In this post we show you How to send out Personalized, Individually Addressed Invites and Holiday Emails to your friends, family and business contacts… PLUS we give you free Holiday themed Outlook templates to send better looking emails out today.
Most companies send out invitations or newsletters during the year end to update their clients/members of the achievement for the year, plans for the New Year, and special offers for the holiday seasons etc. You may also want to send out invitations to cocktail parties etc.
While the free templates can be used directly from Outlook, the steps below will show you how to use the Email Merge Pro for Outlook addin with these templates.
Why send it out this way?
Using Email Merge, you only need to write your email once. The software will then (from inside Outlook) send a separate copy to each person… with each email personally addressed with only their name in the To field (and even their name in the body of the actual email if you want)
This is better than stuffing everyone’s name in the To, CC or BCC fields of one email because:
- Your emails look more professional and personal. Recipients feel like that you have given them special attention.
- You email is more likely to get past spam filters and not end up in the Clutter or Junk Mail folders.
- Personalized emails can have up to 3x the conversion rates (if you want the reader to take some action like clicking on a link etc).
Seeing is believing so check out the short video on this page on using EmailMerge Pro.
Let’s get started…
Downloading the Christmas Templates
If you haven’t done so yet, download and install Email Merge Pro for Outlook.
Once you have Email Merge installed…
Click here to download the Outlook Holiday Templates. Save the file to your desktop or other convenient location on your computer (This will be a zip file. You do NOT need to unzip it).
Start Outlook and go to your Inbox.
Click the little arrow under Email Merge on the ribbon and then click Template Manager (to display Email Merge’s built-in template manager)
Click the Import button and select the zip file that was downloaded in one of the earlier steps.
Click OK. The templates will be imported into your Email Merge for Outlook template list with the names Happy Holidays and Holiday Invite.
Click Close to close the Template Manager
Sending Personalized Emails from Outlook using the Templates
Click the Email Merge button on the Outlook Ribbon.
Select the appropriate template (Happy Holidays or Holiday Invite) from the list on the first step of the Wizard.
Click Next and follow the rest of the steps in the Wizard.
Happy Holidays from the team at Standss
Merry Christmas to all our readers from the Standss Team.
I hope you find the above information helpful in staying in touch with friends, families and clients this year.
Till next time… have a better Outlook
It’s still not too late to send out your Holiday emails and invites.
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?
A great email signature can help your business by building your image and credibility as well as making it easier for people to contact you. In this short post I look at what things a good signature block can do for you, what you want to put in, and what you should leave out.
The most important thing to remember… Your signature block needs to be as small as possible particularly since so many emails are only a few lines long… but it still has to achieve several objectives.
The objectives of a good signature block
A good signature block should do most if not all of the following for you:
- Let people know who you are
- Let people know how they can contact you
- Show people who may not know you what you or your company does
- If possible, convince people who don’t know you that you are a credible person that they can safely work with
- If you use social media a lot, let them connect you via your preferred social media website.
What you should include:
- Your Name
- Your Title (Optional but very useful, particularly if you have an important or at least important sounding title)
- Your company name
- (Optional) Your company logo
- (Optional) Logo or text details of any awards or memberships that build your credibility. Keep this as short as possible. Don’t list too many things or it loses it’s impact.
- A tag line that makes it easy to understand what you and your company do (Optional only if your company name is immediately recognizable)
- Your Phone Number
- Your web site address
What you do not need to include
Personally I feel that it is a waste of space to include the following:
- Your email address (they already know that sine they received the email from you)
- You fax number (unless you are in an industry/country that still makes use of fax)
- Your postal or physical address (they can always ask for this if they need it)
What do you think?
I hope that you find this article useful.
Do you have your own tips for better email signatures? Please share your ideas with other readers by leaving a comment on this post.
Do you have lists in Microsoft Access that you need to send sales or marketing emails to? You can now email merge directly from Outlook using data stored in Microsoft Access.
Mail Merge is the process of taking one letter (or email) and then personalizing and sending it out to many people. Each person gets a separate copy of the email with only their own name on the To field. The email subject and body can also be personalized with their details.
Thousands of users have been using our best selling addin Email Merge PRO for Outlook to send out sales and marketing emails from Outlook using Outlook data or lists saved in Excel spreadsheets.
We have now updated Email Merge PRO so that you can also use data from Microsoft Access databases.
Email Merge gives you an easy step-by-step Wizard that results in individual personalized emails.
If you’re an existing user of Email Merge PRO, you can download the update for free.
If you haven’t tried it yet, download a functional trial of Email Merge PRO from our website.
Email Merge for Outlook Addon version 3.1.5294 Released: Supports Microsoft Access + Minor Bug Fixes
Standss is happy to announce the release of EmailMerge version 3.1.5294 which is faster, more stable and NOW allows you to use Microsoft Access database (Excel, CSV and Outlook contacts) as your contact source.
This update is free for all existing registered users of version 4.0 or later.
Email Merge for Outlook is already used by thousands of users around the world as an email marketing tool because it works directly from Outlook, there are no monthly or yearly fee’s and allows you to send unlimited emails to unlimited number of contacts.
Fixes and Features in this update include:
- New! Supports loading of contacts from Microsoft Access files in EmailMerge 32-bit and 64-bit
- NEW! Excel contact source/CSV contact source: Remembers the last external file being used.
- Fixed issues with using Excel file as contacts data source.
- Ignores Outlook hidden contact folders.
- Other minor bug fixes
Download latest version of Email Merge for Outlook
New to Email Merge: Watch this short video to see just how easy and simple it is to send out personalized individual copies of emails to your mailing list directly from Outlook.
