Skip to main content

How to Do Email Mail Merges using Excel and Outlook


This is probably a bit of an "oldie" but I have been asked about it a lot recently, so I figured it was worth documenting. 

Why would you use this?

There's a few reasons why you might need to do an email mail merge.


  1. You've got an email that you've got to send to a few people, perhaps it's an invoice or just a seasonal greeting. Whatever it is, you don't have a group to send it to and you don't feel like just pasting everyone's email address into the BCC field.
  2. You need to reference specific pieces of data in your email -- data attached to an individual. For example, on an invoice reminder run, you might have a due date, an invoice number, an amount and a project code. 

The Procedure


1. Create an Excel Spreadsheet with your people's details in it. 
You should use the first line to have column headings like Name, Email and FirstName. 

You only really need name and email but if you want to refer to other things (eg: like the project number/job number, invoice number etc) in your email merge, then you just invent a column header and add it. 




Save it somewhere where you'll be able to find it; 
eg: C:\temp\MergeData.xlsx

 
(Obviously, you'll also want to save a copy of that list somewhere else because it will probably be a matter of corporate record). 


2. Open Microsoft Word and write your email leaving spaces where you want things filled in. 
Don't forget your signature because it probably won't get attached otherwise.

If you're sending a greetings card or some other kind of email marketing hook, you might want to set up an image and links. To do this, just use the normal word image import and hyperlink functions. 



3. On the ruler at the top of Word, click Mailings then Start Mail Merge. 
Choose "Email Messages" from the drop down menu.

4. Click on Select Recipients and choose "Use an Existing List".
A file open dialog box will appear.  
Browse to where you saved your excel file. Click on it and click Open

5. A dialog box will appear. 
If your sheet doesn't contain other data, the values here will be right. 
Make sure that the [x] First row of data contains headers is ticked. 
Then click Ok



6. If you're going to insert any fields, like the first name;
a. Position the cursor where you want it to go (ie: after dear but before the comma) then 
b. Click Insert Merge Field and 
c. Choose the field. In this case FirstName.  

In the case of an invoice reminder, you might insert the project number, due date, dollar amount etc.

If you're not using any merge fields, just skip this step.


7. Click on Preview Results
You can walk through the results by clicking the forward and backward arrows

Check carefully because if you've used an old spreadsheet you might have left data near the end (ie: if you have more than 2 results and you only have two names ... you'll need to check your spreadsheet). 

If you're using a few merge fields, you'll want to check things over pretty carefully -- at least until you have the procedure working perfectly. 


8. If it all looks okay, you're ready to send. 
Note that if you're doing something complicated, like Images and links, you should do a test run and send to internal recipients as well as gmail and hotmail accounts. That way you can see how the message looks on different platforms and you can test the links.

Before proceeding, make sure that Outlook is already open.... that way you can be sure that there will be no crashes or plugin problems on startup.

Then, in word, click on Finish and Merge, and pick Send Email Messages from the list.

9. You'll see a dialog box, 
You can leave most things as they are but you'll want to put a subject on your email.
Then click Ok.


10. It might seem like nothing has happened but it has. 
Click over to Outlook and check your SENT folder.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How to Create an Auto-Response Mail Message in Lotus Notes 8.5.3+

Why would you do this? Suppose that you have an externally accessible generic email address for your company; support@mycompany.com or info@mycompany.com. You might expose this to the web and allow people to send messages to you. Setting up an auto-response email will tell the senders that their message reached its destination and that it will be dealt with accordingly.  It's also good practice to include links to FAQs or other useful information. Why 8.5.3 The techniques we'll be using here work in older versions of Notes but some of the options seem to have moved around in 8.5.3.  I figured it was a good time to show you where they've moved to. The Procedure Start Domino Designer and open the Mail file to be modified.  A really quick way to do this is to right-click on the application tab and choose "Open in Designer". In the Left hand panel of designer, expand Code and then double-click Agents.  A new window should appear. Click the action

How to Change Your Notification Options for New Lotus Notes Mail in version 8.x

Don't worry, I'm not patronizing you (my readers), I just decided to re-document this for one of our internal users and thought you might want to be able to use it in your own user documentation. WHAT IS THIS DOCUMENT ABOUT? Some people who don't get a lot of mail, like to be notified when such an event occurs. Notification can be; via a sound via a pop-up box via the system tray (where the computer clock is) The pop up box looks like this; Other people, who like myself, get too much mail would rather not be notified. The aim of this document is to tell you how (and where) to turn these options on and off. CHANGING YOUR SETTINGS To change your settings from the Notes 8.x client; On the Menu, click File , then Preferences... On the left hand side , click on the little plus sign to the left of Mail to expand the options. Click on the option marked Sending and Receiving . In the middle section, under receiving, you can control your notifications. If you untick the

How to Do a Mail Merge to Email using Lotus Notes

Why do one? In today's "green" world, it makes much better sense to send out emails than letters but you still want to personalize them. Sadly, by itself Lotus Notes doesn't support mail merge to email. Of course, we know that outlook does (but then it lets anyone and anything send emails for you - even when you don't want them to). So, how to do it in Notes? OpenNTF The first port of call is OpenNTF ( http://www.openntf.org/ ). This place is full of great things but most of them are really badly documented. Still, these guys give things away for free and they develop in their spare time, so we should be grateful for what we get. There's a great little project there called MailMerge Excel to Notes . Go there, click on releases and download the ZIP file. Getting to the Code The installation is tricky though I've noted that since I asked the author about the install, it's been updated (so maybe these steps are less necessary). Unzip the files to som