Join Gini von Courter for an in-depth discussion in this video What email merge can do for you, part of Word 2016: Mail Merge in Depth.
- [Voiceover] I believe email merge is one of the best tools in the mail merge toolbox. We create email merges the same way that we create any other mail merge, but it does require that we be using Microsoft Outlook to send email messages. So if you are solely a Gmail user, for example, this isn't going to work for you because you need the Outlook engine to drive the delivery of the messages from mail merge. But assuming that you are using Microsoft Outlook, even if you're only using it for this purpose, you're good to go because we're going to create a message in the same way we created one in Microsoft Word.
And I mean exactly the same way, because Word is your email editor in Microsoft Outlook. So we'll have our variable information, our email message. And we'll take that email message and we'll mash it up with the data source. And the data source in this case could be Microsoft Excel. It could be Microsoft Outlook and use any of the data sources that we've used previously. And we end up having personalized messages: a personalized email to Michelle, a personalized email to Pearl and to Shelley and so on. The personalized email message feels more authentic than a letter that was created the same way.
We often think about a personalized letter as being junk mail. Usually when we see an email message that starts with "Dear your first name," it actually is your first name. We somehow seem to make the assumption that it was sent directly to us and only to us. The second reason that I like this is it gets us around the problem of trying to send bulk emails, the same email message to 50 people or 500 people or 600 people. There are other ways you can do that. Now, if you have a newsletter or a message that you need to send, let's say to 100 people, you could just BCC everyone.
And when you do that, then you're making sure that people can't see the other people who received the message. So you're keeping everybody's email addresses private and personal. Or you could put everyone's addresses in the To or CC text boxes on the message form, in which case the mailing list is accessible to everyone who receives it. Both of these processes in email, whether you're using Outlook or Gmail or something else, have their pros and cons. But when I used email merge to create my messages, I get a separate message for every single person.
Now, anytime I send the same message to 50 people or 12 people or even five people, I can almost guarantee that even if I put explicitly in the message, "Please don't click Reply to All," somebody will. And then it will clog up everybody's inboxes with mail coming back that should never have been sent to them. But if I used email merge and someone replies, they're the only recipient and the reply comes only to me. So it solves the problem of having email clutter from people who Reply to All when they shouldn't.
This gives me really great point-to-point communication with each and every one of my people.
- Choosing a data source
- Creating a new data source
- Using Mail Merge with Outlook contacts
- Mail merging data from an Excel spreadsheet
- Inserting address blocks, greetings, and other fields
- Matching fields from a data source
- Formatting numeric data and dates
- Creating personalized email messages
- Attaching Word documents to merged emails
- Creating envelopes, labels, and directories
- Using rules for customized merges: FILLIN, ASK, and IF…THEN…ELSE