Understand the mail merge process
The mail merge process involves three documents:
Your main document: This contains text and graphics that are identical for each version of the merged document. Examples of identical content include the return address on the envelope or the body of a letter.
Your mailing list: This contains the data that is used to fill in information in your main document. For example, your mailing list contains the addresses to be printed on the labels.
Your merged document: The combined main document and mailing list become the merged document. Information is pulled from your mailing list and inserted in duplicates of your main document, resulting in merged documents that are personalized for different people.
Consider mail merge possibilities
Letters: Create and print a batch of personalized letters for everyone on your mailing list. Each letter prints on a separate sheet of paper.
Email: Create and send email messages to each person on your mailing list.
Envelopes: Create and print a batch of envelopes for mailing.
Labels: Create and print sheets of mailing labels. Each label contains a unique mailing address.
Word can pull data from a variety of data sources to perform mail merge. If you don't have a mailing list, create one during the mail merge process. Here are a few simple data source options:
Excel spreadsheet: Use an Excel spreadsheet, which works well as a data source for mail merge if all data is well-formatted and on one sheet.
Outlook Contacts list: Select recipients from your Outlook Contacts.
Word data file: Be sure that your Word document contains a single table. The first row of the table must contain headings, and the other rows must contain the records that you want to merge.