Once you have used the acclaimed Word Mail Merge feature over the course of your mailing duties, whether on a daily basis or infrequently – there is no turning back. Literally no other out-of-the-box Microsoft Office tool offers you so many benefits for mass mailing with so little mouse-clicking involved and with such vast improvement of almost every aspect of the resulting letters. Its renowned personalization possibilities utilize the so-called “macros” (a placeholder word that exists only to be replaced with an actual recipient-specific value from a data-source). The product’s versatility and overall ease of use has secured it a firm place among the top-flight productivity tools for professionals in the field.
However, despite being a proven ally of many personalized mailing warriors, there is always space for more weapons on the rack. One such feature is the subject line customization, conspicuously missing in Word Mail Merge. While you can adequately solve this issue using generic subject lines, every now and then a significant benefit from personalize subject lines arises, as it will make the messages more attractive to end recipients, save you time, and, most importantly, ensure that the email catches the eye at a much higher rate. Who would ignore an email after seeing their unique and relevant data in the subject line?
In other words, customizing your subject line in Mail Merge can enable a whole new layer of quality mass mailing – which is always handy, and sometimes critical, since in some scenarios a subject line is even more important than the body of the letter itself.
In order to address this and other limitations of the Mail Merge function, the fine smiths at MAPILab have forged the Mail Merge Toolkit – a third party add-in that quietly integrates with Office as a certified COM Add-in, introduces many sought-after mass mailing features to Word, and seamlessly complements your regular workflow, rather than disrupting it with unfamiliar user interfaces. Once installed, the add-in is placed alongside its precursor:
The solutions are similar to each other visually, as well:
The principle behind the subject line customization here is the very same that fuels the regular “merge fields” in Mail Merge – the macros! Basically – a mere pointer to some place in your data-source where a certain piece of personal recipient’s data is stored. Let’s explain the whole idea in the following everyday example.
A mailing campaign for Acme, Inc. is ready for launch. The data-source is an Excel spreadsheet containing a list of the online catalog visitors who displayed an interest in a particular line of products. The goal is to inform the prominent visitors, whose names are known because of the website’s registration feature, of new products added to the product line in which they are interested:
Note: Outlook Contact fields could, naturally, also be used for customizing a subject line, but an external data-source allows for more scenarios, and therefore is more interesting to use as an example
While we leave the actual body of the letters to one’s imagination, noteworthy are the fields we can work with. Let’s say our interest is focused on having a potential customer’s name and the product type in our customized subject line. Those fields, then, are “Title/Gender”, “LastName”, and “ProductLine”. Good. Let’s craft our personalized subject line by clicking the respective ‘more’ button, and inserting each macro at a certain point along with the campaign words:
That’s it – the subject line customization is done!
When the letter reaches the intended recipients, they will notice a refreshing change from the usual Inbox stream, and be surprised at the effort and care taken to discover a new customer.