How to Send an Email Mail Merge using Word and Outlook together

Ever want to send unique emails out to a list of people? If so, you will need 3 things.

  1. Word
  2. Excel file with email list
  3. Outlook

To start open up Word. Click the Mailings tab then choose Select Recipients–>Use an Existing List.

choose record source mailmerge

Navigate to select the Excel file. The spreadsheet should have a column of emails. For example: Column A is First Name, Column B is Last Name, Column C is Email, etc.

Example of data list excel

Compose your letter by starting off with the greeting line. From the mailings tab click Greeting Line. You can also include any other data field (column) as you want by clicking the Insert Merge Field button. This is awesome when you would like to place any data you have of that contact based on the row in Excel. For example if you kept track of financial donations and wanted to write a thank you sentence to each person you could. It would look like this.

“Our records indicate that your 2012 fiscal year total tax deductible donations is <<donation>>.” Each email would be different based on the record source within Excel.

After writing the email make sure you include your signature. Even if you have automatic signatures setup in Outlook you still have to type the letter exactly how the reader will receive it.

compose the mailmerge

Finish the up the task by clicking the Mailings tab–>Finish & Merge–>Send Email Messages.

Write a subject that line and click ok.

subject line

And watch your screen flicker and flash as it goes to work sending out individual emails to your contact list. Read about another tip I posted on using some special rules in a Mail Merge to be flexible with your letters based on the data you have.

About Steve Chase

I'm a proud husband and dad to 4 boys! Microsoft Certified Trainer and Boy Scout Leader are some of things I call myself. The Cincinnati Reds are my favorite team! When not outdoors, I enjoy working with documents in Microsoft Office, QuickBooks, Visio and Photoshop. My wife, Erin, shares her awesome recipes on her blog at
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66 Responses to How to Send an Email Mail Merge using Word and Outlook together

  1. laura bertelsen kilber says:

    Most informative, however when I mail merge nothing happens. I got an Outlook email yesterday. My primary email is Yahoo. Is there another setting I need to change to make the mail merge occur?

  2. Betty W. says:

    Is there a way to do this and track email analytics? For example, if the recipient opens a link in the email, is there a way to track this?

  3. John says:

    how to send an email merge to groups of Microsoft Outlook Address Book. The groups become invisible while selecting recipients? Pls advise..

    • Steve Chase says:

      First log into Outlook go with 2 choices.
      1st choice- create a new contact folder and copy contacts to it.
      2nd choice- select the contact group members.

      Then with the selected contacts, click Mail Merge on the home tab of the ribbon.

      Go with an option to include all contacts in current view or only the selected contacts.
      Then select email in the merge to section.

      When you click OK, Word will open up and you can write the email.

      Remember that your Outlook signature will not go out with the email so make sure the Word doc is exactly how you want it to look prior to finishing the email merge.


      • John says:

        In Outook 2007 professesion edition, I tried with contact group members (distirbution list) it say Mail merge will not work. pls advise how to make mail merge for contact group?

      • Steve Chase says:


        I think this approach will work. First go to your contacts and double click the distribution (contact group). Click on the first contact within the group and then control + A to select all. Then control + C to copy. Then go to the Folder tab on the Ribbon and click New Folder. Name the folder and Paste from the clipboard the all the contacts you had in the distribution list.

        I hope you will be able to copy and paste them into your new Contact Folder. I have not tried that in Outlook 2007. The key is to get your contacts in a new Contact folder then proceed to the mail merge.


  4. John says:

    Steve, I have tried mail merge again. It worked fine. Surprisingly, Outlook uses the last name only while addressing someone. In some country, some people are called by first name and some by second or last name. So, I feel that our mail should address the recipient as under:
    Dear John Walter

    or whatever complete name has been filled by him.

    Please let me know how it can be attended.

    • Steve Chase says:

      Try clicking on Greeting Line or Address and then click “match fields”. This will connect you with a form to make sure that the fields are matched up.

      You could also manually enter the merge fields from the insert merge fields dropdown button.

      Hitting the preview results is good to do to see how it will work.

      Here is an article from Microsoft that might help.


      • John says:

        Full name does not appear somehow in greetings line. I tried match field but no luck. Pls advise

      • Steve Chase says:

        I’m not sure what the issue is. Just to double check your data source should have 2 field columns. One for first name and the other for last name. After inserting the greeting line make sure it has “Joshua Randell” or “Joshua Smith” depending on which version you have of Word.

