Sunday, November 1, 2009

Email your holiday greeting without losing that personal touch

There are, however, limitations to what it does. You can't personalize the email Subject lines, you can't schedule or use batch sending, you can only use the default Outlook account, and you need to do it with Word.

Word? Yeah, I know.

So why do I need the add-in?

Downloading, installing and sending out your first email merge with EmailMerge should take you 5-10 minutes. Let me show you the basic steps and it'll help you see how you can get the most out of this tool.

Using EmailMerge for Outlook

You can download EmailMerge from our Web site http://www.Standss.com. Save the file to your computer, make sure Outlook is closed, and then run the installer.

Write your email message

Create a new email in Outlook. With EmailMerge installed, you'll now see either a new toolbar (Outlook 2003 or earlier) or a few extra buttons on your Ribbon (Outlook 2007).

Write out your email as you normally would. You can use either Plain Text or HTML and use as much formatting and graphics as you want. You can even add attachments to the email (although OutlookPower's official recommendation is to neither send nor open attachments).

Choose what you want to personalize

EmailMerge supports more than 50 fields. You can personalize how those fields are inserted into the messages you send. Place the cursor at the appropriate place in the Subject or Body of the message.

Select the appropriate field from the drop-down on the toolbar or ribbon and click the Insert m-field button, shown in Figure A.

FIGURE A

Use Fields to show where your emails will be personalized. (click for larger image)

You can insert fields in as many (or as few) places as you want. You don't have to add any fields at all if you don't need to personalize the content.

Start the wizard

Click the Email Merge Wizard button on the toolbar/ribbon to start the wizard which will let you choose your recipients and both how and when the emails will be sent out, as shown in Figure B.

FIGURE B

EmailMerge uses an easy Wizard interface. (click for larger image)

This first screen is an introduction. Just click Next to choose your contact data source, as shown in Figure C.

FIGURE C

Where do you want to load your list from? (click for larger image)

EmailMerge can load contacts from many sources including contact folders, distribution lists, Excel files and Access databases.

Your recipients are probably in your Outlook contacts folder for your Christmas mailings, so click Next. If you have more than one Contact folder then EmailMerge will ask you to choose the folder you want to use. Select that folder and click Next.

You can now use the familiar screen in Figure D to select who you want to send your emails to.

FIGURE D

Who do you want to send this email to? (click for larger image)

Click Next when you are done to display the screen shown in Figure E.

FIGURE E

Do you want to save these recipients as a mailing list? (click for larger image)

EmailMerge can save a list of your chosen Contacts as a category. Then the next time you want to send an email to the same list of people, you can choose the Category instead of needing to select each contact individually.