3 best ways of using the “mail merge” option in Outlook
Mail merging is one of the most essential and helpful features of Outlook 2013 which uses the Microsoft Word 2013 engine to produce and create personalized emails to several contacts in just few clicks. This has helped many users, not only in businesses, but also at home, in sending several messages all at once. Using the mail merge option in Outlook can save you a lot of time in composing and sending messages to a number of contacts. Before you get started, you might want to get your emails organized.
Mail merging can be done from Microsoft Word 2013 or from Microsoft Outlook 2013. Here are the three easy steps to do this:
1. Select your target contacts – choose the contacts you want to write to.
There are two ways to do this – the first is by holding down the Shift key when your contacts are found next to each other; second is by holding down the Control key as you click the contacts that are not together.
2. Click the Mail Merge tab found on the Home Ribbon.
This can be done using five easy steps enumerated below, as seen in the picture.
- In the Contacts Option, you can choose between using all the contacts in the current view or use only the selected contacts.
- Next, you can choose which fields to merge – either all or just the contact fields in current view. This option will allow you to pick individual fields to personalize the messages.
- In the Document File option, you may choose to create brand new message or just use an existing document. There is an option to “browse” an existing one.
- In the Merge Options, you can select from dropdown what document type to use and where to merge it to. In choosing “E-Mail” in the “Merge to” dropdown, this will tell Outlook that you are creating email and not a document. There is also a space for the subject line of the message.
- Click Ok to save and apply everything.
3. Create your message once Outlook initializes the Word workspace.
To complete the merge process, you will be directed to Microsoft Word to create the message. You will see there the Word Mail Merge Ribbon, as seen below.
Just follow all these options from left to right, and you’re done!
Take note that in Outlook, you have already selected the recipients and set the subject line – so you don’t need to do this anymore. You will now start on addressing the message to each individual and add text. You can have a preview of it before completing the merge.
a) Adding Mail Merge Fields
- Address Block – this option inserts a whole finished Address Block, which is not necessary when sending an email merge.
- Greeting Line – this is a selection of pre-set greeting lines where you can choose.
- Insert Merge Field – this option lets you pick exactly which field you want to use and give you the greatest flexibility when building a personalised email or letter, as shown below.
You can add individual fields. Just type the greeting or heading you want to use and then select the field from the Insert Merge Field list. In the example above, “First_Name” field is used.
b) Click on Preview Results to see what it looks like.
By clicking the Preview Results option, you can see what your customised email looks like. You can all messages for each contact you selected by using the arrows. With this, you can check each record to make sure they are correct.
c) Finish the merging process and send your email.
Once you’re done with your email and you’ve checked all the details, you can click the “Finish and Merge” dropdown and choose the “Send Email Messages” option.
d) Confirm the merging process.
In this process, you can check the options you chose previously and change it if you want. You can as well change the subject line if you want to. Click OK to send the email merge.
e) Check on the sent items folder to see the sent messages.
Merged messages appear in the sent items folder so you can check them immediately. Just go to the Sent Items folder in yout Outlook.
Outlook still has many amazing features that you can use. It isn’t about just sending and receiving messages. You can explore its interface and be surprised with all its functions and capabilities. If you would like to explore Outlook 2013 in more detail please download Outlook 2013 at bookboon.com. Also check out this article and find out how to customize Outlook 2013.