A reader asked… How can I do an email merge in Outlook and send each person a customized attachment (PDF)?
In this post I discuss why you may want to do this and the easiest way to get it done.
Existing Outlook users are using this feature to provide their customers a more personalized service in several ways.
An accounting firm generates PDFs of customized tax reminders for their clients and then uses Email Merge to distribute the correct report to each customer
- Another professional services firm creates personalized invoices in PDF format and then uses Email Merge to send them out.
- An investment company sends out recommendations to their clients using this technique.
I am sure that you can come up with your own ways to use this to better serve your own customers.
Setup your list
The first thing you need to do is setup a list which contains the email addresses of the people you wish to contact, and the names of the file that will be sent to them. In this example I am assuming that you will do this using Excel.
Simply add a field (column) to the excel sheet which has the full name (with path) of the file that you wish to send as shown below.
(You can use Excel formulas to make up the file name if they follow some kind of rule)
Merge and Send the Emails
Now it’s time to send out the emails. While there is no built-in way in Outlook to do this, you can easily do this if you are using the Outlook add-in Email Merge Pro for Outlook.
Click the Email Merge Wizard button. The Wizard will guide you to creating your email and to choosing the Excel file as your data source.
When you come to the following screen, click the Select field’s hyperlink.
Click Attachments and tick the name of the field that contains the file name.
Click OK to return to the Wizard.
Follow the rests of the steps of the Wizard to send out the email.
Email Merge will create a separate email for each person, with the correct file attached to each one.
Our customers have used Email Merge to increase sales and to provide better support to their customers. Please share your own ideas in the comments below.
Not a user of Email Merge PRO for Outlook yet?
Microsoft released Microsoft Office 2016 (which includes Outlook 2016) on September 22nd. Since then our support team has had many requests from users asking if the Standss Outlook addins (that they rely on for their work) are compatible with the latest release.
I am happy to report that we have uploaded updated versions of Email Merge Pro for Outlook, QuickFile for Outlook, Email Tags for Outlook, Send Guard for Outlook and eeminders for Outlook to our website.
Note: These upgrades do not have new features and the only changes in them are for problems discovered with Outlook 2016.
You only need to download these updates IF you have upgraded to Outlook 2016.
Please remember that Outlook 2016 is still very new and we have had limited time to test the addins out with the latest release by Microsoft. The team worked on this last week and over the weekend.
We believe that we have fixed all problems that may exist but if you do have any issues, please email our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also our apologies for not releasing this earlier. Microsoft released this rather quietly, without any of the normal marketing announcements. Luckily we had already been testing and upgrading the addins with the preview version so the changes were fairly quick and easy.
Finally I would like to thank the customers who emailed us for information and then helped to test this out with my team.
Your continued support and kind words motivates us to create better products that (hopefully) help you and your business.
Many users around the web have reported that Outlook 2013 stops sending emails after they upgraded their computers to Windows 10. The emails simply sit in the Outbox. The following steps can be used to solve the problem:
Description of Problem
After upgrading to Windows 10, Outlook 2013 can no longer send out emails. The email stay in your Outbox and the following error is displayed.
Error 0x800CCC13 Cannot connect to the network
(For some reason doing a test Send & Receive from the Outlook Account Settings screen still works!!… but most real emails will not go out).
It appears that (on some computers) the upgrade to Windows 10 corrupts a few settings files that are used by Outlook. You can use the following steps to fix the problem.
In the Windows Search Bar, type CMD. You should now see Command Prompt displayed in the search results.
Right Click and click Run as Administrator. A command prompt (C:\<some_path>\> will be displayed.
Type SFC /scannow and press enter.
The scan will take some time to run but once it is done you should find that your emails start working again.
Did this work for you, let us know by leaving a comment below.
If you find this post useful, please subscribe to our newsletter to get weekly tips on making Outlook work for you and your business.
