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?
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?
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.
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…
Like many other email clients, images are turned off by default in Outlook. What does this meant to you if you are sending sales and marketing emails to Outlook users?
First… why are images turned off in Outlook?
- It helps users avoid viewing potentially offensive material (when external content is linked to the message)
- It helps to keep malicious code from damaging the data on your computer.
- It stops spammers from tracking which users actually opened their emails.
You can find more information on why images are turned off in Outlook at this link.
How will recipients see your images?
Most recipients will NOT have the images displayed when they receive your email. Instead they will see a red X.
In order to view your images they will need to MANUALLY right click over the space where the image should be displayed and then click Download Pictures.
Can you make sure that recipients will see the images in the emails you send?
NO! There are settings in Outlook which you can use to display all images, or images from selected recipients but… you cannot control them as the sender.
Each user controls how they want to view emails that they receive by changing their settings BUT…
A study by Jared Pool shows that less than 5% of users have changed any settings at all.
So what should an Email Marketer do?
- Assume that users have not changed their settings… and that they cannot see your images.
- Build a relationship with recipients by sending useful emails so they actually want to read your emails. This may mean sending emails with more text than images to start with.
- Use colors, highlighting and other HTML ideas to format your emails. Don’t just rely on images
- Structure your email with a mixture of text and images so that recipients actually WANT to see your emails.
- TEST the emails by sending them to yourself. Make sure that the view images setting in your Outlook is OFF. Do you see enough in the email to want to view the images?
I hope that this blog post helps you make better use of images in your emails.
Email Merge is already used by thousands of Outlook users around the world to improve deliverability and response rates for sales and marketing emails.
Do you use Outlook to send out sales and marketing emails to your customers? Here’s a few tips to help your emails reach customers and not get blocked as SPAM
1. Send SEPERATE INDIVIDUALLY ADDRESSED to each person
Don’t send one email with a big list of recipients… or worse to undisclosed recipients. That’s a red flag to junk mail filter software.
Instead send separate emails so that each recipient should only see their own name in the To field of the email that they receive.
Creating separate emails for each person can take time. If you have a big list of prospects or customers you can use an Outlook addin like Email Merge PRO which will create and send separate emails to each customer.
2. Don’t use words that Spammers use.
This means avoid words like free, discount, guarantee, special offer, best price, bargain etc.
But… how can you sell something without using those word… use them… but use them once or twice only where it makes sense.
Don’t make your whole email a sales promotion. Spam filters look at how often these trigger words are used so make sure you also have other (relevant) content.
3. Send emails from your own email account.
If you’re using Outlook, you probably don’t need to worry about this one. This applies to people who try and use unknown servers or web services to send out emails.
If the recipient’s ISP detects that your email is coming from an unreliable server or if the email is coming from a different domain then your email will be blocked.
Even when your email has gotten through to the user’s Inboxes, your job is still not done. You still need to get past the main Junk Mail filter… the person reading this email.
1. Make sure that the email is individually addressed (in the To field) only to him (or her).
When I see a big list of recipients from someone who is not a personal friend (I still get some joke emails etc from friends), I assume that someone is trying to sell me something.
2. Personalise the email at the start (something like Dear Sanjay) but don’t get carried away and personalise it too many places.
3. Send the email only to people who are actually interested in what you are writing about selling etc. If you have a big list of people, you may want to segment it into smaller lists. Not everyone is interested in everything you have to offer.
(If you are using Email Merge PRO, you can group your lists into smaller segments directly from the Wizard)
4. Make the Subject line interesting enough that the user wants to open the email.
I hope that these tips help your emails deliver better results for your business.
You may also want to look at Email Merge for Outlook which has an easy-to-use Wizard that helps you send out personalized individually addressed emails. It works from inside Outlook (your recipient list can be inside Outlook or Excel…) and also has advanced features to help you segment your list etc.
Standss is pleased to announce the release of Email Merge PRO for 64 Bit Outlook.
We already have thousands of Outlook 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2013 users sending out personalized, individually addressed sales and marketing emails using Email Merge PRO for Outlook.
We are very excited to welcome 64-Bit Outlook users to the Email Merge PRO users group.
If you’re using 64 Bit Outlook 2010 or Outlook 2013, you can now download a fully functional trial version of Email Merge PRO 64 Bit.
As always, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need support or have any questions or suggestions.
Right now a lot of you might be wondering… who are ACCIDENTAL SALESPEOPLE?
Well to keep it simple, these are people (like me) who have found themselves becoming salespeople because of the needs of their business and I’m sure there are others like me.
For the sake of this people, here are some of the Email Marketing Tips that are used and recommended by Real Salespeople:
TIP #1: Send a SEPARATE EMAIL TO EACH PERSON, personalized with personal data if appropriate.
Make sure that each person gets a separate email with only their own name in the To field. You can further personalize the content of the email with the person’s name and any other data you want if it adds to the value of your message.
- Do NOT send just one email with everyone’s name stuffed in the To or CC field. It lets everyone know everyone else who is getting the email.
- Don’t send the email to yourself (or undisclosed recipients) and BCC everyone else. It looks unprofessional and makes your email look like SPAM… both to the readers and to most spam filtering software.
TIP #2: Email your list with RELEVANT (and hopefully INTERESTING) information
The information you send to customers must be relevant to them… otherwise you will quickly find yourself banished from their Inbox to their Junk Emails folder.
- Don’t spam your customers. Write content that they are interested in. That way they will WHITE LIST you so that your emails will stay out of their Junk Emails and get into their inbox.
TIP #3: Email your list at the appropriate interval.
What is the appropriate interval between emails? Not so long that they have a hard time remembering who you are… and not so frequently that they lose interest in what you’re writing.
- Don’t train your customers to ignore your emails… if you send them too much information, they won’t make time to look at it.
TIP #4: Segment Your Customers and Prospects (or you could end up losing sales)
Not everyone in your list of customers and prospects are interested in everything you sell. Try and group them into different segments… and then send different emails based on the needs of each group.
- Outlook has a very powerful feature called Categories that you can use to segment your contacts. Unfortunately it is not as easy as it could be to do email merges with this!
TIP #5: KNOW why you are writing the email… What is in it for the reader? What is in it for you… what do you want the reader to do?
Why are you writing a particular email… Is it to inform the customer of a new product… is to inform them of a promotion you are running?
Is there something you want the customer to do… maybe click on a link… or call you… or download a file?
- If you want your customers or prospects to do something then ask them to do it… they can’t read your mind! (You’d be surprised what a difference in conversion rates this simple tip will make)
TIP #6: Write your Emails in a way that gets into their Inbox (and not Junk Emails) folder.
We often get asked by prospective customers if our Email Merge for Outlook can guarantee that their emails end up in Inboxes instead of Junk Mail folders.
Email Merge does many things to improve your chances of staying out of SPAM folders but guess what… if your email is basically spam then chances are it will be blocked.
TIP #7: Respect your customers wishes… don’t send them marketing emails if they’ve asked you to stop
If your customer has asked you politely (the first email is usually polite) to not send them marketing emails then STOP. You will probably need to contact them via email again… use their email address against their wishes and you may find that you get blocked off.
These are if you like the 7 tips that can help you with your Email Marketing efforts.
If you have any other tips, please share it with us and our many readers by leaving a comment below.