Hackernoon logo2 Easy Methods to Create a Mail Merge for Gmail by@frenchcooc

2 Easy Methods to Create a Mail Merge for Gmail

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Corentin Brossault Hacker Noon profile picture

@frenchcoocCorentin Brossault

Developer Advocate at Mailmeteor.com

There are 2 ways to mail merge in Gmail. You can either use a Google add-on that will do the job for you or build your own mail merge script in Gmail.

We’ll cover both methods in this guide. Even though we recommend using software built for that purpose which cover most issues and will probably save you time.

Method 1:
Building a Merge in Gmail Using Google Apps Scripts

As a developer, it's a good challenge to try to build your own Gmail mail merge without an add-on. And thankfully we’re going to use Google
Apps Script, which makes it really easy to create Google add-ons.

Google Developer Advocates have already released a great script to help us move forward with the code. Here is the latest version of the open-source code hosted on GitHub written by Martin Hawksey - @mhawksey.

We gonna look at it step-by-step:

1. Create a copy of the sample mail merge spreadsheet:

Open this demonstration spreadsheet and click on “Make a copy” to get your own copy.

2. In your new spreadsheet:

Click on Tools > Script editor to open Google Apps Script. From there, you will see that a script is already tied to your spreadsheet. That's because you've made a copy of the previous spreadsheet!

In the script editor, you can update the code as you wish. Changes will be reflected immediately.

Back to copied spreadsheet, update the “Recipients” column with email addresses you would like to use in the mail merge. Replace the cells’ value under the “Recipients” column with your own email address for example.

3. Now, open Gmail to create a new draft email:

You can use personalized variables, like

{{ firstname }}
which correspond to column names of the spreadsheet you just copied. This indicates text you’d like to be replaced with data from the copied spreadsheet.

4. Back in the copied spreadsheet, click on the custom menu item called “Mail Merge” and then click on “Send Emails":

This item menu was created by the Apps Script project and will start the mail merge process.

5. A dialog box appears for authorization. Read the authorization notice and continue:

Important note: The script we are using has been created and proofread by Google Apps Script teams. Always be super careful when authorizing scripts and third-party apps in general.

When prompted enter or copy-paste the subject line used in your draft Gmail message. Then click OK.

6. Sending your emails:

You will see that the “Email Sent” column will update with the message status. Back in Gmail, check your Sent folder and review the emails the program just sent for you!

Keep in mind that using a script is at your own risk. Check Gmail’s sending limit before sending large volumes of emails. Be especially aware that your account can get blocked by Gmail if your emailing activity seems unusual in the eyes of anti-spam filters.

For these reasons, we would recommend using a mail merge solution such as Mailmeteor. Mailmeteor deals with all these aspects for you and ensures that your privacy remains protected.

Method 2: Using a Mail Merge Add-On Like Mailmeteor

We’ll start with a real-life example to show you how to do a mail merge from Gmail using a Google Sheets add-on. In this example, we’re using Mailmeteor, the best rated Google mail merge add-on.

1. Get Mailmeteor

All you have to do is to install Mailmeteor from the Google Workspace Marketplace. The Worskpace Marketplace is a place where you can find all the apps compatible with your Google Suite. Mailmeteor is a tool that integrates with Gmail and Google Sheets to merge emails with Gmail.

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2. Add contact in Google Sheets

Once Mailmeteor is installed, open a Google Sheets spreadsheet.

First of all, you will need to add recipients to a Google Sheets spreadsheet. This spreadsheet will be the place where you store your contact list. You will also be able to track your campaign metrics from there.

To create a mailing list you can either add your recipients manually or import contacts. To import contacts in Google Sheets, go to Menu > File > Import and select your Excel or .csv file.

Here’s a mail merge demo spreadsheet we’re going to use:

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👉Link to mail merge demo spreadsheet

Note: When opening Mailmeteor for the first time, you will be guided through a quick onboarding tutorial. A demo spreadsheet like this one will be created for you.

Let’s breakdown how your spreadsheet should look like:

➤ Add column headers on the 1st row

Mailmeteor will pull the information from your spreadsheet to personalize your emails. Each column represents a personalized field. This field will be replaced in your email template.

In our example, we have 4 columns named: firstname, email, company, postscriptum.

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Add as many columns as you want and pick any column header name you want. Make sure you have a column named “email”.

Fill the columns with your recipients’ information

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Fill your spreadsheet with your recipients’ info. Ensure all email cells are filled with valid email addresses. Apart from the emails, you can leave some cells blank, that is fine! In the example below, some recipients will get a Post Scriptum whereas others won't.

3. Open Mailmeteor from the Add-ons menu in Google Sheets

Once your contact list is ready, open Mailmeteor. To open Mailmeteor go to the menu and select Add-ons> Mailmeteor > Open Mailmeteor.

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This is the Mailmeteor interface. It tells you how many emails you can send per day and details related to your campaign. Next, we are going to compose the template that will be used for the mail merge.

4. Compose a new email template

Click on the “Create new template” button. This will open an editor in which you can compose your email. The Mailmeteor editor is the exact same as Gmail, you will find all the actions you need to customize your email.

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Now we’re going to personalize your email. Personalizing emails is important as it helps make your recipients feel unique when they receive your emails. Using personalization will also dramatically improve your opening rates - and thus the replies you will get.

5. Personalize your emails

A mail merge transforms a standard email template into a personalized email copy. It’s done by replacing variables fields within the template with the content from your spreadsheet.

To insert a variable it’s easy: add variables using double brackets like this

{{ firstname }}
. Here is a template you can copy-paste:



Hello {{ firstname }},

I'm glad we could meet lately. As discussed, we are using a brand new mail merge solution called Mailmeteor.

Mailmeteor lets you send hundreds of personalized emails, right from Gmail.

I’d love to let you see some of the features to get your feedback. We want to ensure Mailmeteor would actually help you do your job better at {{ company }}.

Would you have 10-15 minutes free to chat? (I promise to keep the time!). Let me know the time that suits you best.

When adding a variable, always make sure that it matches a header in your spreadsheet.

Once you are satisfied with your template, click the “Save” button.

6. Preview emails before sending

Mailmeteor offers a preview feature that is super helpful to review emails before sending. The preview mode gives you a glimpse of the actual output of your email once personalized for each recipient.

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You can also send a test email to yourself. Testing your emails on several devices is a best practice. This will ensure your emails will display correctly in most situations.

7. Send your mail merge

Ready for take-off? It’s time to send your mailmerge campaign.

We know that sending your mail merge can be a bit daunting at first. No worries though, if you follow these steps, everything will be alright!

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✨ That's it! You are now ready to mail merge emails with Gmail using an add-on such as Mailmeteor ✨

Here's a real-life example. Watch this teacher use Mailmeteor to mail merge emails to his students:

Your Turn!

That’s it for this guide to mail merge in Gmail. We hope you now
better understand this simple yet incredibly powerful tool called mail
merge.

This guide is part of an extended guide on Mail merge in Gmail (2021). If you want to learn much more, go check it out!

Previously published here.

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