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Mail Merge Using Gmail and Google Docs for Personalized Emails

Gmail is a great tool for managing emails. The mail merge feature is one feature which is not supported by default, but, mail merge using Gmail and Google Docs is easily possible using this tutorial.

A mail merge program assists in sending personalized mail to multiple contacts at a go. A major portion of the content in the mail will be common with just few variables that have to be customized such as the name, meeting time or place etc.  A template is merged with a database of information like names or other unique details. It is a great tool as it helps to send out personalized emails to multiple people quickly.

Most companies use this method for their marketing mails and another a common example is when you are organizing a party or there is some other important function, personalized mails can be send to all your close ones with the help of mail merge to go that extra mile and making them feel special.

How To – Mail Merge Using Gmail and Google Docs

Step 1

Compose a new message in the Gmail mailbox. This is the template email. Save the email as a draft.
Point to remember is, in the template email, the terms that are required to be personalized are to be replaced with “$%terms%”. For instance, if the name is to be personalized in the email, replace the name with “$%Name%” or “$%first_name%
For example:

how to use gmail for mail merge

Change all the variables of the template email in the subject line and body content.

Step 2

Make a copy of this spreadsheet in your Google Docs account and open the same. There are few dummy data entered just to help you get started. Just change the column names as per requirement and they should match the various variable fields that were marked in the template mail.
Columns can be added or removed as per need but the column named Email Address is mandatory. Ensure that all the variable fields are mapped to a column in the Google Docs and that their names are exactly same for this to work.

There should be one row of data for every recipient as this data is used to personalize the message.

Step 3

After the data is entered and verified, visit the “Start Mail Merge” option under Mail Merge menu. Authorization might be required in the initial attempt, click Grant Access to do so. This is just granting access to Gmail to your own Google Doc account.

how to use gmail for mail merge using google docs

Step 4

Once the access is granted click “Start Mail Merge” again and select the template email we created earlier and enter the From address for the emails. If you want to receive a copy of the email, tick the BCC option. And that’s it!

Few points to remember

  • You can see a new column called “EMAIL _SENT” added to the doc, once the mail merge successfully completes.
  • You can  test before you send out to the original list by adding one or two data rows in the spreadsheet and put your personal email id in the fields required just to be sure.
  • There is a daily sending limit, which is set at 500 messages in a day. Make sure that the limit is not exceeded as Google can temporarily lock the Gmail account.

If you still need a visual walk through, view the following video -

Image Source – Labnol

Anand S

A techie who loves keeping track of the latest and the greatest in the industry.