Mail merge is a software feature that allows creating and sending a personalized email, letter, or similar form of communication to several recipients with varying addresses and other contact details.
Mail merge applications are often used by email marketers, salespeople, and advertisers when communicating with tons of clients. They personalize bulk communications, and so are also known as “bulk email senders.”
How Does a Mail Merge Software Work?
A mail merge software uses two primary elements—the document with placeholders for the data that needs to be customized (the template) and the data source containing the personalized information (names, phone numbers, etc.). The software automatically adds the data from the data source to the template.
Mail merge tools allow marketers and other specialists to personalize the following in their mass emails:
- Customer’s full name
- Job title/Position
- Postal address
- Phone number
Why Use a Mail Merge Software?
First of all, a mail merge software allows personalization, a practice that has been a priority for marketers for some time now. In fact, in 2019, members of the Association of National Advertisers even selected “Personalization” as the Word of the Year.
In email communications, email personalization has been one of the most efficient tactics to improve engagement, according to the 2020 Hubspot marketing report. Why? The truth is that customers prefer personalized emails over generic ones and get frustrated with irrelevant marketing messages. Besides, more than 60% of customers expect personalized engagements with brands based on prior interactions. That means they are more likely to open an email when they see their names in the subject line.
Marketing specialists know this and understand that personalization is the key to maximizing email reading and opening rates. They can achieve even better results if they use all the mail merge functions in commercially available software. Plus, they never have to send anonymous emails again, thus enhancing their customers’ experience.
Besides mass email personalization, mail merge software use has more benefits, such as:
- Sending automatic follow-up emails
- Connecting to office suites (e.g., Microsoft Office, iWork, and Google Suite)
- Scheduling bulk email sending
- Tracking email opens and clicks
- Creating distribution lists from connected email services (e.g., Outlook, Gmail, Mail, etc.)
- Sending automatic email replies
- Scheduling appointments for demos or business calls
- Syncing data with customer relationship management (CRM) applications
- Enabling team collaboration
What Are Some Popular Mail Merge Software?
There are tons of mail merge software choices in the market today, including:
- GMass: Allows users to use Gmail to send mail merge campaigns with automatic follow-up emails, connect to Google Sheets, personalize, schedule, track opens and clicks, create email lists by searching their Gmail accounts, send emails as replies to the last thread with each person, and set automatic follow-up emails sent sequentially until they get a response.
- Vocus.io: Lets users personalize email campaigns, track and automate email follow-ups, schedule appointments, sync with CRM software, and collaborate with team members.
- MailShake: Enables users to send personalized cold emails at scale and engage with prospects via phone and social media in one go from a single dashboard.
There are others, of course. Choosing the right tool for your business depends on the features you need and your budget.
Do Mail Merge Software Differ from the Built-In Mail Merge Feature in Office Suites?
The built-in mail merge feature in office suites like Microsoft Office and iWork also personalizes mass communications. It lets users save time by connecting Word (Pages on Macs) to Excel (Numbers on Macs) to automatically fill in designated fields, such as the recipient’s name, position, and other personal details, in a generic letter.
While the mail merge feature that comes with office suites is undeniably useful, it may not let marketers, sales professionals, or advertisers track their email marketing campaigns’ effectiveness. The analytics data coming from commercially available independent mail merge software can give them that.
Automating the task of creating the same email repeatedly for each recipient with mail merge’s help already saves users a lot of time. But, as has been said, tracking when each message was opened at the very least with a mail merge software can help with well-timed follow-ups to boost sales. Knowing who actually opens emails and can turn into actual customers and where most users are located will also make it easier for organizations to focus their attention on campaigns that work and areas where marketing and sales efforts can be fortified.