The Art of the Mail Merge

Gmail mail merges can be used for various reasons, including some you may not have thought of previously. People think of them as just a way of reaching clients, but they actually have several more potentially game-changing and creative uses. We hope in this article to show you some of these creative possibilities for using mail merge intelligently.

To further and more clearly illustrate this point, we want to first establish that…

The Data Source Can Be Almost Anything

This is the absolute key to opening your mind up to other possibilities for using Gmail mail merge.

The standard is to have a carbon-copy text body and just have the name and email address of someone come from the data source, but the fact is that there is no reason to limit mail merges like this!

Once you start thinking out of the box and thinking instead of ways to creatively use the data (which you almost certainly already have at the ready), you can do a lot more with a simple mail merge than you thought possible before. Here are a couple of good ideas:

  • Mail Merge for Inventory: sending out only the relevant data to the relevant people in your organization. Saving lots of time for everyone.
  • Catalog mail merges: tapping into customer preference data to send out custom catalogs that appeal specifically to them. This saves the customer time, which translates into higher conversion rates.
  • Batch Invoicing by Mail Merge: Invoicing is the bane of many small businesses, and you can use Gmail mail merges creatively to semi-automate this. Once again, time savings are potentially enormous.

Just to Make Everything Crystal Clear

For the people totally unfamiliar with how mail merge works out there: there are usually three parts to a mail merge: the main document or the template, the data source (which comes from a database of whatever kind), and the merged document, which is the finished document that goes out.

The data in the data source gets plugged into the template, and they combine to form the merged document. Often, the data source just consists of the personal information of the client, but, once again, we refer you to the above: the data source has very little limits to it.

In the above-mentioned case of a custom catalog, they could consist of bits and pieces or even individual items of a catalog, that get auto-constructed and laid out in a logical fashion, allowing the customer to receive only items that interest him or her.

To sum up, if you haven’t already, re-think your mail merges, and make them more powerful than ever before. And if you run any kind of e-business (which businesses these days aren’t) and aren’t doing Gmail or any other kind of mail merges currently, now is the time to start!

Niels Bosch
About the Author

Niels is the founder of http://Amongtech.com. He writes about technology, gadgets, tech news, and more. Contact Niels by email at [email protected]tech.com.

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