How to create a mail merge in Gmail

In this short tutorial I will explain how to do a mail merge in one of the world's most popular free email services, Gmail.

Mail merge allows you to send an email to multiple recipients, with parts of the email being personalised to whoever you're sending the mail to. So for example, if you want to send a wedding invitation or tell everyone in a company that you've been elected president of your book club, you don't want a generic email that starts with "Dear all“.

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You can greet everyone by their first name, and include information specific to that person, without having to send multiple emails.

This is particularly useful for people running newsletters and similar email announcements.

In order to get your mail merge done right, you will need a couple of things:

  • A Gmail Account
  • A Google Drive account
  • Yet Another Mail Merge Add-on

The first two things are basically the same, as having a Google account means you have access to the various services the company offers.

First thing you’ll need to do is create a Spreadsheet using Google Drive (Go to http://drive.google.com, New > Google Sheets).

sheets1

You will want to fill in the sheet with the information you would like personalised in each email, but make sure email address is in the first column.

sheet2

After that, make your way back to Gmail and compose your email.

sheet3

The fields in the body of the text which you would like merged must be typed in the email as so: . Make sure you write the mail’s subject, as it will be necessary soon. After doing so, save the message as a draft.

Back in the spreadsheet, click Add-ons > Get add-ons… and search for Yet Another Mail Merge.

There are many mail merge add-ons out there, but I find this one to be simple and effective.

After that, go back to Add-ons > Yet Another Mail Merge > Start Mail Merge.

Sheet4

You will be presented with a pop-up, where you can choose your email draft, and where you enter your name. Press “Send Emails” and you’re done.

sheet5

If the merge was successful, back in the Google Sheet will be added an additional column, showing the merge as successful.

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