E-mailing from a Mail Merge

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 11, 2016)

4

Jerald has a Word mail merge that uses an Access database as its source. When he runs the mail merge, it results in a document containing about 1,000 pages, each of which contains the record of an individual form the Access database. Jerald wonders if there is a way to easily send each individual's single page, via e-mail, to that page's individual.

For the purposes of this tip, I'm going to assume that you already have the mail merge set up. (This makes sense; you apparently know that merging creates a document that is about 1,000 pages long.) That being the case, you can specify that you want to send via e-mail by following these general steps:

  1. Open the mail merge document in Word.
  2. Open the Mail Merge Wizard. (On the Mailings tab of the ribbon, click Start Mail Merge and then choose Step by Step Mail Merge Wizard.) The Mail Merge Wizard appears in the pane at the right side of your document.
  3. If necessary, click the Previous link however many times necessary to get back to step 1. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. Step 1 of the Mail Merge Wizard.

  5. In the Select Document Type section, make sure you choose the E-Mail Messages option.
  6. Complete steps 2 through 5 of the wizard. (Actually, since this is an existing mail merge document, you should be able to simply press the Next link multiple times to proceed through these steps.) Step 6 should be visible in the wizard. (See Figure 2.)
  7. Figure 2. Step 6 of the Mail Merge Wizard.

  8. Click the Electronic Mail link, under the Merge heading. Word displays the Merge to E-Mail dialog box. (See Figure 3.)
  9. Figure 3. The Merge to E-Mail dialog box.

  10. Using the To drop-down list, choose the field in your Access database that contains the person's e-mail address.
  11. Fill in the Subject for the e-mail message. (The same subject is used for each e-mail message.)
  12. Using the Mail Format drop-down list, choose the format you want used for the message.
  13. Click OK. All your messages are sent out.

You should understand a few things about sending out lots of e-mails. First, it can take a while to do, particularly if you have lots of e-mails to send. (A thousand e-mail messages in a merge would take quite a while. You could go have lunch or a lengthy dinner while your computer chunks away at the task.)

Second, there is a very good chance that your e-mails are going to be marked as spam by various mail servers. (I know this from experience, sending out e-mail newsletters for the past two decades.) Why? Because the servers see incoming e-mails that are essentially the same with the exact same subject line, and it always assumes the worst.

You can get around this (possibly) by simply sending out your e-mails in smaller batches. In other words, try sending out only 25 e-mails at a time or, perhaps, 100. You do this by revisiting the steps detailed above and, in the Merge to E-Mail dialog box, specifying which records you want to e-mail to. In your first pass you could send to (for example) records 1 through 25, then records 26 through 50 in the second pass, and so on.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1993) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is 4 + 1?

2016-06-27 15:27:00

bigjaker

J Iddings - yes kudos to Ron de Bruin. His site has lots of information and has saved me tons of time with VBA sending out files to people in and out of the office.


2016-06-11 16:11:54

J Iddings

Kim,
If you use Excel & Outlook, Ron de Bruin has VBA code to mail a different file(s) to each person in an Excel range. It's found here: http://www.rondebruin.nl/win/s1/outlook/amail6.htm
I found his site useful


2016-06-11 10:25:22

Marc Menard

Hi Allen, good tip! I would also add that there may be a dark side to this if it's done from within a business: often, the email software will be set for receiving an acknowledgement that the receiver of the email has read it, deleted it without reading, opened it, that sort of thing. Send a thousand emails, receive a thousant of those replies with regards to the action taken at the other end. That can kill an inBox quite fast, unless quotas are well managed (not always the case). Just a thought. Cheers!


2016-06-11 07:27:33

Kim

I use mail merge to send receipts to customers. I am having a problem sending a receipt to more than one recipient. Is there a way to do this?

Thanks in advance!


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