Mail Merge

A Google Docs spreadsheet template has been created to enable Mail Merge from Gmail.
  1. Create a new email message in Gmail’s compose window. This will serve as the message template for the mail merge.
  2. In the To: field, use the placeholder $%Email Address%.
  3. Select a From: address.
  4. In the body of the email, compose the message you would like to send out, and in the greeting line, use the following placeholders for the first and last names of recipients.

    $%First Name%
    $%Last Name%

    For example, if you want a mail merge that produces the following greeting line:

    Dear Susie Simmons,

    You would need to type:

    Dear $%First Name% $%Last Name%,

    In this example, it is important to note that you need to keep the space between the first name and last name and add a comma at the end if you want your greeting line to be formatted properly. 

    Susie Simmons’ first name, last name, and email address will need to be entered into the mail merge spreadsheet in following steps.


  5. Please note that the mail merge emails will not show up in your Sent Mail folder. If you want to receive a copy of the mail merge emails for your own records, you can add yourself as a BCC: recipient and set up a Gmail filter to sort those emails into their own label and avoid cluttering your inbox.
  6. After you are finished composing, wait a few seconds and the message should save automatically to your Drafts folder.
  7. Click on this link to the mail merge spreadsheet template.
  8. Select Use this template.


  9. A Google spreadsheet should open titled Copy of Mail Merge. This file is now stored in your Google Drive and can be renamed or moved as needed. You should not need to complete this step for future mail merges.
  10. Enter the email addresses, first names, and last names of the people you wish to mail merge.


  11. From the Mail Merge menu, select Start. Please note that the Mail Merge menu option may take several seconds to appear after opening the spreadsheet.


  12. The first time you perform a mail merge, you may be presented with an Authorization Required prompt. Select OK to allow the script to run.


  13. When prompted with a second authorization page, select Grant Access. This access can be revoked at any time from your Simmons Gmail account Security settings.


  14. On the Authorization Status page, select Close.
  15. Return to the Google spreadsheet and run the mail merge script again, by selecting Start from the Mail Merge menu.
  16. The mail merge script presents you with a list of the emails in your Drafts folder in Gmail. Select the email you wish to mail merge.


  17. Click Yes to confirm that you want to continue with the mail merge and email all recipients in the spreadsheet.


  18. An sent confirmation should appear in the Status column next to each email.

    Note: If you want to use this spreadsheet to mail merge these addresses again, be sure that none of the email addresses that you wish to merge on have the sent flag in the Status column or they will be skipped during the mail merge process.
Advanced Tips

Advanced Tip #1: The $%Email Address% placeholder is mandatory, but you can match any $%VARIABLE% in the email message body with a corresponding spreadsheet column.

E.g. If you want each user to get a specific message, create a new column in the mail merge spreadsheet named Email Message and fill in specific messages for each user. In the draft email, use the placeholder $%Email Message% wherever you want that custom message to appear.

Advanced Tip #2: You can make a copy of the Mail Merge spreadsheet to keep multiple sets of information for different mailings.