Mail Merge is like an old buddy you haven’t spoken to in years. Underappreciated and overlooked until you really need them.
You don’t appreciate how powerful it is until you’re tasked with coordinating a few hundred last-minute invitations. Perhaps these are wedding invitations or a warning of an imminent zombie apocalypse. It might also be something benign, such as printing a large number of address labels and name badges.
Don’t be concerned. With a few clicks, you can send customised bulk emails with Microsoft Outlook 2016. Also, rescue the day.
When Should You Use Mail Merge?
Before I go any further, mail merge is used when you wish to produce numerous papers that are essentially the same yet have unique characteristics. The emails all have the same format, as well as the same content and images, if any. For example, invites where the wording remains consistent but the name, address, or even the subject line varies.
Unlike sending a message to a group of individuals, mail merge makes each receiver the lone recipient.
The greatest application I’ve found for them so far is to utilize the bulk email as a job seeking power tool, with customized information for each business.
The mail merge feature uses two parts:
- The primary continuous document (here: Microsoft Word) in which you compose the email body.
- The variable data source (in this case, Microsoft Outlook Contacts) that contains the recipient’s address and name.
These two have been “merged.” Because Outlook is part of the Microsoft Office suite, this functionality may be used to send emails in mass, each customised for a distinct recipient. Mail merge isn’t spam, but in the wrong hands, it might be used to carpet bomb with unwanted emails.
For the address information, Microsoft Office enables you to utilize a variety of data sources, such as an Excel spreadsheet or an Access database. To send the emails, you will utilize your Microsoft Outlook contacts.
So, let’s go through what happens once you run Microsoft Outlook.
1. Open People to display the list of your contacts.
Select the contacts you wish to add in the customised email list (CTRL + Click). Use the Sort options to make it simpler to handle a large list (click on the dropdown arrow next to All).To make things easier to manage, use the same dropdown to sort by Categories.
Do note: Mail Merge does not work with distribution lists.
2. Select Mail Merge from Ribbon > Home > Actions Group.
3. On the Mail Merge Contacts page, choose Only chosen contacts if the tailored email is intended for a certain group of contacts. Select the following settings from the Merge options section down below.
- Document type: Form Letters
- Merge to: Email
- Message Subject Line: The subject line will remain the same for all emails.
4. Click OK, and Microsoft Word will open, allowing you to construct your unique greeting.
Write the Personalized Message in Microsoft Word
The Ribbon’s Mailings tab is prominently displayed. You should begin your mass email with a customized welcome line. Select Greeting Line from the Mailings tab in Microsoft Word.
As you can see, the dialog box has been pre-populated with Mr. Randall’s name. This is only a placeholder for the names in your contacts list. You may get a glimpse of the names on your list just below that. You may modify the entries using the options provided below.
Keep in mind that the merging fields are derived from the column titles in your email list. Use Match Fields to guarantee that the merging remains correct if there is a mismatch. If a field indicates “Not Matched,” choose the drop-down option for that field and then choose the column name in your list that matches that column.
When you click OK and quit, a placeholder for the welcome line (Dear Mr….) is added to the Word document.
Remember that you may add more information to the document by using additional fields.
Insert Merge Field is selected. This data must be present in your original data source, which in this example is Microsoft Outlook’s Contacts database. Home address, home phone number, work title, and so forth are examples. When you click the little dropdown arrow, you’ll see the whole list.
Create a greeting. To format the welcome line, highlight the whole field, including the marks at either end. Navigate to the Home tab and choose Font settings. Set the Line Spacing to ensure that the line spacing matches the rest of your document’s spacing.
Type the Message Now
The GreetingLine>> placeholder and/or any other field you introduced with the aid of additional merging fields are at the start of the message. Create your message. Remember, this is the pinnacle of mass emailing. So, employ all of the email etiquette you can manage.
When you’re through with the email body, go to Finish & Merge > Send E-mail Messages.
The Merge to E-mail dialog box opens. Click OK.
The emails are then instantly posted by MS Word in a flash. Word sends a separate email to each address. You cannot CC or BCC additional recipients, nor can you attach files to the email.
You may preserve the mail merge document since it also stores the connection to the data source, which is the contacts. When Word invites you to retain the connection when you open the mail merge document, choose Yes.
Once you’ve mastered it, the whole procedure takes just a few minutes from start to end. You may now create an email for a group in the time it takes to prepare one for a single individual. It makes no difference how big the group is.
Using a recipient’s name as a greeting is also acceptable group email practice. It gives the email a more personal touch. Something that a CC-ed email is severely lacking.
Mail merge may then be used to print letters, labels, and envelopes. You may also be interested in learning how to easily combine Microsoft Outlook PST files. Looking for more Outlook hints? Then it’s time to delve into Outlook’s lesser-known capabilities!
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