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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
In the mail message, click the Insert tab, clcik Attach file, go find any sort of file you want to send and voila - it's attached.
What i mean is after i did the steps in order to "mail merge". (I did steps 1-4 of this tutorial)
How do i attach a document pdf or jpeg to the email?
Does any one know how to do this?
is there a vid on youtube where it shows u?
is it possible to do this using contacts from an Excel file?
Love love love using Outlook!
Thanks for the information.
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Hi - I really need some help on a mail merge. Last week I did one easily - this week even though I am following the same process it doesn't seem to like it. I have created a recipient list in Excel and saved the file. When choosing the list I pick this one for the merge. I have a lot of contacts on email with the same first name and when I go to send it and complete merge it says for example: 'which adam do you want to send it to?' and comes up in an Outlook dialogue box. Even though I am using an Excel file - and not Outlook! I didn't have this problem last week and I sent one to the same list! Any ideas would be amazing as it's work on behalf of a client and I am struggling! Thanks!
I'm trying to use Word 2010 to send a mail merge e-mail but can not figure out how to include an attachment. Initially I included an attachment in my Word document that I e-mailed via the mail merge capability in Word, but I could not open the attachments when I opened the e-mail.
mail merge does not work with attachments
I have used mail merge successfully as described above but I have not been able to figure out how to attach files and pics to the e-mail that is to be mail merged. Can anyone help?
I did this, but there is no "attach file" under the insert tab. I'm beginning to wonder if it is possible to place an attachment in a mail merge email.
You cannot add attachments when using Outlook mail merge.
I have Outlook 2010. I am doing email mail merges with Word 2010. I have several email accounts in Outlook. It is imperitive that the emails go out from the default email address so designated in Outlook. Sometimes the email merge goes out under the correct email address marked as default, but MOST times it goes out under the MicroSoft Exchange email address. I have one email address defining my Microsoft Exchange account and 3 POP email addresses defined in Outlook. When making a single email with Outlook, there is no problem The default email address sends and/or can be changed to one of the others as may be desired. Problem only arises when doing email merge with Word.
But can't add the attachment.
Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!! Silly that a fundamental feature such as this is not included...forces users to go outside MSFT to find add-in solutions (with mixed quality).
@Jeff - Did you ever get an answer from MSFT on this issue? I'm facing the same difficulty, and the add-in I downloaded isn't working either. Thanks.