        Then make sure you click the preview results and navigate through your records to see how it matches up.

        If that doesn’t work you could go with typing “Dear ” and then click Insert Merge Field- <> then space then Insert Merge Field- <>,

        Good luck, I hope you can get it to work.

  5. Mallory says:

    Steve, this is super helpful. I have an added challenge. Do you know if it possible to include reply rules in the context of a mail merge. Specifically, I will be sending out a tailored form letter to about 100 people and I want the replies to go to three people on my team…otherwise they will go to just me and I will lose track. Any thoughts? Thanks again.

    • Steve Chase says:

      I don’t think it is possible to include rules in the mail merge. If you could do rules, I would imagine it would require VBA programming.

      You can set up rules in your inbox (after the mail merge) that could forward emails with criteria to somebody on your team.


  6. Diane says:

    Hello Steve, you have good solutions here. I have been trying to use mail merge to send out notification for an organization that I have a separate e-mail address for. I use Office 2013. I am not able to chose a different e-mail to send from. I have changed the default e-mail account in Outlook 2013 but that doesn’t work through mail merge in Word 2013. When I have used mail merge I have not found a way to change the “From” e-mail account. Can you help me do this? Thank you.

  7. Janet Hughes says:

    Hi Steve, can you do the Outlook merge with cc’s or bcc’s? I want to send out letters and copy their manager plus their executive. Any way to do that?

    • Steve Chase says:


      I don’t think you could do that. Perhaps there might be a programmer out there who could write some code.

      One thought… you could make Outlook offline so that your emails get held up in the outbox. Then go into the outbox and add the CC and BCCs. Might be worth it if you don’t have a ton of emails you are sending. Then reconnect online with outlook so that they send.

  8. Monika says:

    Hi Steve,

    I have been trying to mail merge using excel and word files. The contents are all there in the word as well as excel sheet. I have attached the existing sheet to be used for data but still it is asking for workbook to be selected and i’m not getting an option to do the same. For this reason, i’m not able to do mail merge. Also in the same word file i’m able to attach another file with similar contents.
    Please help

  9. Jim says:

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for the tutorial. I have Outlook 2013 with several different accounts on it. For some reason Outlook only wants to use my personal email to merge. I have tried creating the contacts folder under my work email and changing the default to the correct email address and neither works.

    Any suggestions?

  10. Christine says:

    Hi, can a field be appended to a base URL to create customized hyperlinks? If so, how?

    • Steve Chase says:

      You could try the HYPERLINK and CONCATENATE functions in Excel.


      This would pull both text strings from A1 and B1 together, then format as a hyperlink.

      Maybe just the CONCATENATE() function will do as well.


  11. Nathan says:

    Thanks for the walk through Steve! Just curious, have you ever tried to attach multiple files to an e-mail sent using mail merge? Trying to send out a notice to about 500 employees that includes some audio, video, and photo content. I want it to be personalized, but I also prefer to attach the files rather than using a dropbox folder or something similar. Appreciate any help you could provide on that!

    • Steve Chase says:


      Outlook mail merges do not allow multiple attachments to be included. There probably is some 3rd party add-ins that do that but I’ve not tested any of them to make any recommendations.

      I would say the best option would be to use the drop box or OneDrive hyperlinks to the files from a shared folder.


  12. Chinmaya says:

    Hi Steve,
    I am not able to find Mailings tab in my word or excel through outlook . So, please suggest what to do?


  13. Angela says:

    Where are the sent messages from the email merge? I don’t see them in my Sent folder.

    • Steve Chase says:


      I’m not sure why that happened. A couple of things you could try. Make sure they are not in the Outbox as pending. This would be if you were offline.
      Second, maybe the email list was not recognized in the final step where you type the subject and specify which field to email.
      Third, perhaps you have multiple email accounts associated with Outlook and maybe there is an error, or could look in your secondary email sent items.

      You could also try to ask any of the recipients if they got your email as a verification.

      Forth, do you have any rules that delete your sent folder?


