How to use Mail Merge in Outlook?

Last Updated on January 19, 2024 by Amit Bansal

Mail merge in Outlook allows you to personalize letters, emails, or documents by merging information from a database.

You can merge information from an Excel spreadsheet, a contact list, or another file. You can use it to send personalized emails, letters, or envelopes and to print out labels.

Mail merge in Microsoft Outlook mail is used to send personalized mail to a bunch of people.

The user uses the Mail Merge Outlook option to send emails during the festival season or for some marketing (launching of a new product), updating some personal information to your contact persons.

In this article, we’ll examine the details of mail merge in Outlook as well as how to send personalized emails using it.

What is Mail Merge in Outlook? Why & how is it important for the user?

Mail merge allows you to copy source information from a contact profile into an email message. You can add a contact from Office 365, Outlook, or an address book.

Mail merge is a feature that allows you to create letters and lists using information stored in your contacts. The information is pulled from your business account.

Using a form letter as an example, you might include instructions to insert the name of each recipient at a specific spot; mail merge would combine this letter with a list of recipients to produce one letter per recipient.

You can also print a set of mailing labels or envelopes by doing a mail merge.

If you are sending Christmas wishes or your company product profile to multiple recipients Outlook Mail Merge is the best example.

There are a few options for the mail merge. There are a few examples to do the mail merge.

  • Mail Merge from Outlook
  • Mail Merge from Word with Outlook as source
  • Mail Merge from Word with Excel
  • Mail Merge with Attachments using a third-party tool

How to Send Mail Merge from Outlook?

We are talking about sending group mail to selected contacts available in your Outlook contact list in a single click.

Select your Outlook contacts

First, select the contact from your contact list by clicking Ctr+3 to switch to your Contacts folders quickly. (Usually, the Contact list is available on the third position in the navigation section, in case the contact list in your Outlook falls at a different sequence you can use the numeric figure accordingly).

In case your Outlook consists of a huge contact list, you can filter using multiple parameters, the arrangement section under view, helps you to filter and sort related contacts.

Manually select the contacts or contact group you want to send the email to using CTRL and Mouse, only selected contacts from the Contacts folder will get the mail.

Start Mail Merge in Outlook

Click on mail merge from the navigation section under options group: Actions >> mail merge – a separate dialog box appears.

Set up Mail Merge in Outlook

Carefully contact the elected based on the two options available. (All you have to select the option according to your requirement).

Under Contacts, select one of the following:

  • All contacts in Current view – Only the visible contact is selected by default if you filter your contact list.
  • Only selected contacts – if you manually selected the contacts from the Contacts folder that you want to send your mail.

Under Fields to merge, select one of the following:

  • All contact fields – that will allow you to use all of the contact fields in the merge process.
  • Contact fields in current view – If you have configured your view to display only the fields to be included in the merge, you can proceed with the merge.

Under the Document file, select one of the following:

  • The new document – To create the document file from scratch.
  • Existing document – To browse for the existing document that you wish to use for the merge.

If you wish to save the selected contacts and fields for future use, please check the Permanent file checkbox under the Contact data file. The comma-delimited data will be saved in a Word document (*.doc).

merge option document type

Under the Merge option, select one of the following:

  • Document Type: There are three options [Form Letters, mailing labels, Envelopes & Catalogs], by default, you will get a form letter selected.
  • Merge to: These three options New Documents, Print & email [the selection is especially important], Select ‘Email’, from the drop box list. merge to merge option
  • Message subject line: The last option asks you to type the message subject line.
  • Click OK.
  • Outlook initializing Microsoft Word.
outlook initializing word
  • After a few seconds, you are redirected to the Microsoft Word file with the Mailings tab on the Ribbon.

Create Mail Merge Document in Word

You can freely type, copy, and paste your message on the word sheet. There are a few more critical minor details you need to go through.

