If you’ve been looking for a way to add personalized attachments to a mail merge in Outlook, then you’ve come to the right place. Many occasions could give rise to the need to send the same email to different people. But what if you want to add a personalized attachment, such as an invoice, sales report or wedding invite, to an email before sending it out to each recipient? This tutorial describes what a mail merge is and how to add an attachment when performing a mail merge in Outlook.
What is the Mail Merge feature in Outlook?
The Mail Merge feature comes integrated into Microsoft Office programs. It saves users from having to send separate emails to each contact when using Outlook to send bulk email messages. While you can find other professional email software that has more functionalities than Outlook, the feature is offered free of charge and is easy to use.
A mail merge involves creating several documents that basically have the same information and even graphics but with personalized details for each recipient. A good example is if you want to send out a bunch of wedding invitations to, say, 100 contacts. The text has to be the same, but the addresses and names have to be unique to each person.
How to send bulk email messages in Outlook with Mail Merge
For this operation, you’ll need to use Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Word. Microsoft Word will come in handy if you want to create your newsletter or email and add unique details, such as the addresses and names of the recipients. Here’s the procedure you need to follow:
How to create a recipient list
You’ll need to have your recipient list stored somewhere and ready to be used. If you don’t have a mailing contact list, follow these steps to create one:
- Open Outlook.
- Select the “Home” tab, and click on “People”, which should be located at the bottom of the page.
- Choose the contact address of the person you wish to send a mass email to.
- Select “Mail Merge”.
- On the “Mail Merge Contacts” window, select one of the options under “Contacts”, depending on your preferences.
- Under “Document file”, leave the option as “New document”.
- Under “Merge options”, leave “Document type:” as “Form Letters”, and then select “E-mail” in the “Merge to:” drop-down menu.
- Next, input your email’s subject into the “Message subject line:” box.
- Click “OK”, and Outlook will initialize Microsoft Word, where you’ll create your message.
How to create a personalized email message in Microsoft Word
After you complete preparing your recipient list, Outlook will launch Microsoft Word, where you’ll create your personalized message. Now, to create it, follow these steps:
- Compose an email message.
- Place the cursor in the field where you want to insert some personalized information, such as someone’s name or address. For instance, type Dear, and click the arrow on the “Insert Merge Field” option.
- Select one of the fields, like First_Name. This operation inserts the field code where you placed your cursor. For instance, if you selected “First_Name”, the code <<First_Name>> will be inserted. Note that if you simply type in “<<First_Name>>”, Mail Merge will not recognize it as a code.
- Repeat the same process for all the personalized information that you want to be included in your email message, such as the last name, state, country, or email address.
- Once you complete the process, select “Preview Results”. The field codes you inserted should be replaced by the actual data from your recipient list, which could be Outlook contacts, an Excel workbook or an Access database.
- Select the “Finish & Merge” button.
How to send personalized mass emails in Outlook
Now that you have prepared your personalized email message in Microsoft Word, it’s time to send the email to your recipients. To proceed, do the following:
- Select “Start Mail Merge” under the “Mailings” tab.
- Select “E-mail Messages” from the drop-down list.
- Click the “Finish & Merge” button.
- Select the “Send Email Messages…” option.
- In the “Merge to E-mail” window that pops up, select “Email” in the “To:” drop-down menu, and then select “HTML” in the “Mail format” drop-down menu.
- Under the “Send records” section, select the “All” radio button if you wish to send all the emails simultaneously, “Current record” to send the current viewable record only, or “From:” and “To:” to send a specific range of records.
- Click “OK”.
Microsoft Word will automatically merge the e-mails and send a personalized email to each of your recipients.
To save the personalized email message, select File > Save As. The next time you want to reuse the document, double-click on it and then select Yes > OK.
How to add personalized attachments to emails
What if you want to attach a personalized file to your email message and send it to different contacts? Many people don’t know how to add an attachment to a mail merge email in Outlook. Here’s how:
- After clicking “OK” in the “Merge to E-mail” dialog box, the messages will be in Outlook Outbox.
- Here, you can add personalized attachments to each of the unsent email messages, and once you’re done, click the “Work Offline” option to send the messages.
Protect your PC from malware in email attachments
Viruses and other forms of malware can be spread via email attachments. Email viruses are usually connected with phishing attacks where the messages are disguised to look as if they originated from trustworthy sources.
The risks are even more pronounced when you use desktop email software instead of online tools like Gmail since you’ll be downloading attachments directly into your system. As a result, your computer becomes vulnerable to cybersecurity threats. While you can use antivirus programs to scan attachments for viruses, not all of them are powerful enough to detect all kinds of malware.
For this reason, we recommend using Auslogics Anti-Malware The program runs a comprehensive analysis of your entire system, checking areas like registry entries, auto start items, browser extensions, cookies, and so on. After the analysis, suspicious items are listed in the “Quarantine” section, where you’ll decide whether to restore or delete them.
Auslogics Anti-Malware also allows you to add files or folders to the exclusion list to prevent them from being scanned in the future. More importantly, you can schedule automatic scans to ensure that your system is protected even when you’re not using it.
That’s all there is to adding personalized attachments to a mail merge in Outlook and sending bulk messages. If you have any questions about the Mail Merge feature or Outlook in general, please post them in the comments section below.