How to Get the Most Out of Your Mail Merge
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. 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.
Creating an effective mail merge campaign is all about giving the recipient a personalized experience, but getting your message exactly right can take a while! 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 in tact, 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 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. 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.
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 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– as well to get more out of your mail merge campaigns today.
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:
- Geographical location
- Appointment times
- Discount groups
In mail merge, just like in most things, staying organized is essential to your success.
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 your use of 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.
Organization is essential to most things in your professional life, and mail merge is no exception. 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)
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!