How to Use Outlook to Conduct a Mail Merge

23/10/2022 in Articles

How to Use Outlook to Conduct a Mail Merge

Do you want to use Outlook to do a mail merge?

Microsoft Outlook to do a mail merge enables you to quickly send personalized mass emails to an extensive mailing list.

I’ll walk you through the steps for conducting this in Outlook in this article. I’ll also go through some of the disadvantages of the Outlook mail merging procedure, including the best approach for 2021, and see which one is better than the other by comparing those advantages and disadvantages.

The following are the elements of this article:

• What Is a Mail Merge and How Will It Work?

• How to Use Outlook to Perform a Mail Merge

• Limitations of Just using Outlook when Conducting Mail Merges

• The Best Mail Merge Choice in 2021

What Is a Mail Merge and How Does It Work?

A mail merge is an automated methodology that combines data from a spreadsheet or database file to create personalized mass emails.

A mail merge, in short, takes the data for multiple recipients from a source file and inserts it into your email message template. Many individuals have discovered that it has distinct pros and cons, just like any other method. Because of these disadvantages and benefits, the merging individual must consider which approach to choose and why.

And what are the advantages of delivering tailored emails?

A personalized email seems to be specially designed for a specific recipient, making it feel unique and relevant. It’s usually connected to your engagement rate since 72% of recipients will only read emails personalized to their particular interests. 

There are a few applications that one can use to perform a mail merge, namely 

There are a few simple ways to conduct it:

1. Compose a merging document with your email body and specific personalization placeholders (for example, First Name, Last Name, and so on).

2. Collecting the data required to customize the placeholders into a spreadsheet or database file.

3. Conduct it by linking your email message to a spreadsheet or database file.

4. Sending out your personalized mail merge campaign

Let’s look at how to send these Outlook messages now that we’ve covered the basics of the mail merge process:

How to Use Outlook to Perform a Mail Merge

Follow these steps to perform a mail merging in Outlook:

  • Use Microsoft Word to make your email content.
  • Finish the Mail

 Merge by linking the mailing list to the email message preview.

  • Send the Messages from the Mail Merge
  • Set up your mail merge data.

To add a customizable subject line or an Outlook mail merge attachment, follow these instructions.

Let’s look in more detail at the following steps:

A. Use Microsoft Word to create your email content.

The first step is to write the body copy for your email using any appropriate emailing app: Thunderbird and Gmail.

To do so, you’ll need to construct your merge document in Microsoft Word.

Here’s how to create your first Word document:

1. Select Blank File in Microsoft Word.

2. In the ribbon, choose the Mailings tab (menu bar).

3. On the Mailings tab, click the Start Mail Merge option.

4. From the drop-down menu, choose Email Messages.

5. Type your email message’s body in plain text format.

Leave placeholders for elements of the email message that you want to personalize, such as First Name, Due Date, and so on.

NB: At this point, no placeholders are required.

You don’t need to use placeholders when writing the body of your email message in MS Word. Alternatively, you can insert the merging fields later. Adding placeholders at this point, on the other hand, will assist you in figuring out where you should include merging areas at the end of the process.

B. Use Microsoft Excel to set up your mail merge data

Consolidate the critical data for your recipient list before sending out tailored bulk emails.

Microsoft Outlook to do a mail merge enables you to quickly send personalized mass emails to an extensive mailing list.

How do you go about doing that?

Create an Excel spreadsheet with the data your mail merge will need (such as First Name, Due Date, and so on), and format it appropriately.

1. Select Blank workbook in Microsoft Excel.

2. Create column headings for the information you wish to personalize in the email message, such as First Name, Due Date, and so on.

3. Fill in the blanks in the corresponding column headers with your data.

4. Select Save As from the File tab in the top left corner of the ribbon.

5. Give your mail merge data file a good name and save it.

C. Create a link between the mailing list and the email message.

You’ve written your mail merge message in Word and gathered your personalization information into an Excel spreadsheet.

So, what’s next?

To accomplish this, link your initial document and the Excel file.

To do so, follow these steps:

1. In MS Word, go to the Mailings tab and select “Select Recipients.”

drop-down menu.

Note: This is an alternative to the existing list.

You can create a new list or select particular contacts from your Outlook contact directory instead of using an existing list.

