Mail merge is the process of creating customized email, letter and pre-addressed envelopes or mailing labels from a generic form or a template, for mass mailings. IT can be used to make any type of document which merge data fields into one common document. The original document contains static text with placeholders for elements like names, addresses, email addresses, or personalized and unique information.
Typically the data source is a spreadsheet or a database that has a field or column for each variable in the template. A column in the spreadsheet could contain a list of names that correspond to the list of email addresses. These would be then reflected in the template, making each email individualized as per the owner of the email address.
The mail merging process generally requires the following steps:
- Plan and Design the email
- Create the Main Document and/or the Template
- Create a Data Source
- Define the Merge Fields in the main document
- Merge the Data with the main document
- Send a Test Email
- Send out the bulk Emails
- Track the responses
Mail merge is generally used by companies or agencies to send out newsletters, marketing emails, and many such emails. Mail merge basically makes the process of sending bulk emails an automated affair.