Mail Merge Guide: How to Send Personalized Mass Emails

Why use mail merge: email many people at once with a personalized message that still looks 1-on-1

When Canopy Labs sent 500+ cold emails, the personalized version of their message received a 23% higher open rate and a 3.5x higher response rate than the non-personalized version.

The only issue is, writing an unique message to everyone takes a lot of time and work. If there were only 48 hours in a day...

But what if you could mass personalize many emails at once and still have it look like an 1-on-1 message for each contact? Keep reading to learn how, step by step. How mail merge mass personalizes all your emails

Step 1:  Turn your email into a template that can be personalized for each and every contact

To start, draft the email that you want to send to your list of contacts. Write it as if you were writing to one person, not a whole list.

Once you're done, identify words and phrases you want to personalize for each contact. Not sure how to write your initial outreach email? You can reference one of these 7 proven cold email templates

Here's an example email I drafted (words I wanted to personalize for each contact are highlighted in blue):

    Hi Jon,

    Thank you so much for being a reader of Art of Emails!

    I wanted to personally invite you to a live online workshop I'm co-hosting.

    I'll be sharing the line by line the psychology behind really good sales emails, so you can go on to write ones that consistently receive opens and replies at Verizon.

    The workshop happens this week Tuesday (August 8th) at 3PM your time (click here to save the date to your calendar)

    There are only 100 spots so if you would like to join, please reserve your spot ahead of time here so I can save it for you: http://bit.ly/sales-webinar

    I'll also be answering questions the last 20 mins of the workshop - really look forward to e-meeting you!

    Again you can reserve your spot here: http://bit.ly/sales-webinar

    - Sapph

Turn each word or phrase you want to personalize for each contact into a unique reference to be personalized en masse later. Here are the unique references I used (highlighted in blue:

    Hi First,

    Thank you so much for being a reader of Art of Emails!

    I wanted to personally invite you to a live online workshop I'm co-hosting.

    I'll be sharing the line by line the psychology behind really good sales emails, so you can go on to write ones that consistently receive opens and replies at Company .

    The workshop happens this week Tuesday (August 8th) at Time your time (click here to save the date to your calendar)

    There are only 100 spots so if you would like to join, please reserve your spot ahead of time here so I can save it for you: http://bit.ly/sales-webinar

    I'll also be answering questions the last 20 mins of the workshop - really look forward to e-meeting you!

    Again you can reserve your spot here: http://bit.ly/sales-webinar

    - Sapph

Step 2:  Fill out the words and phrases you would like to personalize for each contact in Google Sheets

Create a new Google Sheets with two columns to start. In the first column (Email address), add the email addresses of contacts you plan to email. In the second column (First name), add their first names. Add the email addresses and first name of every contact you wish to mass email

For columns after First name, name each one the unique reference you used in your email template. For my example, that would be: Add your unique words or phrases to be mail merged

Write out the unique words or phrases you would like to personalize for each contact in their row: Add your unique words or phrases to be mail merged

Here's what my spreadsheet looked like: Fill out a spreadsheet with the personalized words or phrases you want to send to each contact

Step 3:  Set up a tool to mail merge personalized words and phrases into your email when sending it to your contact list

A great mail merge tool is GMass for Gmail. You can send 50 emails for free per day. Beyond that, plans start at $8.95 per month.

After you install GMass, your inbox will look something like this. Click on the first red button beside the search bar to run GMass: Select the name of the spreadsheet you just worked on in step 2 and click on Connect to Spreadsheet: Select the name of the spreadsheet you just worked on in step 2 It'll open up a new email draft and add all of the contacts from your spreadsheet as email recipients (each contact will receive your message as an 1-on-1 email): GMass adds all of your contacts from the spreadsheet as email recipients - they will each receive an 1-on-1 email addressed only to them Paste the email you worked on in step 1 into the email draft window:

To have GMass mail merge personalized words or phrases for each contact, highlight the first unique reference in your email draft, delete it and press the red arrow button at the bottom of the email draft window.

In my example, I started with First (first name of contact):

Highlight the first unique reference you want to replace

Click the button with the name of the spreadsheet column you want to pull the personalized content from for this unique reference:

Highlight the first unique reference you want to replace

In my example, it replaced First with {First Name}. After you repeat this process for all of your unique references, your email will look something like this:

GMass replaces each unique reference with a variable, which will pull your personalized word or phrase from the corresponding spreadsheet cell when you send your email

To mass send your email with words and phrases personalized for each contact, click on the red GMass button instead of Send. Note: due to Gmail limits, you can email up to 500 contacts at a time if you have a personal Gmail account and 2000 if you have a paid G Suite account: Mass send your email personalized for every contact GMass sends a personalized 1-on-1 email to every contact from your spreadsheet: A personalized email is sent to each and every contact Here's how the personalized email looks like for each individual contact: How your email looks like after GMass mail merges the words and phrases you personalized for the contact

After a few hours, click on the Opens label under GMass Reports in the left hand sidebar of Gmail to see who opened your email:

Step 4:  Following up with prospects who did not respond to the first email

Don't be discouraged if you don't get a response to your first email! According to a Yesware 2014 study, you can still get a response as far along as the 7th and 8th follow up email: Why you need to follow up if you don't receive a reply to your first email

For the subject line of your follow up email, you can describe the biggest benefit of your product or service in an interesting way.

For example, let's say that you're prospecting for Slack. Some interesting follow up subject lines:

  • Before you drop a bomb on your inbox because you're up to 2588 unread emails
  • Nobody wins at ping pong email :(

For the message of your follow up email, you can mention:

  • A recent customer success story
  • A recent event that happened related to your product
    Example: Let's say your product is email protection software. You could mention a Slack employee recently fell for a phishing scam, revealing the salary information of many colleagues.

Here's an example follow up email I wrote (I replaced each word and phrase I wanted to personalize for each contact with an unique reference):

    Hey First,

    Wondering if you received the invite to my live workshop? It happens tomorrow at Time.

    I'll be going over some can't-find-anywhere-else protips about how to 2-3x your cold email response rates. While doing way less manual work to set everything up.

    There are only a few seats left - save yours here: http://bit.ly/sales-webinar

    Look forward to e-meeting you!

    - Sapph

Step 5:  How to set up and send your mass personalized follow up email

In Gmail, click on the @ red button beside the search bar to open GMass' follow up feature: Mass personalizing your follow up emails Select the subject line of the first mass email you sent: Choose the first email you sent Choose which contacts you want to send a follow up email to based on how they interacted with your first email and click on Compose Follow-Up. I selected the interaction behavior 'Opened but didn't click': Choose which contacts you want to send a follow up email to based on how they interacted with your first email GMass will add contacts who match this criteria as follow up email recipients. Paste your follow up email into the email draft window: Paste your follow up email into the email draft window Highlight the first unique reference in your email: Highlight the first unique reference in your email: Click on the button with the name of the spreadsheet column you want GMass to pull the personalized word or phrase from: Repeat this process for every unique reference and your follow up email will look something like this: How your follow up email will look after GMass replaces your unique references with variables Click the GMass red button to send your personalized follow up email to your contacts Click the GMass red button to send your personalized follow up email to your contacts After a few hours, click on the Opens label under GMass Reports in the left hand sidebar of Gmail to see who opened your follow up email: And there you have it, the ABCs to mail merge email personalization! Mail merge isn't only useful for sales prospecting. It's also a time saver for:

  • Personalized holiday greetings to family and friends
  • Event invites
  • Outreach to influencers for social sharing and (link building)

As the cliche goes, work smarter, not harder. ✌

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