How To Send Personalized Mass Emails in Outlook

thumbnail9   How To Send Personalized Mass Emails in OutlookI could have also titled this ““ Mail merge from Outlook. Because that’s exactly what this process is about. Mail merge is a powerful productivity feature of MS Word.

Before I leap ahead, mail merge is used when we want to create several documents that are basically the same but where each document contains unique details. For example, a set of letters where the content is the same but the name, address or even the subject bits are unique for each. The best use I have found ““ use it as a job hunting application with custom details for each employer.

The mail merge feature uses two parts ““ a main constant document and the inconstant data source ““ and merges them. With Outlook being a part of the MS Office suite, one can use this feature to bulk send mail, each personalized for a different contact (it ain’t spamming, although I guess mail merge is mass mailing by another name).

So here’s how to send mass emails in Outlook and make emails look personal:

    Select contacts

  1. Open Outlook. Go to Contacts and select the people whom you want to mail by Ctrl ““ clicking the multiple names on your contact list. To effectively select the multiple names, opt for View ““ Arrange by ““ Categories.1 contacts   How To Send Personalized Mass Emails in Outlook
  2. Remember: Mail merge does not work with distribution lists.
  3. Mail merge contacts

  4. On the menu bar, go to Tools ““ Mail Merge. The Mail Merge Contacts dialog box opens up.
  5. For the fields bulleted under Contacts, choose Only selected contacts.
  6. At the bottom, for Merge options ““ Merge to; select Email from the drop down. A Message subject line field appears. Fill it with the common subject. Click OK.
  7. The completed dialog box looks like this”¦

    2 mail merge dialog   How To Send Personalized Mass Emails in Outlook

    Compose the email in Word

  8. When you click OK, MS Word starts up and opens in a new document with the focus on the Mailings tab. You can use the default document or any other template you desire.
  9. The selection of recipients has already been done from within Outlook. So, we will use the Write & Insert Fields panel to insert our custom fields.3 writeinsert menu   How To Send Personalized Mass Emails in Outlook
  10. For the word of greeting, click on Greeting Line. Configure the greeting as you want it to appear.4 insert greeting line   How To Send Personalized Mass Emails in Outlook
  11. To insert any other contact specific like a home address or a phone number, click on Insert Merge Field for a large drop down list.5 insert merge field   How To Send Personalized Mass Emails in Outlook
  12. Write the body of the email in the Word document.
  13. Once you are finished with the fields you want to include, preview the final look by clicking on Preview Results and then moving through your recipients by clicking on the previous and next record buttons in the Preview Results panel.6 preview results   How To Send Personalized Mass Emails in Outlook

    All that remains”¦ Mail it!

  14. Click on Finish & Merge ““ Send E-mail Messages. The Merge to E-mail dialog box opens up. Click on OK.7 mail   How To Send Personalized Mass Emails in Outlook

MS Word then does the job of automatically posting the emails in a flash. You can save the document you used for the mail merge, as it also saves the link with the data source i.e. the contacts.

Once you get the hang of it, the whole process takes barely a few minutes from start to finish. In the same time I would have earlier composed an email for just a single person; now, I did so for a group. So here’s how we managed to save on repetitive typing and save up on time.

Any other way to send personalized mass emails in Outlook? Do you use mail merge for email? Or the more common fields of carbon copy (cc) and the “˜anonymous’ blind carbon copy (bcc)? So, what are your productivity tips for Outlook? Share with them with us!

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i thought Outlook died quite long ago =P
Well… nice article, but i would still prefer Gmail, creating mail merge was okay in 1990’s. not anymore…


Nopes…its still a very very popular application. Gmail and Outlook have different approaches to email management.Gmail is increasingly getting better but Microsoft is very much there too. A lot of people I know, use MS Outlook for business communication and Gmail for personal ones. It’s good for us isn’t it…with all the offline and online choices for email.


is there a way to do the same in Thunderbird?

— aneeskA


Thanks mate .

I am reading the post “How to Set Up Mozilla Thunderbird to Send Mass Emails”


Yes, that’s the one as Aibek says. In fact, a post on that should be out in a couple of days time. Watch out for it.


I quite like doing it directly from world using and excel file and mail merging. This can be done with both outlook and Thinderbird. These need to be installed to be able to do it with Gmail. It would be awesome if google docs could be used with gmail to do the merge.

Also does anyone know how to make attachements to the mass mail merge?



Normally no. But this article helps – It’s a bit complicated. You have to set up a macro.


Hi, I recently got a job as a summer intern at a purchasing group and found this very useful for sending out emails to multiple vendors without showing the email of every vendor I send it to in the “To” field. Problem is, I have ~4500 vendors I need to send emails to and this method seems to require the recipients to be in your contacts. I’ve had to look up emails for many of these companies and the rest were in a database and I don’t want to have to add all the companies as contacts.

So my question is, is there another method of mass email where you don’t need the recipients in your contacts while still only showing the email of the person who recieves it in the “To” field?


Try it out with this info given in the MS Knowledge Based. I haven’t tried it out with so many recipents :)


Truly useful article, thanks! for the knowledge.

Can I also know information regarding how to add importance, request for read receipt and delivery receipt for this personalised mass email?


To answer both your questions (or to confess inability), I couldn’t find a solution to your query using the mail merge approach. Possibly, macros can do the job but that involves programming. Their is an addin called Mail Merge Toolkit which can handle the common CC part. But it’s not free so I couldn’t test it.


Frankly speaking I do not have good knowledge of macros and totally blank on the Visual Basics (VBA).

Guess, will have to use the personalize mail as a plain email only.

Any way, thanks for your reply


This is an excellent tool/work around…., but is there a way to add an attachment???


Normally. no. But with a macro, yes. I have given the link below in an answer to munkypint’scomment.


I used this wizard in outlook to send personal invitations to a work event to company leaders. I would like to be able to also cc their administrative assistance.

Is there a feature in the wizard that allows you to send a personalized email while also using a cc field?


No, Jamie…I don’t think you can do both.


Thanks Saikat, this really helps!
Outlook is still a cool email management/campaign software for sure, b/c of the ability to access all your email accounts at the same time. I find it very helpful.

Shibu P

I am currently looking out for a new job, what I do everyday in the morning is check out the newspapers, and collect the email address, and send out individual mails (the body is the same only the subject line and the address vary).
Now my question is, Can i feed all the mail address to one execl sheet(or some other application) and then use gmail/hotmail/yahoo to send out personalized mails to each of the company.



I did the whole process fine until I got to the last ‘ok’ and I got an error message:

ampi32.dll is an invalid Extended MAPI library

…and then…

Mail is not installed on your system

Do you know what these mean?

Thank you!


Which version of Outlook are you using? One solution could be to take the mapi32.dll file from another Outlook (someone else’s) of the same version and copy it to your Office11 folder. See if it works…
You can also try a download from here DLL Files