• Thursday, August 06th, 2009

I’m pretty good with computers in general (I’m a software engineer, so I SHOULD be!), but I confess to knowing the bare minimum about most applications that I need for various tasks like e-mail and word processing.  I have a good feel for what they “should” be able to do, but I’m weak on exactly how to do it, so I look it up online.

Most recently, I discovered an easy way to do an e-mail merge with Outlook/Word 2007.  I’d done mail merges before for letters and labels in Word, but I had never attempted it with a “form” e-mail.  Yesterday, I had to send out about 70 personalized e-mails, so I REALLY didn’t want to send each of them individually.  I wanted something personal in them!

Here’s how it works:

1.  Set up your data file.  I used Excel. I had actually exported my data to a CSV, so the fields were already set up.  Have all your data in appropriate fields with a header row to identify each column.

2.  Open Word and type your e-mail message.

3.  Click on the Mailings tab, then Start Mail Merge and select E-mail Messages.  Then Select Recipients, Use Existing List, and find your data file.  Then Edit Recipients – check the box next to whichever recipients you want/don’t want.

4.  Set up your form fields.  For example, after Hi, click to Insert Merge Field and select first_name (or whatever field you want to put there).  Insert as many Merge Field as needed.

5.  Preview your e-mails.  Click Preview Results and scroll through the records (numbered beside the Preview button).

6.  Finish.  Last, click Finish and Merge, Send E-mail Messages.  Enter the field containing the e-mail address, a subject line, and  click OK.

You’re done!   You’ll see each individual e-mail in your Sent Mail in Outlook, so you’ll know exactly what went out and to whom.

This is great functionality for sending business correspondence to prospects!

Category: Technical Stuff  | Tags: ,
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