      • Sunny says:

        Hi Steve, I am also using Outlook 2007 mail merge. After sending mails from Mail merge, I couldn’t see any mails in the sent mails and even in the outbox during sending process. But while sending I can see that there is small flickering action in the word document so that I can confirm that mails are sending. Pls tell me how I can see the mails in the sent items as a confirmation that I’ve sent the mails. Thank you

      • Steve Chase says:

        I’m not sure why that happened. First thing I recommend is to verify with one of your recipients that they received your email from the mail merge. Or you could do a test email mail merge that sends something to you. Just to have 100% proof it is working.
        Others have had issues before like this where it looks like it is working with the flickering, but actually did not send.

        After you test, I’m afraid you might find out that they never did send out. For solutions I go here

  14. Hi Steve,

    I have multiple email ids configured with on my outlook 13. I don’t get an option to choose which id will I like to send merged emails from! Is there flexibility to select the email id that I want to use for mail merge?

  15. Hi again Steve,

    Reading one of tour earlier posts, i figure that we cannot have attachments when we are using mail merge. Is there no way around it?

    I am trying to send our newsletter to a list.


  16. Steve Chase says:

    I’m not sure why that happened. First thing I recommend is to verify with one of your recipients that they received your email from the mail merge. Or you could do a test email mail merge that sends something to you. Just to have 100% proof it is working.
    Others have had issues before like this where it looks like it is working with the flickering, but actually did not send.

    After you test, I’m afraid you might find out that they never did send out. For solutions I go here

  17. Robert Jeedi says:

    Hello Steve,
    I want to send some emails with signature, Tried a lot but the emails are getting send but the signature in the outlook Signature box is not included in the Email. I am using MS 2007.
    Please help me figure out the problem.

    • Robert Jeedi says:

      I Am Using Mail Merge

      • Steve Chase says:

        Robert, Signatures do not automatically append to outgoing mail merges. I have not seen this feature in any version of Office. If you are going to want to do this a lot, you could add your signature to Word’s Quick Parts to repurpose it with a few clicks from the Insert tab.


  18. shaan khan says:

    how can I choose between my email accounts to use with my mail merge mailings through WORD??

  19. David says:

    Hi Steve,

    Hope this is still an active thread. Seems like it is. Sorry if this was asked and I missed it. In 2013 when I go to send an email it asks every time if I want to send the email. Which is fine if it is 10. Not so fine if it is 10,000.

    Any thoughts would be most helfpul.



    • Steve Chase says:

      hmmm. That is going to be an issue. I have not seen this before so I’m sorry I can’t provide any tips to correct the situation.

      Maybe a work around is to start off in Outlook with a contacts folder for all the contacts you plan on emailing. You can create a temp contacts folder and merge the records over. Then click the mail merge command from Outlook which will open up Word. Once you have Word open then try it. I would test it with just a couple of emails to friends first.

      If that doesn’t work try posting the question to the Outlook community pages. I have several links to the forums in the comment threads.

      Hope you can find a solution.


  20. Aamir Ashraf says:

    Hi Steve,

    I am trying to enter a unique subject using mail merge. In thunderbird with mail merge addon, i am able to do this. In outlook 2010 with word, i am able to do everything but enter unique subject lines from my excel sheet.
    Is this possible in office? if so how?

    Thanks in advance,

  21. annadainin says:

    nice share
    thanks for information

  22. Stephanie says:

    I totally have everything working — except — my auto signature that is set to go on all new messages is not populating on mail merges. It works individually but not with a mail merge. This was my work around to being able to mail merge an attachment but not wanting the body of the email to be blank. I am struggling to figure out how to have the attachment and standard text in the email… I thought I was brilliant for putting the email body text in signature but it is not playing nice. Do you happen to know the answer?

    • Steve Chase says:

      Hi Stephanie,

      I do not know if there is a solution to have the signature in the body of the email and have the attachment.

      I might have a solution if your mail merge records is 100 or less. You could work offline in Outlook, complete the email merge and since you are offline all of the emails will be in the Outbox just waiting till you are connected online. You could open each email, insert the signature and save and close. I think that once you had everyone all set, you could flip the “switch” and connect and all the emails should start to send.

  23. Mark Gray says:

    If you are looking for an easy way to track a mail merge. You should look at ContactMonkey, I have a step by step guide below on how they achieve this.

    Hope this helps!

  24. Dheeraj says:

    Hi Steve,

    is there any possibility to send pdf (password protected) file with mail merge.

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