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Guide: Using Mail Merge In Google Docs: Guide
When I was in school, the tech part of my brain was already thriving. But the school’s computer classes with MS Office never sparked my passion. Sure, they were useful things, something that would one day get us a job. Still, I hated it. The worst part was learning mail merge.
I tried in school, in college, and in the little time I spent in an accounting firm. It never worked the way I wanted it to. More importantly, I never “got it”. I now have a tremendous amount of respect for people who interact with the Office suite day in and day out, because believe me, it’s not easy.
As much as I hate MS Office’s implementation of mail merge, I get its appeal. It’s better than just sending a mass email with no personal greetings, and for some people, attitude up a newsletter for just one mass email might not be worth it. There is no reason why mail merge should not be part of your workflow / business life, but there are better ways to do it outside of the MS Office universe.
That is why I would like to tell you about an alternative that is intuitive, user-friendly and really works. It works as an add-on to Google Docs (sorry MS Office folks, but maybe it’s time to consider Google Drive’s online / offline productivity suite). The add-on comes from MailChimp, one of the best and easiest email newsletter services out there.
Step 1: Create a spreadsheet with recipient information
Before we start, go to Google.com/Sheets, create a new spreadsheet and enter the details for your recipients in rows with the appropriate labels. Start with first name, last name and email. You can enter fields such as Address or anything else related to your work.
Once that’s done, close the tab and we’ll get to work with the actual email.back to menu ↑
Step 2: Install Merge By MailChimp Add-on
Go to Google.com/Docs, create a new document, give it whatever name you want, go to Add-ons -> Download Add-ons and search for Merge by MailChimp. Download the add-on and wait a few seconds for it to install.
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Step 3: Create the email text
This is where you do what you need to do. Google Docs has many templates and add-ons to create attractive page layouts. Inserting charts, images and other multimedia is also quite easy.back to menu ↑
Step 4: Merge The Mail
Once the email body is ready, go to Add-ons -> Merge by MailChimp -> Send Email. This activates a pop-up explaining the steps you need to take before you can send the email.
Now select the spreadsheet we created in step 1 in the chooser.
You will see a doll in the sidebar up analyzed and processed with your spreadsheet data.
It already knows what the header rows are, what the headlines are and more importantly, which row contains the emailYou are of course free to change the details if you wish.back to menu ↑
Step 5: Customize a mail merge
Since this is a “mail merge” and not just a mass mail, you can do things like add the recipient’s first names at the top or anywhere in the document.
To do this, click on Merge tags button from the sidebar. This generates a tag for each row.
Now select where in the document you want to insert the corresponding data and click on the tag button (e.g. First name). Do this for all necessary elements.back to menu ↑
Step 6: Add and send sender info
In the Email Info tab, enter the sender’s name, sender’s email address, email subject line, and company name and address in the footer.
Click Send Email and your personalized mass email is on its way. Easy, isn’t it?
Now that the email has been sent, you can track its progress and see how many of them have been opened from the Reports option in the Add-ons section. With this add-on you can send up up to 6000 emails per month. Since you are using the services of an established newsletter company to send the email, this will also happen feature an “Unsubscribe” link and a MailChimp logo at the bottom.back to menu ↑
Using Mail Merge In Google Docs: Guide: benefits
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