Mail Merge in Outlook with Excel & Word [Step-by-Step Guide]

Written By Farhan Max

In this modern time of technology, where everything is moving so fast, does it really make sense to write each message or email individually when sending out bulk emails?

Certainly not. And that’s why mail merging is available in Outlook.

It allows us to send mass emails with recipients’ names, addresses, or other unique information about themselves. It’s a nifty feature that saves us a lot of time and helps to engage people more effectively.mail-merge-in-outlook-with-excel-&-word

In this article, I’ve explained mail merging and how to merge in Outlook with Microsoft Word and Excel.

I’ve also provided the add-ins that will give you more control over merging capability.

What is Mail Merge?

A mail merge is a process that automatically generates a stack of emails with custom information that can be set individually. The emails fetch the information about each recipient from a chart, table, or database.

All you have to do is set a placeholder in your email where you put changeable information and provide the data. And see the magic unfold.

Sending a personalized custom email will help you engage with the people more effectively.

About 72% of people will show more interest if you address them by their names and particular interests in emails.

Here are a few things you should do for merging mails:

  • Create a document that includes the email body with placeholders for changeable data.
  • Create the data that goes in the placeholders of the email body.
  • Link the email with the data to execute the mail merge.
  • Start sending out personalized automated emails.

Let’s begin the merging process using Outlook.

Follow our guide on how to Add Yahoo Mail in Outlook.

How to Execute a Mail Merge in Outlook?

To carry out a mail merge in Outlook, start by writing the email body in Microsoft Word with placeholders where you want to put personalized information.

It is not required to insert placeholders at this point, but I like to do it then as it helps me to determine where you want to enter the data.

Then comes the spreadsheet with unique data created in Excel. Put everything back together in Outlook.

Here are the steps to perform a mail merge in Outlook:

1. Create Your Email in Microsoft Word

Word is used to write the email content containing placeholders for personalized information.

Here’s how to create an email in Word with the intent of merging:

  • Open a Blank document in Microsoft Word. word-blank-document
  • Go to the Mailings tab.
  • Click Start Mail Merge from the toolbar and select E-mail Messages. word-mail-merge
  • Start writing your email with placeholders between curly brackets like, {Name}, {Due_Date} etc. word-email-placeholder

You are done with the email. The next step is to put the data in a spreadsheet.

Check out our separate post: Outlook Rules not Moving Emails to Folder.

2. Create Your Mail Merge Data in Microsoft Excel

Excel is used to contain the information that’s going to be in the email placeholders.

Here’s how to construct data in Excel with the intent of merging:

  • Open a Blank workbook in Microsoft Excel. excel-blank-workbook
  • Write the column headers. The headers should be the same as what is written in the placeholders, between the curly brackets.
  • Name a column header Email containing the email addresses of the receivers. excel-column-headers
  • Construct the data for each column. excel-placeholder-data
  • Click on File and select Save As.



  • Give the file a suitable name and save it. save-excel-file

Read more on how to Disable Top Results from Outlook Search.

3. Join Mailing List with the Email

It’s time to connect the email with the data you’ve created in Excel.

Here’s how to link the mailing list with email:

  • Go to the Mailings tab in Microsoft Word.
  • Click Select Recipients from the toolbar and choose Use an Existing List as we have created the data in Excel. word-select-recipients

Other options are:

  • Choose Type a New List to create a list of receivers.
  • Select Choose from Outlook Contacts to add people from Outlook.
  • Navigate to the Excel file you’ve saved and open it. open-excel-file
  • Make sure the First row of data contains column headers is checked when Select Table pops up and click OK. word-select-table
  • Choose and replace each placeholder with the correct column header using the Insert Merge Field option in the toolbar. The curly brackets will be replaced with arrows. choose-replace-merge-field
  • Select Preview Results.
  • Make sure every piece of information is correctly placed. word-preview-results
  • Choose Finish & Merge from the toolbar and select Send Email Messages. word-finish-merge
  • Select Email from the column headers when Merge to E-mail shows up. word-merge-to-email
  • Pick All to send emails to all the email addresses inserted in the Excel file or choose From & To and provide the range you want to send the email to.
  • Click OK, and all the emails will be added to the Outlook outbox. word-send-records

4. Send out the Merged Emails

Finally, it’s time to use Outlook. The only thing left to do now is to send the emails.

Here’s the process for sending emails from Outlook:

  • Launch Outlook.
  • Go to Outbox from the left menu. You’ll see all the personalized emails there. outlook-outbox
  • Select Send/Receive All Folders. outlook-send-receive-all-folders

After these steps, the emails will go to all the recipients containing their information.

Limitations of Mail Merges in Outlook

Mail merging is an excellent feature of Outlook, but just like everything else, it’s not perfect.

For example, from the merging process I’ve described above, we can all agree that although the steps are pretty easy to understand and execute, the sheer number of steps makes the process lengthy and complicated.

Here are some limitations of performing mail merges in Outlook:

  • You can only use the mail merging feature in the Outlook desktop app and not on the web browser.
  • You have to use 3 separate apps (Outlook, Excel, and Word) to successfully send merged emails.
  • You need to use Office 365 or recent Office versions to merge mails. And they are not free.
  • You need to download 3rd party add-ins to add customized subject lines and merge emails with different attachments for each recipient.

Mail Merge Using 3rd Party Add-Ins

In this section, I’ve provided some add-ins that will take the merging ability of Outlook to the next level. It’ll break all the restrictions we have in the default mail merging process.

Here are the best add-ins for merging mails:

Mail Merge Toolkit by MAPILAB

It completely incorporates the Mail Merge Wizard and provides more sending options than Microsoft, like merging mails with different attachments for each recipient.

It has options to set Carbon Copy (CC) or Blind Carbon Copy (BCC) receivers. Also, allows customizing the email subjects.

Send Individually by Sperry Software

It has a simple and clean interface. It creates separate emails from addresses you have put in the To field without any command. It has its own merge fields already made in the contact details.

You can insert the receivers’ email addresses in a simple .txt file rather than in Excel.

Send Personally by MAPILab

It also creates separate emails from addresses you have put in the To field without clicking any options. It can hide recipients; just one contact is displayed.


How do I do a mail merge in Outlook 2022?

To do mail merge in Outlook 2022, write your email in Microsoft Word, create the mail merge data in Microsoft Excel, link the mailing list with the email, preview the emails and send them from Outlook.

When should mail merge be used?

Mail merge is used when sending a bunch of emails with recipients’ names, addresses, or other unique information about themselves.

How to attach a file or personalize the subject line in a mail merge?

You cannot send attachments or personalize subject lines using mail merge in Outlook without the help of 3rd party add-ins like Easy Mail Merge, Merge Tools, Mail Merge Toolkit, etc.

Final Thoughts

The mail merging ability uses the individual powers of Outlook, Excel, and Word and mixes them all together, saving us a lot of time and thus making our lives simpler.

If you send bulk emails frequently, this article will help you tremendously, as I have explained every single step of merging emails in Outlook with Word and Excel.

Also, I’ve provided some add-ins that will make the merging process much more straightforward and add more abilities.

Let me know if you have any questions regarding Outlook or other apps. See you in the comment section.

About The Author
Farhan Max is a tech geek with a particular interest in computer hardware. He's been fascinated by gaming since childhood and is now completing his undergraduate studies while researching and testing the latest tech innovations. Alongside his love for all things geeky, Farhan is also a skilled photographer.

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