2. Creating and sending your first MailMerge365 campaign

In this tutorial we will create, write and send your first campaign with MailMerge365. You need to have signed-up for MailMerge365 and installed the plugin in order to continue.

Step 1: Preparing your campaign data

MailMerge365 uses a spreadsheet (Excel or CSV file) to know who to send your email campaign to.

The minimum required for this spreadsheet is a column of email addresses. This must be the first column and must have the header "email" in the first row.

But the recommendation is to add more columns with personal information that you can use in your email. This will make your email feel more personal and increase the likelihood of getting a response. For example you can add name, company and a personal note about what you remember from meeting them.

As a starting point you can download this sample Excel file here. Open the file in Excel and change the email addresses to email addresses you're using for testing purposes. Note that you can not add the same email address twice in one spreadsheet. You can use temporary email addresses to test with.

Step 2: Start the plugin

Open Outlook and create a new message window. Then you can start the MailMerge365 plugin. The procedure depends on the version of Outlook you are using:

Outlook on the Desktop Outlook on the Web (Classic) Outlook on the Web (Modern)
Open the tab "Message" and the plugin icon is located at the top of the window. If you have many plugins installed the position might be different. Click on the MailMerge365 icon to start the plugin.
The installed plugins are located at the bottom right of the window. Click on the MailMerge365 icon to start the plugin.
The installed plugins are in the submenu on the right hand side. Open the menu and click on the MailMerge365 icon to start the plugin.

Step 3: Start your campaign

MailMerge365 lives in a sidebar of the compose window and will look the same on all versions of Outlook.

Continue by click the " Upload your campaign data file" button, select the Excel or CSV file you created in Step 1 from the file browser that pops up and then click "Open".

Wait for your file to be processed and you'll be greeted with a blue welcome banned which you can dismiss by pressing OK. Then you'll see the different campaign settings.

You will also see that an email address has been added to the "to" field of your email. This is a unique email address for the campaign you just created. Don't remove it.

Step 4: Compose and personalize your email

For this tutorial we will create a simple campaign. First add the text "Test Campaign" as your subject line.

Then copy and paste the following text into the body of your email:

Hi X,

I enjoyed meeting you at the conference. I think it would be good to continue our conversation on X.

Did I note down your company name correctly? X

Would you like to jump on a call? I'm using a tool that shows you where I'm free, please go ahead and choose any time that suits you.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Now we are going to replace the Xs with tokens from your spreadsheet. Begin by selecting the X on the first line. Then in the MailMerge365 window use the drop-down under "Add personalization field to email" to select "firstname" and press add.

You will notice the X has been replaced by {{firstname}} - a token. A token is always the name of the column surrounded by two brackets on each side. When you send your campaign MailMerge365 will replace this token with the specific information for that email address from the spreadsheet.

Now go ahead and repeat the process for the other Xs.

  • The second X after "our conversation on" can be replaced with "note".
  • The third X after "correctly?" can be replaced with "company".
  • We won't use "last name" for this tutorial.
  • Next select the text "Choose any time that suits you" and add a link to any website, e.g. your company website. Make sure the URL is not part of the email body text.
  • Finally just add your name to the end of the email.

You can adapt the email body any way you like and you can type the token manually if you want to. The format we've used here feels quite personal to the recipient, therefore a similar style is recommended.

When you finish your email should look something like this:

In the plugin window underneath the personalization drop-down you can click "Preview Email". This will open a window and let you test what the final email will look like for each recipient. Notice how each token has been replaced with the information from your file.

Step 5: Send the email

You can now hit "Send" in Outlook. MailMerge365 will receive your email and generate your campaign. Next, let's have a look at your campaign dashboard.
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