Press Greeting Line – In the first place, you should include a greeting since all good communication begins with it. Select the desired greeting format for your email by clicking the Greeting Line button on the ribbon. In addition, specify what greeting should be used if no information is found about a particular recipient.

Insert greeting line
  • You can also edit the fields according to your purpose, instead of selecting “Dear” you can type “Respected“.
  • You can check the preview,

If the information in the greeting line is inaccurate, please click the Match Fields button to identify the correct field

  • Click OK the dialog box automatically closes, and at the same time, «GreetingLine» message appears on the Microsoft Word sheet.
  • You can start writing just below the greeting line.
  • The next step is to enter the email addresses of the selected contacts – you can insert the address by pressing the “Address Block” button.
Insert Address Block
  • Click Ok, but before that, it is especially important to select the checkbox mentioned above # Insert recipient name in the format # insert company name # insert Postal address. (Selection of company name and postal address and insert the complete information according to your address book).
  • Now “Insert Merge Field” button includes some other information like – Telephone Number, Job description, City, company, account number, and many more. (I am adding a company).
  • It is very important to Place the cursor exactly where you want to insert specific information.
  • In the pop-up dialog box, select the required field and click Insert.
  • Lastly, you can add your signature.

Preview mail merge results

Be sure to preview your personalized mailings before sending them out so you know the content is correct.

To view all the emails, simply click the Preview Results button on the Mailings tab and use the arrow buttons.

The “Preview result button” allows you to check what your mail looks likes.

You can check all the personalized mail separately just by clicking the arrow buttons in the toolbar.

Now it’s time to close your task by sending the emails. Click the “Finish & Merge button“.

Finish & Merge button

Microsoft Outlook gives you an opportunity to Edit Individual Documents, Print Documents, but in our case select “Send Email Messages…

Merge to E-mail dialog box appears, Keep Email in the ‘To’ section, Enter the Subject Line, Select the Mail Format, usually, it would be HTML, and Click Ok to Execute.

Merge to Email

All set all the emails are sent to your recipients one by one, you can check the sent box of Outlook.

  • Forget about that just finish it Click OK.

Mail Merge from Word using Outlook contacts?

If you already have the text of your email written in Word, you can start the mail merge process from there. In the end, the results will be exactly the same as when started from Outlook.

Word Icon

Step-by-step guide for doing a mail merge in Word with Outlook as the source is magic.

Open the Microsoft Word sheet and create a new document. You can type the text of your message right now or continue with a blank document.

  • Click to Tab “Mailing” at the top of the sheet.start mail merge icon
  • Find out the Start Mail Merge button >> Click Step by Step Mail Merge Wizard
  • The Mail Merge panel appears on the right side of the sheet.
  • Here select “E-mail messages”.
  • Press the Next button, step 2 asks you ‘How do you want to start up your letters?’
  1. Use the Current Document.
  2. Start from the template.
  3. Start from the existing document.
  • Select “Use the current document” >> Click Next, and you will get three options to fetch your recipients for Outlook mail merge.
  1. Use an existing list
  2. Select from Outlook contact
  3. Type a new list.

Here, we are in the middle of merging mail from Outlook, I would “select from Outlook contacts“.

  • Click Contact Folder, and a dialog box appears, in my case, I have a list of emails in my Outlook, and I must select the contact of a particular email.
select contact outlook
  • Select the required contact list and click Ok, you will find another dialog box.
  • Microsoft Word now opens the “Mail Merge Recipients” dialog Box where you can choose the target people.
    This dialog consists of several options like – Sort, filter, find duplicate, and validate the address. You can also remove a particular contact from the list (by reselecting the box) if you don’t want the recipient to receive the mail.
Mail merge recipients
  • Click Ok, Step 4 – Now it’s time to write your content and follow the steps mentioned above (which was similar in both scenario) you like to send to your recipient.
  • The next step (5th) allows you to preview your letter and attach and you can also make changes to your recipient.

