A mail merge program helps you send personalized email messages to multiple contacts in one go. The individual messages have almost the same content but some parts of the message can be customized. For instance, you can greet each recipient by their first name, you can include their postal address in the message body, personalize the subject, attach different files while the other parts of the email stay the same.

Mail Merge in Gmail is useful for all. If you are organizing a party at your home, you can send personalized email invitations to all your friends with the help of mail merge. A business owner can use mail merge to inform customers about upcoming deals and offers. Teachers can send individual assignments and reports to students through mail merge.

Mail Merge in Gmail

With Mail Merge for Gmail, you can send rich-text (HTML) emails to multiple people, the messages can include file attachments, logo images and you can even track your sent emails with Google Analytics.

Here’s how you can do mail merge with Gmail:

  1. Install the Mail Merge add-on. Please watch the Mail merge tutorial for instructions.
  2. This will create a new Google Spreadsheet. Go to the Add-ons menu in the sheet, select Mail Merge with Attachments and then select the Create Merge Tempalte menu.
  3. Open Google Contacts and create a new Group with all the contacts who you would like to send a personalized email. Alternatively, you can enter the names and email addresses of recipients directly in the Mail Merge Google Sheet.
  4. Under the Mail Merge menu, choose Import Google Contacts and select the Google Contacts group that you created in Step 3. It will now automatically import all the associated Gmail contacts into the spreadsheet.
  5. Go to Gmail and create a new draft email messages that will become the template for Mail merge. Alternatively, you can compose an email template in rich text using the HTML Mail tool and then copy-paste the generated HTML code into the message body field of the Google Sheet.
  6. If you would like to add file attachment to your email messages – say a PDF file or a Word document – just upload the file to Google Drive and then select Insert File Attachments to insert that link of the file into the Mail merge sheet. Mail Merge will automatically insert the actual file into the email.
  7. Go to the Mail Merge menu again and choose “Configure Mail Merge” – the status column will change to “MAIL SENT” for all email messages that were successfully delivered.

Gmail Mail Merge – FAQ

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions around Mail Merge:

1. Does Mail Merge collect any personal data? Why does it require access to my Gmail, Google Contacts, etc
Mail Merge neither collects nor shares any of your data. It needs access to Gmail because it sends emails through your Gmail account. It needs access to Drive to fetch file attachments. It reads contacts for importing them into your Mail Merge sheet.

2. How many email messages can I send per day?
The free edition of Mail merge lets you send emails to up to 50 email recipients per day. The limits of Premium users is different. If you are using Gmail, your daily limit is 100 while for Google Apps, the limit is 1500 per user per day. Remember that the limit is “recipients” so if you send an email that is also cc’ed to someone, it will decrease your quota by 2.

3. How do I upgrade to Premium? What is the cost of a license.
You can use the form belo to buy the premium license for Mail Merge. It also includes free email support. A single-user license is $29.99 and it is a flat one-time fee (not any subscription). For domain-wide licenses, or if you are unable to buy via PayPal, send an email to amit@labnol.org

4. I am a premium Google Apps user, yet my daily limit is only 100 per day?
This is a limitation of Google Apps. Even if you have Google Apps, your daily limit is only upgraded to 1500 if you have more than 5 users after the 1st billing cycle or if your Google Apps account is few months old. See discussion.

5. How do I track email opens with Gmail
During configuration, specify your Google Analytics profile ID (UA-xxxx-yyy) and the merge app will insert tracking information in your email. To view read reports, go to your Google Analytics dashboard, expand the Behavior group (left sidebar) and choose Events. Now select the date range and you’ll see all mail activity around your email campaign. You can click the category name and switch to the Event Label dimension to see a list of recipients who have read your email.

6. How do I report issues with Mail Merge
Open the Mail Merge Google Sheet, go to Add-ons > Mail Merge with Attachments > Instructions and Support > Send Debug Logs. It will send a copy of the sheet and the mail merge configuration to the Google Script developer.

7. Can I cancel Mail Merge from running. How do I recall my emails?
Mail Merge uses Gmail and therefore, unlike Microsoft Outlook, there’s no option to recall sent emails. You can however cancel a Mail Merge process. Go to the Mail Merge menu and choose Cancel. Alternatively, you can clear the Mail merge sheet.

8. The option to create Gmail drafts is disabled in my Mail merge
The Drafts option is only available if your writing the Mail Merge in plain HTML. It is not available if you are using a readymade Gmail draft as a template.

9. I need to send an email blast to 10,000 email contacts. Can Mail Merge handle this?
It is recommended that you uses a dedicated email sending service like MailChimp for sending bulk emails. You can use the Gmail Address Extractor to pull all emails from your Gmail mailbox.

10. How do I insert unique images – like the scan of a payment receipt – in my outgoing email messages?
You can create a new column in Mail merge sheet called Images. Now upload the image to Imgur.com, get the image URL and add it to the sheet as shown below:
<br><img src=”image_url”/><br>
In the Gmail draft, add {{Images}} anywhere and it will be replaced with the actual image.

Google Scripts for Gmail

Google Scripts are powerful. Some of our other popular Google Scripts that will improve your productivity include Email Scheduler, Email Extractor, Save Gmail to Google Drive and Gmail autoresponder. For customized Google Scripts, see ctrlq.org.