What is Mail Merge and How to use Word and Excel for Mail merge?

what is mail merge , use Word and Excel for Mail merge
what is mail merge

What is mail merge and How to use Word and Excel for Mail merge?


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What are mail merges?

Mail merges are one of the most efficient methods of personalizing documents such as emails, newsletters, and other customized communications. A mail merge enables you to generate custom documents that instantly differ based on the recipient-by-recipient basis. This saves you the time and effort of manually personalizing each text yourself. For example, suppose you want to send them a generic email or letter; instead, each email can have personalized greetings and have their specific names and addresses.

Instead of making different emails or letters for each person, use a mail merge to automatically apply each person’s information to the email or letter you send them, saving your hassle of doing it manually.


Using the List from Excel with Word, Mail Merge to be performed

Multiple documents can be generated from mail merge from various sources at the same time. The papers eventually have the same style, formatting, text, and graphics. For personalization, separate parts of each text vary depending on the content. Mail merge enables Word to generate documents like messages, packets, unpackaged mailing labels, and emails. There are three component documents that the mail merged process is comprised of:

  • The key document that aids as the pattern
  • The data base for adapted information
  • The merged document, which contains both adapted and structured material.


Step by Step Word and Excel Mail Merge

Step 1: Personalized data in Excel for mail merge to be prepared

Setting up and preparing the customized data, is the first and most critical step in the mail merge process. For the receiver list, we can use an Excel spreadsheet as the data source.

Here are some tips for getting your personalized data ready for a mail merge process. Please ensure the following:

  • Column names in your Excel spreadsheet must match the field names you want to insert in your mail merge Word document. For example, to use a person’s first name in your document, you’ll need separate data columns for first and last names.
  • All data to be merged must be present in the first worksheet of your Excel spreadsheet.
  • Data entries with currencies, percentages, and zip codes are correctly formatted in the spreadsheet so that Word can properly read the values.
  • The Excel spreadsheet file to be used in the mail merge is stored on your local machine or is accessible on a shared network folder.
  • Changes or additions to your spreadsheet must be completed before processed to your mail merge document in Word.

Step 2: From the Ribbon Menu, Start the Word mail merge process

In Word, choose File >> New >> Blank document.

  • On the Mailings tab, in the Start Mail merge group, choose Start Mail Merge, and then choose the kind of merge you want to run.
Mail merge process
Mail merge process

Image of Word’s Mailings tab, displaying the Start Mail Merge command and the list of available options for the sort of merge you choose to run.

  • Choose Select Recipients > Use an Existing List.
Word’s Mailings tab
Word’s Mailings tab
  • Locate your Excel spreadsheet, and then choose Open.
  • When Word prompts you, choose Sheet1$ > OK.

Edit the mailing list

Select who receives your mail.

  • Choose Edit Recipient List.

Edit Recipient List

Image of the Mailings tab in Word, showing the Edit Recipient List command as highlighted.

  • In the Mail Merge Recipients dialog box, clear the check box next to the name of any person who you don’t want to receive your mailing.
  • Select rows by checking the check box

Mail Merge Recipients dialog box

Step 3: Insert a merge field

You should have one or more mail merge fields in your text that pull the information from your spreadsheet.

An address block to be inserted into an envelope, letter, email message, or a label

  • On the Mailings tab, in the Write & Insert Fields group, choose Address Block.

Address Block

  • Insert Address Block merge field

Address Block merge field

Select a format for the recipient’s name as it will appear on the envelope in the Insert Address Block dialog box.

  • Choose OK.
  • Choose File > Save.


Step 4: Preview and mail merge completion

After inserting the desired merge fields, preview the results to ensure that the content is correct before proceeding with the merge phase.

  • On the Mailings tab, choose Preview Results.

Mailings tab

Screenshot of the Word’s Mailing page, highlighting the Preview Results group.

  • Choose the Next record button for mail merge preview results or the previous record button for mail merge preview results in record button to move through records in your data source and review how the data appears in the document.
  • In the Finish group, choose Finish & Merge, and choose Print Documents or Send E-mail Messages.

Finish & Merge

Image of the Mailings tab in Word, showing the Finish & Merge command and its options.


Advantages of using Mail merge

Some advantages of using mail merge are as follows:

  • It is simple and easy to use.

You can quickly build and customize design files with mail merge. So, rather than making one letter at a time, which can be very time-consuming, particularly if you want to send out a large number of letters, you will actually have your letters ready in no time, if you use mail meager function.

  • You can edit as you like

The editing and customization options with the mail merge feature are minimal. This ensures you can incorporate tables, colors, visuals and all other editing components you have available with you. The changes you make to the key document are reflected in all subsequent documents, so you don’t have to redo anything.

  • Conditional Formatting or options

The ability to edit or customize documents according to the need of the recipient ensures that you can also do more to increase how formatted the document is. This also ensures that you can use conditional formatting to adjust how to mail merge treats the data depending on the parameters that you specify.

For example, if you want to send out letters to certain people who contributed for a fundraiser in your company, you can set up a field that allows the mail merge process to actually skip a record if it does not reach up to a certain numerical value while allowing you to send a message to people that you want to.

  • It makes your work look neat and professional

You can break down the source data into smaller useful units of information, giving you more flexibility for your input data. This enables you to present your work in a neat and competent manner.

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