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All @fairfield.edu email accounts are limited to 100 external recipients includes students in an hour except for pre-approved Resource Accounts.

To send a message to a large number of recipients quickly, you can use the email merge feature of Microsoft Word together with Excel and Outlook. Email merge works well for newsletters and announcements. Messages can be customized for each recipient.

Step-by-step guide

Prepare the recipients list

  1. You should store all of the recipient's information in an Excel spreadsheet.
  2. The first row of the spreadsheet should contain column headings such as First Name, Last Name, and Email Address.
  3. Each recipient's email address must be in a column by itself without the full name, angle brackets, quote marks, or other special characters.
  4. Each recipient's information must be listed on a separate row.
    Row and column example with column headings:

    FirstLastEmail
    JaneSmithjane.smith@gmail.com
    JohnDoejdoe@yahoo.com
    RobertRoebob@msn.com


    EXCEL FILES MUST BE SAVED IN 2003 FORMAT


Prepare the email message

  1. Start Microsoft Word and begin a new blank document.
  2. Switch to the Mailings ribbon.
  3. Click on the Start Mail Merge menu and select the E-Mail Messages option
  4. Click on the Select Recipients menu and select the Use Existing List option.
  5. Browse and select the Excel spreadsheet you created earlier, and then click on the Open button.
  6. In the Select Table window, click on the name of the sheet that contains your recipient's information. Most likely on Sheet1.
    1. If you entered column headings in the first row of your spreadsheet, make sure the First row of data contains column headers option is checked.
    2. Click on the OK button.
  7. Compose the body of your message using Word:
    • You can switch back to the Home ribbon to add formatting.
  8. To customize the contents of your message with information from your spreadsheet:
    1. Position the cursor where you want to insert the data.
    2. Switch to the Mailings ribbon.
    3. Click on the Insert Merge Field menu and select the field containing the data you want to insert.
  9. Save the body of the email message the same way you would save any other Word document.

Send the email messages

  1. Switch to the Mailings ribbon.
  2. Click on the Finish & Merge menu and select the Send E-Mail Messages option.
  3. From the To drop-down menu, select the field containing the email address of each recipient.
  4. In the Subject text box, enter the subject line used for the email message.
  5. From the Mail format drop-down menu, select the HTML option.
  6. For the Send records radio button, select the All option.
  7. Click on the OK button to send the messages.


Email Merge Tips

  • If you customize the message for each recipient, use the Preview Results button on the Mailings ribbon to see the data from your spreadsheet in the body of the message instead of the field names. Use the arrows to right of this button on the ribbon to preview different records from your spreadsheet.
  • Customizing the email message for each recipient is easiest when the information is split into several columns. For example keeping the first name and last name in separate columns is better than keeping them in a single column called name. You can always put two fields together in your message, but pulling fields apart is much more difficult.
  • You may want to add yourself as the first recipient in your spreadsheet so you can test the message delivery. Use the Preview Results button to view the message you will receive. Follow the sending instructions, but change the Send Records option from All to Current. This will send only the message currently being previewed through Outlook.

For further assistance, please visit the ITS4U Help Desk located in NYS 215 or call 203-254-4069 during business hours.

Hours can be found here: ITS4U Help Desk Hours of Operation