An Instructional Guide: Mail Merge in Gmail

gmailFor those who aren’t familiar with Mail Merge, it is the process of integrating and syncing data using your email account. This is especially essential when you want to create a personalized email account that you can use for various marketing campaigns and many other purposes, like sending out license keys to winners of raffles or online contests. Instead of creating individual emails and tediously editing the recipient email addresses and license keys, Mail Merge actually offers an easier and quicker way of doing it. If you think that you would need Microsoft Outlook or Word installed before you can take advantage of this amazing service, you are wrong. All you need is a Gmail account and you are good to go.

The process of merging your mail is pretty easy; it is probably easier than setting up VoIP (more info.) on your smartphone but it can get confusing for the not-so tech savvy crowd, so here’s a step by step process that will hold your hand in the process of performing a Mail Merge:

The First Step

What Mail Merge does is it basically syncs your Gmail draft with a Google Docs spreadsheet. This includes all the fields like the name of the recipient and many others that you might want to merge in your email. The first step of merging is to compose a new email in Gmail which you will be sending to several recipients. Once you have written the email, save it as a draft. You can do this by simply closing the compose box window since Gmail automatically saves all in-progress emails as drafts once the user closes the window.

The Second Step

Once you have the email saved to your draft folder, you can then proceed in using $%FIELDNAME%. This will be changed in the latter part of the mail merge procedure. It is also able to spontaneously locate the correct and matching field name in the Google Docs spreadsheet which you will also create in the process.

The Third Step

To make it easier for you, you can search and use pre-made mail merge templates from different online sources. Save the template into your personal Google Docs account. After saving, you can then alter and edit the field names in the template. You can also remove or add columns according to your requirements and use. Ensure though that you leave the email address field as is. The same goes for the Mail Merge Status as well. It is also important that you thoroughly go through the field names, making sure that they are correct and the same as the field names found in the draft email saved on your Gmail account.

The Fourth Step

Since you are not to edit the email address field, it must then have all the email addresses of the recipients. As soon as you run a mail merge, the Mail Merge Status field will be automatically populated. Since you certainly wouldn’t want to send inappropriate emails to the wrong recipients, make it a habit to double check every single thing. As soon as you are done checking and are happy with the content and recipients of the email, hit the Mail Merge button found on the menu. The Mail Merge menu is located next to Help. You will be asked to Authorize Google docs if this will be your first time performing a mail merge. Once you are one with the authorization, hit Mail Merge again to proceed with the process.

The Final Steps

Do not be surprised if something pops up urging you to select a file for the mail merge. In here, you will have to choose the draft email saved on your Gmail account and fill in the sender’s name. The magic starts as soon as you click the Start Mail Merge button.

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