You can also download a functional trial version of the Email Merge to try it out for yourself.
We had several readers write back to us asking a common question:
“Is there a way to extract email addresses from emails directly to external files like CSV…”
If you have this question in mind as well… The answer is YES!!!
What’s even better is that you don’t need to purchase a new software to do this… you can use Outlook’s in-built Export feature to get this done.
- The first thing you need to do is move/copy all the emails you wish to extract into a separate folder. For example you can create a folder called “Export” or “Email List”.
- In Outlook 2013/2010, click File > Options > click on Advanced from the left pane > Scroll down and click on the Export button
- For Outlook 2007/2003, On the main menu Click File > Import and Export…
- Click Export to a file > click Next > Select Comma Separated Values (Windows) > click Next >
- On the next screen, select the folder which contains the emails from which you wish to extract the email addresses
- Click the Browse… button to specify a location and file name for the new file.
- Click Next > Click Finish.
This should now extract the email address (and other information) from the emails to the new CSV file.
Wondering how this tip is handy?
If you do not want to invest in expensive, subscription-based, online email marketing systems, you can use Outlook and Email Merge for the same.
You can use the steps provided in this post to extract email addresses of your potential clients following a conference, seminar or any other event (who have contacted you) to a CSV file. You could also add them to your Contacts folder but this will be time-consuming as you will have to create each contact individually.
Once all email addresses are in the CSV file, you can use Email Merge for Outlook to create and send personalized emails to your mailing list. With Email Merge, you can send out unlimited number of emails, there is no monthly or yearly fee’s and you can load unlimited contacts from Outlook contacts and external files like CSV, Excel or even Access.
Hope you find this tip useful.
Do you know of other ways the Export feature can be handy?
Let us know by leaving a comment below.
We have told you before why you should not use the Outlook Deleted Items folder as your filing cabinet i.e. do not use the Deleted Items folder as the folder where you keep emails for later reference.
Here’s another good reason…. If you are using Office 365 (I recently moved my email account to it), your Deleted Items folder is automatically cleared (every day) of emails that are 30 days or older.
The reason for this is that folders in Outlook that are linked to Office 365 have Retention Policies applied to them.
A retention policy defined how long Office 365 will keep items in users’ mailboxes and defines what actions to take on items that have reached a certain age.
The default action for the Deleted Items is to clear items that are 30 days or older.
While it is possible to change this default action, I don’t think you should. Automatically clearing emails provides two benefits:
- It discourages you from “filing” emails in the Deleted Items folder.
- It provides insurance in case you need to recover an email that you deleted recently.
You can find more information on Setting Email Retention Policies in Office 365 here.
Adding images to your sales and marketing emails can make your emails look attractive and engaging but ONLY if the images and your well-crafted HTML email appears the same in the recipient’s inbox as you intend it too…
Using images in your marketing emails incorrectly can cause a reduction in response rates. Here’s why:
- Plain text emails get through spam filters more easily (ultimately it depends on content so your plain text emails will still get caught if you are sending out obvious spam).
- Email clients like Outlook do not display graphics in emails by default because spammers use them for tracking purposes etc. Therefore if you have your main message only in an image (without repeating it in plain text), then your readers may never actually see it.
- Many email users are now using the preview pane to scan through emails before deciding which emails deserve their attention. If you have a graphic at the top that is not meaningful then your emails may be skipped.
- Not all your readers are using the same version of Outlook as you are… in fact many may not be using Outlook at all (think Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail etc). In our experience images often cause HTML emails to display differently in different browsers which can spoil the look you want to achieve with your emails.
This is one of the main reasons that most of the professionally designed templates in our Email Merge for Outlook addin have little or no images in them. Instead we have used HTML to create a professional look that displays properly and looks great in all the email programs that your readers will be using.
I hope you find this tip useful with your email marketing campaigns this holiday season and improving your response rates.
Let us know if you have other techniques to improve the email response rate by leaving a comment below.
It’s holiday season and for most of us it’s also the busiest time of the year… sending out sales and marketing emails like newsletters, sales catalogues, invites, season greeting etc.
The last thing you want is for your emails to be marked as SPAM and not reach your recipients therefore you need to ensure that your sales and marketing emails meet the CAN-SPAM Act. The aims of this Act is to provide standards for sending out promotional emails while limiting the amount of spam.
One of the requirements of the CAN-SPAM Act is that the Sender must clearly identify himself/herself by providing relevant contact information.
What does this mean to you… If you are sending out promotional emails then you probably need to put the following contact information at the bottom of all emails at the very minimum:
- Your (the Sender’s) Name
- Your Email Address
- Your Postal Address
It is a LEGAL REQUIREMENT that all promotional emails include the above at a very minimum.
If you’re not already doing this, make sure you include your contact information on the next promotional email you send out.
I hope you find this tip useful.
If you know of other tips to ensure your emails are not marked or regarded as SPAM, please share it with our readers by leaving a comment below.
Your emails signature is an opportunity to promote your business each and every time you send out an email. Here are a few ideas for what you can put in your signature (aside from your contact information):
- A link to your website (you’re probably doing this already)
- A slogan telling people what it is that you do (for us it is… Make Outlook Work for Your Business)
- The title and link to your most popular blog post. This is a great way to show prospects your expertise.
- If your firm or product has had a great review recently, a few chosen words from the review and maybe a link to the full review
- A call to action (Call now to for an honest appraisal)
- Links to your social media profiles (you can download images from places like Hubspot to make this look even nicer)
I certainly don’t recommend posting everything, but a few well-chosen items can make a big difference.
Till next time…