Easy! Mail merge to e-mail

image Surprisingly, before today I had never used mail merge to send a personalised e-mail. I say "surprisingly" because now that I’ve mastered the technique I can think of dozens of uses for this simple but very powerful tool.

Put simply, mail merging allows you to create customised communications (be they e-mails or ye olde printed letters & envelopes) containing personalised fields like the recipients name and address. The simplest way to create a mail merged e-mail is to open Microsoft Word then follow the guidance in the Help screens (press F1) under ‘e-mail merge’. The basic steps you follow are:

  • Set up the e-mail message. The main document contains the text and graphics that are the same for each e-mail message. For example, your company logo or the body of the message.
  • Connect the e-mail message document to your address list. Your address list is the data source that Word uses in the mail merge. It is a file that contains the e-mail addresses where the messages will be sent.
  • Refine the list of recipients or items. Word generates a message for each e-mail address in address list. If you want to generate messages for only certain e-mail addresses in your address list, you can choose which addresses, or records, to include.
  • Add placeholders, called mail merge fields, to the e-mail message document. When you perform the mail merge, the mail merge fields are filled with information from your address list.
  • Preview and complete the merge. You can preview each message before you send the whole set.

To find out more, visit this tip or this Microsoft Knowledge Base article.

About Allister Frost

I'm a marketer who helps companies adapt and grow in our digital world. This site is the place where I share my thoughts about marketing, how it's evolving and what great marketers are doing. Let me know what you think.

Posted on March 3, 2008, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Easy! Mail merge to e-mail.

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