In the last step, click Electronic Mail, and then configure the final Message options: In the To drop-down box, pick Email_Address.

In the Subject line box, type the message subject. In the Mail format drop-down box, choose the preferred format: HTML, plain text, or Attachment. Click OK to run the mail merge.

All set all the emails are sent to your recipients one by one, you can check the sent box of Outlook.

Email-Send-Email-merge

Outlook Mail Merge from Excel

Outlook mail merge from excel

You can use an Excel worksheet or Access database as a data source when doing a mail merge in Word if the information for the merge is stored outside of Outlook.

The steps will be identical to those in the previous example. The only difference is in step 4 of the Mail Merge Wizard, where you select Use an existing list and browse for your Excel file.

Selecting ‘use an existing list‘ required contacts data from outsources, here we are talking about Excel Spreadsheet.

  • Click Browse (refer snapshot)
  • Select your excel file containing contact details along with an email address.
mail merge word
  • Hit Ok
  • The next step opens the Mail Merge Recipients dialog box, and the further process is similar to that mentioned above.

These options are helpful for the market team, used to launch a new product, and just want to inform or update their existing customers about the highlights of the products.

I have also seen some of the Bloggers use to send the merge mail about their new posts.

Outlook mail merges with attachment campaign management with Easy Mail Merge you can Access detailed status reports of the ongoing email campaigns, so you can see how many Outlook emails were already sent and how many of them failed to be delivered and you can pause or resume ongoing mass email campaigns.

Mail merge is also helpful to print a set of envelopes or labels. Microsoft Outlook is a beautifully set all-your-bulk mail merge process with a fully proven step with no error.

How to Mail Merge with Attachments, Custom Subject & CC / BCC – using Word, Excel, & Outlook?

It is not possible to attach files to Microsoft Word mail merge. The easiest way to do this is by using third-party add-ins such as the “Outlook Mail Merge Attachment (OMMA),” “Merge Tools Add-In,” and “Mail Merge Toolkit.”

Doug Robbins Microsoft Valuable Microsoft valuable professional designed this Add-in which allows users to Attachments, Custom subjects & CC / BCC while mail merge.

Download/Setup Mail Merge Tool in Microsoft Word

In the above explanation, you can only send the email to a different recipient with related information, but in case to attach the file individually, with the help of ADD IN.

Let’s download the file Click Here, before using it, a few customizations are required:

Once your file is downloaded it consists of some PDF files and a Macro Enable Template file, you need to update the file in the internal setting of Microsoft Word, which will enable to Merge Merge Tab.

Open Microsoft Word, click on the Blank Document >> Click on the File tab from the left corner of the screen, then click on Options.

Within the options menu, click on advanced from the left navigation panel, now scroll down to the section general, under general you have something called file location, click on it.

File location dialog box pops up, select the last option startup, and hit modify.

That will show you the location where we want to put the Macro Enable Template file downloaded above. [C:\Users\XXXXX\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word\STARTUP], copy that location and paste it to the file explorer.

Now you have two folders above and the folder consists of the “Macro Enable Template file”, arrange both sides of the folder by side and simply drop and drop the macro file into the Microsoft Word startup folder.

You can also copy and paste the file into the startup folder. Basically, what it does when you open the macro file the next time you open Microsoft Word.

Close all folders and Word, Now Reopen Microsoft Word, and you will see the Mail Merge tab appears in the navigation section.

Step to Mail Merge with Attachments using Merge Tool

Everything is set, Now let’s dive in and understand “How it works”. This method consists of all three platforms Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook to perform this.

The role of All three is important, first, you have to prepare the speed sheet, which consists of all the information such as (Name, Last name, email address, file location, email address for carbon copy and Blind carbon copy, amount, due date, etc.)

Microsoft Word with the help of the Mail merge tab connects the data from the speed sheet. I created a sample Excel spread which looks like that:

Open Microsoft Word, click the Mailing tab, click select recipients, and select Use an Existing List from the drop-down list.

