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First of all, this post is dedicated to my aunt Gayla who runs a small business and has a lot of trouble with this feature. This post is not dedicated to those who might use this feature for spamming. :)
Mail merge is a feature of Outlook and Word that allows you to send a set of contacts a personalized e-mail as though they are the only person receiving the e-mail. With this feature, you can personalize the e-mail so that each of your recipients is the only person on the To: line and that the contents of the e-mail change based on information you have for each contact. Instead of starting the e-mail with “To whom it may concern,” you can have Outlook and Word automatically fill in the e-mail with your recipient’s name (e.g. “Dear Dan,”). Mail merge in Outlook is pretty hidden – most people don’t even know that you can send a personalized e-mail to each contact in a set of contacts the way you can print a set of form letters in Word. As a matter of fact, Outlook’s mail merge feature is built on Word’s functionality, which might add to the confusion. With this post I hope to clarify how to use this feature to send an e-mail to a group of people in your contacts.
The basic steps to creating a mail merged e-mail from Outlook are:
If you already have the e-mail you want to send written in Word, start at step 3 and see this help article for more specific steps. (There are also some great step-by-step training videos for this feature on Office Online.)
In Outlook, navigate to Contacts (Ctrl-3) and select the set of contacts you want to send your e-mail to: (hold the Ctrl key down and click on multiple contacts):
Tip: Use categories for the set of people you want to e-mail and then arrange your contacts by category. To send “mail merge” e-mail to each of them, click on the category header.
Note: The mail merge feature does not work with personal distribution lists. (I’m sorry!!)
Note 2: You will only be able to send e-mails to contacts that have an e-mail in the e-mail field.
Next, in the menu bar, click Tools, then Mail Merge
to get to this dialog:
First, under“Contacts,” select “Only selected contacts”
Next, under “Merge options”, under “Merge to:” select “E-mail”
A subject line will appear – fill it in with your subject. Note: your subject will be the same for all of your recipients.
Word will be initialized and then appear. When starting a mail merge from within Word, the first step is to select the recipients, but you’ve already done that in Outlook, so the next step is to write the e-mail.
Treat the Word document as the body of your e-mail – because it is. Focus on the Write and Insert Fields group in the Ribbon:
To insert a greeting, click on “Greeting Line”
To insert a field, click on “Insert Merge Field” (on the top for a dialog, or on the bottom half of the button for a drop down list).
Note: There are a lot of contact fields to choose from.
Once you have your e-mail the way you want it, you can preview what it will look like before you send it by clicking on “Preview Results” and then clicking on the left and right scroll buttons in the Preview Results group:
Step 5: Send it!
The last step is to send your e-mail. Just click “Finish&Merge” and “Send E-mail Messages…”
Which will bring up this dialog:
You can then watch as Word goes through each of your contacts and sends the mail.
And that’s it!
For more information on this feature see Office Online.
Melissa MacBeth Outlook PM
More info on Mail Merge:
Use mail merge to send personalized e-mail messages to your e-mail address listWebinar: Mail MergeUse mail merge to streamline mass mailings
When you attempt to use Mail Merge, are you in the Contacts Folder? That is where the mail merge feature lives.
This is great. I am about to use it, but one thing I cannot find is how to select which email account to use for my emailing if I do not wish to use my default email address. It uses the default account, which I can deal with by changing my default - but, it would be better to select it as I do the emailing.
Greetings! Is there anyway to add more options in the 'reminders' field of the MS Outlook for 2007. I have 5 mins, 10 mins.....4 days, 1 week, 2 weeks. I know this can be done, I just can't find it. I want to put, 1 month, 5 days, all other sorts of things. Thanks!
Depending on where you are setting the reminder, you can use natural language to set your preferred reminder. Such as 5d for 5 days, 3h for 3 hours, or christmas for a reminder on December 25. There is a lot of flexibility you can use when setting reminders. It all depends on where you are setting it from.
When completing a mail merge with Word/outlook 2003 the final document is missing the headers and footers. What can be done to correct this?
Joi, I'm not sure I understand what you are trying to accomplish - Outlook's e-mail does not have headers or footers. -Melissa
I am an officer of a club with 900 members. I need to send out email every now and then to them to remind them about club business. I would rather not put all of these people in my contacts folder and I'm not sure this function will work for that many people. Does any have any experience in sending out a mass email like this?
Hi I used the mail merge in office 2007, both word and outlook are 2007, Here is my problem;
I created and sent a message to my friends and my own emails in order to check the functionality of this feature.
It look great with no problem on word, however, when I receive the email it's like the correct message has been copied and pasted there twice.
I checked other recipients email and same thing there. To clarify: recipients receive 1 email which contains the correct message repeated twice. Is there any solution for that? Am I doing something wrong? ( which could probably be the case) Regards, Mike
I have three accounts coming into Outlook - my work, a GMail account, and another POP account which I use for group trips that I plan. Is it possible to select what account your sending from OTHER THAN going to Tools > Account Settings and changing which account you send from by default? I'd like to keep my work email as my default email, but allow myself to send from my POP account.
It works fine as you describe but is there a way to also include a file attachment into each e-mail?
I have 3 e-mail addresses that I send and receive from within Outlook. In the same vein as Dan, is it possible to select which e-mail address you send from? I have not been able to figure out how to do so yet.
Can I personalise the Subject field in a mail merge? Also can I add voting buttons to a mail merge? The reason for this would be so that when I see the response email from someone, I will also see what was written specifically for them in their subject field. The data I would put in the subject field identifies a specific action that I was supposed to carry out for the recipient. Many recipients will have numerous actions associated with them and I need to be able to track each action individually. Therefore the mail merge will sbe required to send multiple mails to the same recipient with a different subject field entry for each mail (referencing the action). Now that's a confusing paragraph.
Great feature and a very informative instructional outline. Two questions I have are these: 1. Can we use the enterprise or global address book for the merged contact source? 2. We have an admin assistant who sends out mass mailings for her boss, our CEO, and when we worked with this the mail merge worked great from his contact list but the admin's name was in the from field. Any way to "Send on Behalf" so the CEO's name appears in the email from field?
You can personalize your emails and add attachments if you first take Outlook offline (under File menu). If you do that before you finish the mail merge, you can avoid having everything go out automatically. Instead it gets sent to the Out box, where you can fiddle with each email individually and add attachments. Then hit "send", and when you go back online (toggle the switch under file menu), everything will go out. Just be sure you do everything you want before going back online, because everything in the out box will go out automatically. Alternatively, you could move the files to Draft box, where they will sit until you are ready to deal with them.
Hello. Thank you very much for your note, It was very useful and helpful. Best regards Samuel