The Rugby World Cup 2015 will kick off on the 19th of September with the first game between Fiji and England, so for all you rugby fans who would not want to miss a single match, or at least not your favorite teams matches, here’s how you can download the times for all the games into your Outlook Calendar.
1. Make sure that your computer is setup to the correct time zone. This step is important to ensure that the game time gets shown at the correct time depending on where in the world you are. Go to the Windows Control Panel and open Date and Time.
(Your screen may be slightly different depending on the version of windows… it may have a separate tab for Time Zone).
Make sure that the correct Time Zone is displayed i.e. the time zone of where YOU are. (I am in Fiji so the screen shot above says Fiji). Click on Change time zone if you need to.
2. Click on the link below to download the Rugby World Cup 2015 schedules:
Download Rugby World Cup 2015 Schedule
* Click on the ADD TO CALENDAR button
* On the pop-up screen, select if you would like the schedule for all teams or for your favorite team only
* Click on the Outlook button. Outlook will automatically open
* In the popup, click Yes
* The new calendar will be added to the panel on the left
The times for all the games will now be in your Outlook.
Enjoy the games and may the best team win.
You greatly increase the chances that your sales email will be deleted (without being read) if you send it in time for the morning purge. In this post we explain what the morning purge is… and what you can do to avoid it.
What is the morning purge?
Recent statistics show that the first thing that people do when they wake up is check their smart phones (after the alarm on the same smart phone wakes them up). Some jump straight to Facebook but many people that you are writing to take the first few minutes to prioritize their emails.
Does this sound familiar?
You wake up. You look at the big list of emails that has landed in your Inbox while you were sleeping.
You’re not awake enough to start working on the big stuff yet but you can get organized for when you get into the office.
So you skim through your emails and delete out the stuff that is not too important. You want a more manageable workload when you get into the office.
You DELETE! You PURGE! … and you’re not alone.
Millions of people do the exact same thing every morning.
Is your email really important enough to survive the morning purge?
If you’re responding to something that someone specifically asked for then your email is probably going to survive but…
If you’re sending out more cold-calling like sales and marketing emails while people are sleeping (or after they have left work) then chances are they’re being deleted without being read.
What you need to do to get your sales and marketing emails past the morning purge?
If sales and marketing is part of your job description then you NEED to get those cold-call-like emails opened and read.
The secret to surviving the morning purge is simple.
Make sure that your email gets delivered to your customers and prospects AFTER the morning purge.
This means that the best time to send your emails are after they have left home and some time while they are in the office.
But be careful… because there is another purge session that emails go through immediately after lunch… so don’t send your emails during lunch time either.
Want to know more tips like this?
For all you NFL fans out there, it’s that time of the year again so gear-up with your favorite team’s jersey, hats, cheering gears etc and plan in advance with friends and families to enjoy the games at home or at the venues.
The pre-season kicks off on Thursday, August 13 till Thursday September 3. In the first game the New Orleans take on the Baltimore at the M&T Bank Stadium.
Week 1 of the NFL 2015 season kicks off on Thursday 10th of September with the Super Bowl champion Patriots hosting the Steelers… A Game not to be missed!!!
You can download the full NFL 2015 schedule or only your favourite team’s schedule and load it into Outlook so that you don’t miss out on any of your favourite team’s matches.
1. Click on the link below to download the full NFL schedules for ALL teams and save the .ics file to your desktop
Download the 2015 NFL Season Schedules (source: southendzone.com)
If you only want schedules of your favourite team, click on the appropriate link below:
2. Import the downloaded file into your Outlook by following the steps below.
- If you are using Microsoft Outlook 2013/2010, click File > Open&Export > Import/Export.
For all other versions of Outlook, click File > Import & Export.
- Select Import an iCalendar (ics) or vCalendar file (vcs) from the list and click Next
3. Use the screen that comes up to select the ics file that was downloaded in Step 1.
(You may get the following extra steps depending on the version of Outlook you are using)
Click either Open as New or Import. (If you have your calendar synced to your Iphone, you can import it to your Defualt Calender as you can than view the schedules from your Iphone)
The times for all the games will now be in your Outlook.