I don’t propose building a new list or picking it from the Outlook contacts folder because it’s a little more involved and time-consuming. It’s much simpler to create an Excel spreadsheet and then connect it here.

2. Locate and pick your mail merge data file from your computer’s File Explorer.

3. In the new dialog box that keeps popping up, write select the sheet in your spreadsheet that contains your data. ‘First row of data contains column headings’ should always be checked. (It’s on the left side of the OK button. Then click OK.

Note that if the Excel spreadsheet only has one sheet, highlight that sheet in the dialog box.

If you haven’t added column headers to your data in the first row, untick the First row containing the headers option. However, to reduce the possibility of errors, I propose using column headers in your spreadsheet.

4. Using the Insert Merge Field option, select and replace each placeholder with a corresponding column header from your Excel document.

For example, in the Word Doc, we replace the placeholder “First Name” with the merge field “First Name>>” from the Excel spreadsheet.

D. View and complete the Mail Merge

While your mail merge document is now complete, you should always preview your message to confirm that everything looks as it should. Some people fail to preview their text/message, which causes problems and difficulties for the recipient while examining the communication. So, after writing or merging, it’s the most significant aspect.

Here’s how to see how your mail merging will look:

1. In Word, go to the Mailings tab and click the Preview Results option.

2. Double-check that the mail merge fields are correctly shown.

3. Toggle between mail merge records and check for any merging field errors by clicking the arrows next to Preview Results.

4. Select Send Email Messages from the Finish & Merge menu.

5. Select the column header holding email addresses for the To: the field from the display dialog box.

6. Type the message’s subject line, choose “All” from the Send records drop-down menu and click OK.

The mail merge messages will be instantly added to your Outlook Outbox once you click OK.

In your data file, a record represents a recipient.

If you don’t want to share your emails with people you don’t know, or your file records, use the form and fields to specify the starting and ending numbers. For example, add these values if you wish to pick forms from rows 30 to 75 in your Excel spreadsheet.

Wizard for Mail Merge

If you’re having trouble following these instructions, you can always use the Start Mail Merge drop-down list in Word’s Step-by-Step Mail Merge Wizard option. It’ll walk you through each of the preceding steps.

Is there a less complicated option?

To send mail merge emails, utilize GMass.

E. Send the Messages from the Mail Merge

The only thing left to do now sends out the mail merge emails.

Here’s how you can do it:

1. Launch Outlook.

2. From the left-hand menu, select the Outbox folder, where you’ll discover the customized mail merge messages.

3. Select Send/Receive All Folders from the Send/Receive drop-down menu.

Your merged emails will now be sent to everyone on your list of recipients.

Limitations of Using Outlook to Perform Mail Merges

Yes, you may use Microsoft Outlook mail merge to deliver customized email messages to thousands of people.

 That performing mail merges in Outlook isn’t simple.


The following are some of the drawbacks of executing an Outlook mail merge:

• The Outlook online app does not have mail merge features.

• To send merged emails, users must switch between three different applications (Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook).

• To utilize Outlook mail merge, you’ll need to sign up for an Office 365 subscription (which starts at $12.50 per user per month for commercial use) or use proprietary copies of the software ($249.99 for one machine).

• you’ll need to use other tools or add-ins.

Isn’t this a nightmare scenario for anyone trying to send out customized mass emails?

But don’t be worried.

There are a few other applications that can be used they include the following,

  • mail merge thunderbird
  • mail merge Outlook
  • Gmail mail merge 

Instead of using all these applications, you can use Gmail mail merge as it has more advantages over the others, as we shall see below.

You can always use Gmail’s mail merging tool! Gmail is usually a form of an email that has now overtaken email and is usually very simple to use than others. It’s available on many platforms; thus better to use in mail merging. These being advantageous, below are some of the other benefits/advantages of using Gmail over Outlook.

Why Is Gmail Better Than Outlook for Mail Merge?

For mail merging and sending customized messages, Gmail is a far more practical option.


When it comes to doing mail merges, here are some reasons why Gmail is superior to Outlook mail:

1. Unrestricted

Unlike Microsoft’s Outlook, which has pricey pricing levels, Google Gmail is completely free.

Establish a free Google account to gain access to all of Gmail’s outstanding email services.

2. There is no need for a desktop application.

Remember that you can’t use Outlook’s web interface to use merging features. Who can only access it through the Outlook mail desktop program?

