm testing an email blast in Online Express, and the merge fields appear only as their name. No merge data is appearing in test email blasts from Online Express.
Data is only merged when the email is sent using an email list.
When sending test emails, a draft copy of the email is directly sent to the email(s) entered. A test email does not go through a full send process where the constituent record information can be added using the selected email list. The placeholders appear so you can see where the information will appear when the "real" email is sent.
To test "real" sends, create a test email list for Online Express of constituents and emails that you can send to. Consider using a Query List for this list so you can add specific constituent records to this test group.
Steps to Duplicate
From The Raiser's Edge > Online Express > Email Marketing > open an unsent email blast:
On the Get Ready to Send tab, locate the Testing section.
Enter an email (or emails) to send a test;
The email is received. Instead of merged data appearing, placeholders for the merge fields are received.