Stock-up the chilled Beers, snacks and enjoy the games.
May the best team win.
The easiest way to keep emails organized is to create folders inside Outlook for each client (or project or matter) and then move both sent and received emails to those folders… or so we thought.
A recent survey that we carried out of professionals (lawyers, architects, engineers etc) who use Outlook revealed that most users prefer to move emails out of the Inbox BUT not from the Sent Items folder.
Instead they prefer to copy emails out of the Sent Items folder and leave the original in Sent Items. In this article we look at why… and how you can copy emails instead of moving them.
Why you need a copy in the Sent Items folder
There are two main reasons that professional using Outlook prefer to keep a copy of all emails sent in the Sent Items folder.
1. Filling in Timesheets: Professional often bill clients for time. While timesheets should be filled as the work is done, this doesn’t always happen. Timesheets are often filled at the end of the day. The Sent Items folder often provides a good reminder about the work that we did on a particular day.
2. Finding emails quickly: You will probably need to refer to at least some of the emails you sent today in the next few days (probably to answer questions on a phone call, to clarify what you said etc) While Outlook’s search is pretty good even if you have emails filed away in folders, the easiest way to find a recently sent email is to quickly scan your Sent Items folder!
How to copy emails from the Sent Items folder
I am going to give you a more automated solution at the end of this post but the two manual ways of doing this in Outlook are:
Manual Method 1: The Move Command
Go to your Sent Items folder.
Right-click over the email that you want to move.
Click Move and then click Copy to Folder to display the Copy Items screen.
Select the folder and then click OK.
Method 2: Drag and Drop
The other way of copying a email is to drag and drop the email BUT do the drag and drop using the Right mouse button instead of the normal left.
When you drop the email (by releasing the right mouse button), you will see a small pop-up.
Click Copy and the email will be copied to your chosen folder.
An automated option for busy people
If keeping emails organized is important to your business, then you may also want to look at QuickFile for Outlook. QuickFile will save you hours of valuable time by learning and recommending where to file your emails. You will be able to file 90% of emails at the click of one button.
Best of all QuickFile can prompt you (with the recommended folder), whenever you click Send… and automatically file a copy of the email to your chosen folder and still leave a copy in the Sent Items folder.
If you find Outlook almost hanging up on you while you are writing emails, this tip will save you from a lot of frustration (and as a bonus increase your focus and productivity).
Does this sound familiar…?
You’re replying to an email and then Outlook starts doing something in the background. It basically locks up! You can’t do anything except wait for it to finish!
After a few moments, you get tired of waiting so you switch over to something that still works on your computer… something to do while you’re waiting… most probably the Internet… or Facebook.
10 minutes later you remember what you were actually working on! That’s 10 minutes wasted just because Outlook started doing something you never asked it to in the first place.
And it’s not just 10 minutes. It normally takes another 10 minutes to get refocussed again.
How many 10 minutes do you lose in your day?
I spend a significant part of my day working on emails and recently I have been having this problem several times a day.
I use Outlook 2013 with Office 365 and I discovered that the problem seems to coincide with when my Outlook is syncing emails with Office 365… particularly when I am working from home where my Internet connection is not as fast.
I found that I can greatly improve my productivity by making Outlook work offline when I plan to do actual work.
This is what you need to do:
- Go to Outlook
- Click Send/Receive on the Ribbon and then click Work Offline.
- Work on your emails
- Make Outlook go back online (by clicking on the Work Offline button again).
Warning: Please remember to make Outlook go online again. While Outlook is offline, no emails will be sent or received. Emails that you send will still be in the Outbox and new emails will be not be received in your Inbox (they will be waiting to be downloaded from your mail server when you go back online).
This simple tip has had a surprisingly positive effect on my productivity. Why?
