How to Send a Mail Merge in Gmail

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Mail merging sounds like such a 90s term, doesn’t it? But as unfashionable as it may be to talk about, it still remains the way to go when it comes to sending emails en masse to a large number of contacts. Thanks to a particularly nifty Gmail add-on, it’s as easy as ever to do.

In this article we’ll show you how to send a mail merge in Gmail using the “Mail Merge with Attachments” add-on for Google Sheets.

Note: the free version of this extension limits you to 50 emails per day, though you can schedule it to send emails over sequential days. The Premium version ($29) ups this to 250 for standard Gmail accounts and 1500 if you have a Google Apps for Work account.

1. Add this mail merge attachment to your Gmail account. (You’ll need to sign into your Google account.)

2. Next, open a blank Google Sheets document, then select “Add-ons -> Mail Merge with Attachments -> Create Merge Template.”

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Various categories should appear that will help you manage the list of contacts you’ll be sending your mail merge to.

3. Next, you could add contacts manually, but if you want to save yourself some work and have all the contacts you need in Google Contacts, you can just import them over instead.

To import your Google Contacts, go to “Add-ons -> Mail Merge with Attachments -> Import Google Contacts,” then select which of your Contacts groups you want to add people from. (If you haven’t yet created the group you want to send a Mail Merge to, you should do so in Google Contacts first.)

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4. Once you’ve imported your contacts, you can add attachments to send to specific (or all) contacts in the mail merge. To do this, select the column under “File Attachments” that corresponds to the contact you’d like to send the attachment to.

5. Next, go to “Add-ons -> Mail Merge with Attachments -> Add File Attachments,” then select the location from which you’d like to add your attachments.

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6. Once the attachment is added, you can copy-paste it to other recipients in the sheet. To send the attachment to all recipients, move your mouse to the bottom right corner of the cell with the attachment until your cursor turns into a black cross, then click-and-drag it all the way down your contacts list.

7. If you want the emails sent at a specific date and time, enter that date and time into the “Scheduled Date” column using the format: “dd/mm/yyyy hh:hh,” and copy-paste it into every column you want.

8. Now it’s time to write your message. Go to “Add-ons -> Mail Merge with Attachments -> Configure Mail Merge.”

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9. A new window will open where you can enter your details. If you have the Premium version, you can select extra things here like ticking a box to track who opens your emails and so on.

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10. Click Continue, then select whether to use an existing Gmail draft as your template or whether to write your own template using plain text or HTML.

Whichever you choose to do, you need to use double curly brackets ({{ and }}) to denote the variables that will be unique to each recipient. These variables are based on the columns in your spreadsheet, so if you want extra variables, you’ll need to add the column into the spreadsheet. Using the default template variables, you can create a mail merge that looks like the one below.

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You can send a test mail to see if the mail merge is set up correctly, and then when you’re ready, you can hit ‘Run Mail Merge’ to do the real thing!

Now you’re equipped to send your own mail merges. Remember that while we kept it simple, you can add as many variables as you would like into the emails you send – just make sure to add the column into the mail merge spreadsheet.

Image credit: Mail Communication Connection message to mailing contacts phone by one photo/Shutterstock

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