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How to Get the Most Out of Your Mail Merge


How to Get the Most Out of Your Mail Merge


4 Tips for Growth Hacking Mail Merge Campaigns

You’ve certainly heard of “growth hacking”– it’s a buzzword that’s been around for a couple of years now, particularly in the startup scene. There’s a reason the idea has caught on so quickly– no matter how big, small, old, or new your company is, does finding thrifty ways to grow your business and boost your revenue really sound like a bad thing? Of course not! But here’s the tricky part– where, exactly, do you start?

A great way to jump into growth hacking is to make sure you’re effectively utilizing your current tools and resources. So today, we’re going to cover some best practices for that old, tried, and true staple of email marketing, mail merge. Stay tuned for more about:

  • Creating email templates
  • Setting up defaults
  • Testing fields
  • Field naming conventions

Don’t waste your time creating the same mail merge campaign again and again– create a template to save you time and growth hack your mail merge campaigns.

1. The sooner you learn that templates are your mail merge BFF, the better.

Creating an effective mail merge campaign is about giving the recipient a personalized experience, but getting your message exactly right can take a while! So don’t waste time designing the same basic email over and over again. Instead, take advantage of email templates.

Email templates allow you to keep your mail merge fields intact, which means you can kiss redoing your mail merge fields for every campaign goodbye.

When you set up mail merge email templates, make sure you follow these best practices to ensure they help your business grow as much as possible:

  • Don’t get too crazy with the content. Have you ever heard that less is more? That absolutely applies here. Templates work best for quick messages that you blast out to a pretty broad audience.
  • Don’t overuse fields. Less is more, remember? Including your recipient’s name in the greeting is a nice touch– including it in every other sentence may be a bit too much. Make sure you strike a good balance and only use your mail merge fields where relevant.
  • Proofread, proofread, proofread. No email is immune to typos, not even templates. So no matter how many times you’ve used a template before, give it a quick once over before you send it out to make sure everything looks good.

We’ve all gotten emails that were missing information from a mail merge field. Set up default values to keep your messages clear, professional, and engaging.

2. Fill in the blanks, so your recipients don’t have to.

In an ideal world, information for all of your mail merge contacts is perfectly complete. Unfortunately, that is rarely the case in the real world. So what happens when there are holes in your information? What if an email uses the name merge field in the subject line and greeting, but for some contacts, there’s no name to be found?

That’s why supplying default values for your mail merge fields is essential. That way, your messages aren’t full of mail merge code or off-putting blank spaces.

Mail merge campaigns can incorporate way more information from your database than just the recipient’s name. Try other options– like time or location– to get more out of your mail merge campaigns today.

3. Explore all of your options to find the right fields for your mail merge needs.

Everybody knows you can include a name in a mail merge email, but have you ever considered taking advantage of other information from your database as well? Of course, not every option works for every application, but getting creative with your mail merge fields allows you to create highly personalized messages that provide a better experience for recipients. And generally speaking, happy recipients mean more growth for your business.

In your next mail merge campaign, consider trying out more specific mail merge fields like:

  • Date
  • Geographical location
  • Appointment times
  • Discount groups

In mail merge, just like in most things, staying organized is essential to your success.

4. Follow best practices for naming your mail merge fields– you can thank us later.

Mail merge requires a good bit of creativity, but make sure you’re applying that creativity in the right ways! For example, getting creative with your copy or using mail merge fields is a great way to get more out of your mail merge and hack your company’s growth. Getting creative with how you label your mail merge fields, on the other hand… not so much.

The organization is essential to most things in your professional life, and mail merge is no exception. However, if you aren’t careful about how you label each mail merge field, you could end up with the wrong information in your emails, and nobody wants that.

Here are our tips for avoiding trouble with your mail merge labels:

  • Give mail merge labels the same labels the fields have in your database
  • Avoid using abbreviations
  • Make sure labels are meaningful (rather than a, b, c, d, for example)

A mail merge doesn’t have to be boring– using it effectively can be a great first step towards growth hacking your marketing strategy.

Mail merge has been the cornerstone of many marketing strategies for a long time, but there’s always room for improvement. Follow these 4 tips to get more out of your mail merge campaign, and then sit back, relax, and watch your company grow!

Jacklyn J. Dyer

Friend of animals everywhere. Problem solver. Falls down a lot. Hardcore social media advocate. Managed a small team training dolls with no outside help. Spent high school summers creating marketing channels for Elvis Presley in Minneapolis, MN. Prior to my current job I was donating wooden trains in Hanford, CA. Spent the 80's getting my feet wet with accordians in Jacksonville, FL. Spent the 80's writing about crayon art in Africa. Managed a small team getting to know inflatable dolls in Gainesville, FL.