Now What I have to do is navigate the speed sheet saved in my system which consists of all the required information.

Keep the check box selected if your First row of data contains column headers, and click OK, that’s why, I have connected my Word Sheet to my spreadsheet.

You can cross-check by clicking on the Insert merge sheet navigation tab and check out all the headers shown there.

You can simply create your draft email message and use this header where you need the name, address, amount is any other related details to be changed for every recipient.

Lets start with creating your email message:

Type Dear, hit the space bar then go to Insert merge filed select First_Name, hit the space bar, and again go to Insert merge filed and select Last_Name.

I have created my own custom email message, which will be like this, you can create your own spreadsheet and email message according to your requirement.

Finally, the email is ready to go, it’s time to add the common attachment and attachments relevant to individual persons using Doug Robbins Addin. It is very important to save the Word file before proceeding.

Click on the Merge tool from the word navigation tab >> Click Merge with attachments.

Mail Merge with attachment tool dialog box pops up, that contains “Select the merge field that contains the path and filename of Attachment.

Now I have to select the unique Invoice for every recipient, so I going to scroll down and select the invoice location (This is the location where I have added a separate attachment for every person and added the location in the speed sheet) from the left selection pane and hit add.

I also want to attach a PDF file that every recipient will get in common, for that click “Browse for attachment to be included with all messages.” select the file from the location you saved, and the location is added.

Next is the merge destination, there are three options Merge to Email Message, Merge to email as Word attachment, and Merge to email as a PDF attachment.

Select Merge to the Email message, and some more options appear:

  • Select the field containing the Email Addresses: Select the Email address from the drop-down list, because you want to send the email to their respective email address.
  • Select the field containing the CC Addresses: Enter the email address and specify in the CC section manually or if your speed sheet consists of the email address of the CC, you can select from the drop-down list.
  • Select the field containing the BCC Addresses: Enter the email address and specify in the BCC section manually or if your speed sheet consists of the email address of the BCC, you can select from the drop-down list.
  • Send using Account: Here you can select the email address already added in Outlook.
  • Send on behalf of: You can enter the email in case you need to send it on behalf of someone else.
  • Reply to Address: Enter the Email address in case you need to reply to a different email account.

Click the Checkbox if you need Request Delivery Receipt or Request Read Receipt, Type the Subject manually in Text for Subject of Email, that subject will be common for every email.

You can also customize your Subject line, every person you mail will get different subject information. Select the checkbox “Data Source contains a Subject Field”.

  • Text before Subject Field
  • Select: that brings a dropdown list, I select policy number because it changes for everyone.
  • Add Space Text after Subject Field.

Now the subject would be “Reminder of Payment of <<Policy_No.>> is due soon“. The policy number will change with every email message.

Click continue, Merge record dialog box appears, you need to specify whether you need to send the email to all or you need to send it to a specific person only.

That will take a second and all the emails are sent to their specific destinations, Mail merging a document with attachments and customized information is easy.

It is very similar to the process for a single document, except that it takes longer.

Mail merge allows you to make multiple copies of a single document with different information to make things easier.

That way you can Mail Merge with Attachments, Custom Subject & CC / BCC – using Word, Excel, & Outlook.

Final Words

In conclusion, mail merge with attachments Outlook 365 is a powerful tool, however, many small businesses don’t use the feature because they don’t know how it works.

Mail Merge can come in handy, especially if you need to mail out hundreds of copies of the same email. Before using Mail Merge, you should first set up a template using Word.

Then, when you’re ready to run the Mail Merge, select the template file you set up in Outlook, and tap Open.

Also Read:

Amit Bansal

Hello, my name is Amit Kumar Bansal, and I am the founder of MailSmartly.com. Through this blog, I focus on Microsoft Outlook, offering insightful and informative content. Additionally, I produce educational videos on YouTube to further enhance the understanding of my audience. visit my YouTube Channel

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