Have you ever gotten emails with hundred recipients in the “To” field? What did you think about sender of such messages? Didn’t you feel irritated that the sender did not take the time to send you an individual message? Do you just delete such messages as spam? Of course, the alternative is sending a message with all the recipients in the BCC field so that they do not see each other, but that is not much better, as recipients usually simply ignore anything that is not addressed personally. On top of that, spam filters are perfectly capable not only of sending the message to the Junk Mail folder, but also blocking the sender.
If you use Microsoft Office for business purposes and your responsibilities include frequent communication with partners and customers, sending mass email from Outlook may be a part of your daily or, at least, weekly or monthly routine. Within the organization, mass email with Outlook is normally performed through internal distribution lists including members of certain departments or subdivisions. However, when it comes to mailing customers or partners, the list of recipients can grow excessively long, making your message rather bulky. Moreover, the recipient sees all other addresses in the TO or CC field; and they sometimes are not only irrelevant, but present some information you might prefer not to disclose.
In 2001 Microsoft introduced, among many other things, an invaluable productivity improvement to its Office suite (Microsoft Office 2002 at the time), that would raise the industry standard for professionals involved with a job that requires frequent email correspondence with a large client base for many years to come. Microsoft named its new feature “Mail Merge” – a welcome addition to the Microsoft Word application, which would allow a user to take an entirely different approach to communicating across a broad client base.