Gmail, on the other hand, allows you to use mail merge directly from the web interface.

You won’t have to switch between various desktop apps to complete a mail merging this way!

3. A More Efficient Mail Merge Process

It’s no secret that many users find Outlook’s user interface and mail merge procedure perplexing.

Gmail, on the other hand, has a clean and uncomplicated user interface. This makes using the program, especially for large mail merges, much more accessible.

What about Gmail’s mail merging feature?

Is it so difficult? Of course not. It’s way too advantageous other than Outlook.

It’s a piece of cake if you utilize GMass! 

Below is a brief description of Gmass and how exactly it works.

What exactly is GMass?

GMass is a robust email marketing automation tool that integrates seamlessly with Gmail.

Its superior this features have made it a popular tool among employees at Google, Uber, and social media behemoths Twitter and LinkedIn.

Small enterprises, startups, solopreneurs, and organizations such as churches will benefit from the technology.

What’s the best part?

Download the Chrome extension and join up with your Gmail account to begin using GMass!

How to Use GMass to Send a Mail Merge in Gmail

You can easily construct mail merge campaigns with GMass using both Excel and Google Sheets.

To do a mail merging in GMass, follow these steps:

1. Format your data file in Google Sheets by adding header names to the first row,  First and Last Names, Email Addresses, and so on, as well as data from the second row onward.

Note: If you’re storing data for numerous recipients in an Excel spreadsheet, upload it to Google Drive, open it in Google Sheets, and repeat the process.

Note: In your Google Sheets file, make sure at least one of the columns contains recipient email addresses.

 2. Go into your Gmail account and log in. select Compose from the drop-down menu.

Fill in your message and then click the GMass button in the window’s top right corner.

Don’t worry about including email addresses or personalization placeholders in the field. GMass will take care of everything for you!

3. In the resulting dialog box, choose the Google Sheets file and the associated sheet for the mail merging.

4. When it’s done, select CONNECT TO SPREADSHEET.

Then, in the field of your mail merge message, GMass will automatically insert email addresses.

5. To open the GMass Settings window, click the downward-facing arrow next to the GMass button.

7. To personalize your emails, choose appropriate column headings and insert them as placeholders wherever in the message body.

8. When you’re finished with your email message, click the GMass button to send your personalized mail merges messages out.

Unlike Outlook, where sending combined emails requires several steps and various apps, GMass allows you to send tailored mass emails directly from Gmail with only a few clicks!

Check out my guides on

  • Mail merge with Microsoft Excel using Gmail 
  • Mail merge Thunderbird
  • Thunderbird email mail merge
  • Mail merge thunderbird excel
  • Mail merge Outlook
  • Mail merge with Google Sheets using Gmail for more information on mail merges.

 NB: Many people discourage the use of Thunderbird as it doesn’t work to the advantage of the clients. It has no drag-and-drop function and occasional bugs (subjects can disappear temporarily, and clicking a subject line can open the wrong email). Therefore, we shall not dwell so much on it in this article.  

That’s not all, though.

You may also use GMass to 

1. Send ultimately personalized emails at scale, with paragraphs, graphics, links, attachments, and more all customizable.

2. To enhance recipient engagement, schedule mail merges email campaigns to go out at the right moment.

3. Check campaign reports in your Gmail inbox folder to see how well your mail merges emails are performing.

4. Increase your response rate by sending automatic follow-up emails.

Last Thoughts

Using Outlook to perform a mail merge allows you to send tailored mass emails rapidly.

However, to do a mail merging this way, you’ll need to use three different Microsoft applications: Word, Excel, and Outlook.

Using Gmail for your mail-merging campaigns is a considerably better option. It has more advantages, as we have seen in the above descriptions and steps.

GMass is the most convenient way to execute a Gmail mail combine, unlike thunderbird email mail merge and the rest.

GMass makes creating mail merges using Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets a breeze.

You may also personalize bulk emails, analyze deliverability stats, send automated follow-ups, and much more.

From the above description of working with Outlook and Gmail, we have seen that Gmail can do all these works using one application, unlike Outlook, which uses three. Therefore, one can use Gmail without any incurred costs and hard work like Outlook.

On the other hand, Thunderbird has so many misquotations from people and is more disadvantageous; therefore, many people try to avoid it and use the above-described methods.