Email Merge Tutorial

Welcome to our Email Merge Tutorial. Using Microsoft Outlook, we'll show you step-by-step how to perform an email merge.

One of the biggest challenges for any business is customer retention. Keeping the customers you have worked so hard to find can be an important factor for business success.

This email merge tutorial will show you how you can extend your own capabilities with Outlook.

Staying in touch with clients through frequent communications is an effective method for retaining customers and keeping them informed of discounts and specials, receiving newsletters, up and coming products or tips on using your product.

Outlook provides an effective, low-cost method for staying in touch and given there are no printing costs involved, it is kind to your bottom line. An added benefit is the almost instantaneous delivery that will give your customers time to take advantage of new offers and discounts.


Step 1: Develop your client mailing list

First, develop a list of your current customers' e-mail addresses. Currently, many businesses are capturing e-mail addresses along with their customers' other contact information.

Tip: You can use Outlooks import/export feature to automatically bring addresses filed in another format, such as a database or email program into your Outlook Address Book.

  • From the Outlook File menu click Import and Export
  • Follow the steps outlined in the Import and Export Wizard

What if my Clients use older email versions?

You may have a couple of clients who use older e-mail software that does not accept the HTML format. In order for them to receive the email message, you should send them the email as a Plain Text version. They will not receive the graphics, but they will get your message content.

  • In Outlook locate the contact that cannot accept HTML email version
  • Double-click the contact’s email address and a new dialog box appears
  • In the Internet Format drop-down list, select Send Plain Text only and click OK
  • Click Save and Close in the contact dialog box

What about the Spam Act?

Be sure to familiarise yourself with the do’s and don’ts of your country's Spam Act and sending email communications.

Be sure to include a return Email address in your communication for those who do not want to continue receiving your message communication.

Step 2: Set up your Email communication

Create an email newsletter in Word to take advantage of the advanced customisation and graphic design features of Word.

Tip: Use a table to hold graphics to prevent format changes from occurring when it is opened in different Email programs.

What to include?

Use big headlines, add information that is of value to the reader, graphics, contact information and web links.

Tip: Save your Email communication as a Word template so you can use its customise features again and again.

  • From the View menu, select Web Layout and see how the communication will look when received by your clients

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Step 3: Use Mail Merge to Send your Email communication

Now you have your mailing list ready and your newsletter is proofread and ready to go. You can send your newsletter. You can personalise your newsletter by using the Mail Merge feature within Word.

  • Open your newsletter in Word
  • From the Tools menu, point to Letters and Mailings and click Mail Merge.
  • Under Select Document Type, click Email messages and click Next: Starting Document.
  • Select Start from Existing Document and click Next: Select Recipients.
  • Click Use an Existing List. Click Browse to locate the list and click the Data Source you require and click Open.

    Tip: Depending on the type of data source you select, other dialog boxes may appear. You may need to refine the recipients that will receive your email newsletter.

  • Click Next: Preview your email message
  • Click the arrow buttons to preview each recipient
  • Click Exclude this recipient to exclude a particular recipient from the mail merge
  • Click Next: Complete the Merge. Click the Electronic Mail button
  • Add a Subject and short Introduction for your newsletter
  • Click Send a Copy

Tip: Keep a track of any emails that return incorrect addresses. Correct these before sending out your next email communication. Send a copy of the Email to yourself first to ensure all is OK.

We hope our Email Merge Tutorial has been useful to you. If you have any questions or comments, please contact us.

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