- It stops Outlook from hanging up so I am able to get what I am working on completed without waiting for Outlook. I don’t get distracted to look at other things (Facebook!!).
- I also don’t get distracted by new emails popping in to the Inbox while I am working on something. (New emails are not downloaded while Outlook is working offline)
- As a bonus I enjoy work more without the frustrations of waiting.
Did this tip help you? Do you have your own tips for fixing Outlook performance issues? Please let us know by leaving a comment below.
We are happy to report that thanks to your support, Standss has had the privilege of again making a donation to the Hilton Special School. In this post I would like to share details of how the donation will be used and some of the truly inspiring work we witnessed when the Standss team visited the school last week.
The Hilton Special School is the main organization in Fiji that works with children with hearing and physical disabilities. This organization serves a very important and often neglected group of children in our community… and they have been doing it very well for many years.
The organization operates a school, an early intervention center, an audiology unit, a physiotherapy unit and a hostel.
While they get some government assistance, a lot of their work is only possible with the help of grants and donations.
Last year we donated $10,000 to them to assist with setting up a new physiotherapy unit. The physiotherapy unit has now been setup.
Last week we donated an additional $10,000 which will be used towards the salary of a qualified physiotherapist who will work with the children.
During our visit to the school, we were given a tour of the different classes that are currently being held. Some of the truly inspirational things that we learnt and witnessed included:
• The children are taught the exact same syllabus that are taught in all other schools in Fiji. The only difference here is the mode of learning as the children here need different attention because of hearing impairments or restricted mobility.
• The teachers of one class were both without hearing. They had benefited from the work that from organizations like Hilton in their youth, had gone through teacher training and were now inspiring and teaching other students that their disabilities did not have to hold them back.
• The Hilton School also had a computer lab. Krishneer Sen, the teacher and administrator of the lab was also a former Hilton student.
After Hilton, he went to a technical school in New Zealand and then won a scholarship to Gallaudet University which is the world’s only university designed to accommodate deaf and hard of hearing students.
Krishneer is a source of inspiration for all of us.
His life shows us what is possible with support and determination. He also shows the tremendous impact that organizations such as Hilton have , not only on individuals directly affected, but also on the lives of people that that these individuals will affect in turn.
I know that I may have overused the word but this visit by our team was truly inspiring for us.
It is too easy to forget that just having normal hearing, site and mobility is a privilege.
It is humbling to see the work that others are doing to empower these children to live full lives.
We want to thank the team at Hilton for their service and for allowing us the opportunity to contribute.
And finally… we want to take this opportunity to thank all our customers.
We are only able to support Hilton and other similar organizations because of your continued support of our products and company.
We want you to know that you have are making a difference.
Sanjay and the team at Standss
Here’s a little tweak that I did to Outlook Search (in Outlook 2013) to make it work faster for me.
What is Outlook Search
Outlook displays a Search box at the top of your emails. Simply click in the search and type the words that you are looking for.
In Outlook 2013, you can also change where the Search is done (current folder, current mailbox, all mailboxes etc) directly from the same screen
How to make Outlook Search your Inbox faster
By default Outlook searches for emails in the current folder except if you’re in the Inbox. IF you are searching from the Inbox, Outlook searches for emails in all folders in your current mail box.
The problem with this is that Searching for emails from your Inbox can be slow because it is searching for emails in all folders instead of just the current folder.
You can change where to search each time but this seems to almost hang Outlook if the Search has already started.
Instead you can change Outlooks settings to search only the current folder when you are in the Inbox.
Click File > Options
Click the Search tab to display Search Options.
Select Current Folder and click OK
Now when I do a Search from the Inbox the results are almost instant. I can still Search all folders by selecting Current Mailbox or All Mailboxes from the list on the right of my Search box if I want to do a wider search.
Why this works for me
This works for me because I usually go to the folder I am interested in before I do my Search. When I am searching my Inbox, I know that I am looking for an email in my Inbox.
Share your own thoughts on Searching by leaving a comment below.
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