About a month ago, I came across this amazing tool that many of us do not have knowledge about – mail merge. It is a tool to personalize your emails to each individual needs. It is so good that I am sharing this information with all of you so that I can possibly get rid of at least one misery in your life.

So, I had over a hundred volunteer related emails to send out, and all with personalized information. I had a similar situation when I was working at my previous job – I wanted to send out emails with the same content but wanted to personalize the greeting line and input client’s individual name. Unfortunately, no one knew an easier way to do it. Hence, I had to write each email individually. It was borderline torture trying to remember which one I’ve worked on. Not to mention crosschecking.

Reminiscing that experience, I felt dreadful just thinking about sending out emails. But this time, before I begun any of the process, my colleague at InterAction introduced me to this “mail merge” tool. As soon as I learned about it, I couldn’t help but think Bill Gates as an angel from heaven. If he were there with me by myside, I would’ve definitely given him a HUGE hug.

As such, I would like to share the wonderful world of mail merge so that in the future, when you are in a similar situation as I am, you can make use of this spectacular system. I won’t be explaining how to use the mail merge in this blog because Microsoft has a pretty good “support” system explaining how to use the tool – but I will guide you to it. Besides, I’m more of a doer than a guru. (I realized I’m terrible at explaining things). But if any of you want a walkthrough of this tool in person let me know and I would love to guide you through it.

1. What is mail merge?

Mail merge is a function in Microsoft Word where you can integrate numbers of information from excel sheet into a word document. For example, you can personalize recipient names in a letter or you can personalize contents. Meaning, instead of “Dear All”, you can send it as “Dear Hae Soo” or “Dear Ms. Park”. The only catch is that you will have to use Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft Outlook.

2. How do you use mail merge?

Using mail merge may seem complicated, but once you figure out the mechanism, it is VERY easy and super duper convenient to use. All you need is a word document with an email format and an excel file with all personalized information you want – organized in columns.
The details of how to use the system is well explained in this following link.
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/word-help/use-mail-merge-to-create-and-print-letters-and-other-documents-HA101857701.aspx

It’s pretty self explanatory, but again, if any of you want a walkthrough on how to actually use it and need some assistance, do let me know, and I would be more than glad to help you out.

I feel like a sales person trying to promote this tool but believe me, it’s that useful.

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