Mail Merge helps you send personalized messages to one or more email recipients with little effort. You can write a draft in Gmail, specify the list of email recipients in a Google Sheet and the Mail Merge program will send customized emails to all these addresses. Mail Merge is a popular feature of Microsoft Outlook and, with the help of Google Scripts, we can easily perform mail merge in Gmail and Google Apps accounts as well.

If you are new here, you’ll be surprised with the capabilities of Mail Merge. It lets you insert different file attachments from Google Drive for each recipient, the emails can be formatted in plain text or HTML (rich-text), emails can be tracked with Google Analytics. You can also possible to schedule merge and send your emails later at your preferred date and hour.

Watch this Mail Merge video tutorial to get an idea of what’s in store for you.

How to do Mail Merge in Gmail

To get started, install the Mail Merge add-on in your Google Sheets and follow the installation wizard.

  1. Click the Create Merge Template menu to clone the blank mail merge template in your Google Spreadsheet. It contains the mandatory columns – like First Name, Email Address, etc. – but you can add more columns.
  2. Go to the Import Google Contacts menu to fetch any existing contacts group into Mail Merge. This saves time but you can also write the first name, email addresses and other details of the recipients manually in the Mail Merge sheet.
  3. If you wish to add unique attachments for your recipients, you can add them in the File Attachments column. Go to Google Drive, right-click a file and choose Get Link to copy the URL of that file that can paste into the sheet. You can include multiples files too but remember to separate the file URLs by comma.
  4. When you run mail merge, it will send all the mails immediately. However, you also have an option to schedule emails and the program will automatically send them later. To schedule an email, go to the Scheduled Date column and insert the date and time when you wish to schedule that particular email. Use the dd/mm/yyyy hh:mm format.

Create the Mail Merge Template

Go to your Gmail account and create a draft message. You can include one or more variable fields in the email message using the {{field name}} notation and these will be replaced with the actual values from the sheet when the emails are sent. Let me explain.

Say you want to send an email to a group where the content of the message body is mostly similar except a few fields like salutation, first name and city that will be unique for each message. What you need to do is add columns in the sheet for each of these variable fields. And in your Gmail Draft, your can refer to these variable fields as {{First Name}}, {{City}} and so on.

Mail Merge - Gmail Template

You can include file attachments in the draft message and they’ll be sent with every email. You can also include inline images, animated GIFs, and make your message stand out with rich-text formatting.

Now that our template is ready, switch to the Mail Merge sheet and choose Run Mail Merge to start sending emails. Choose the Gmail draft that you created in the previous step and hit the Run button. The add-on will instantly send emails to addresses where the Scheduled Date column is blank while others would be put in the queue and will be sent automatically at your preferred date and hour.

Get Mail Merge Add-on

While mail merge with Gmail is easy, you should always test your merge before sending the email blast to a large group. Just have a single data row in the spreadsheet and put your own email addresses in the Email Address column. Run Merge as before and see your Gmail Sent Items folder to make sure that your outgoing emails are as expected.