How to use the Mail Merge feature in Microsoft Word 2016

In this article we will explain how to use the Mail Merge feature in Microsoft Word to send personalized email messages by using a list of recipients stored in a Microsoft Excel worksheet, assuming that you already have it handy.

To begin merging, start Word, open the desired document (or start with blank one), and switch to the Mailings tab – all of the Mail Merge controls are located here.

We recommend using the Step by Step Mail Merge Wizard – it conveniently organizes the controls into a 6-step process. Its button is located on the “Start Mail Merge” group:

Step by Step Mail Merge Wizard

Step 1

First, the output type of the document has to be specified. Since we’re merging a Word file to an E-mail message – select E-mail Messages and click Next.

Step 2

Select Use the current document, and click Next.

Step 3

With Use an existing list option selected, click Browse… and navigate to the Excel data-source on your computer. Microsoft Word will show the contents of the worksheet in a small window, where sheets and recipients can be specified.
Click Next.

Step 4

Now you can write the contents of the E-mail message, if started with a blank document, and also add merge fields for personalization, if they exist in the Excel worksheet (in this example, the ‘name’ field is used):

Insert merge fields

After doing so, click Next.

Step 5

This is, effectively, a proofreading stage – here you can verify that the merge fields are working and that the correct recipients are selected. Click Next when ready.

Step 6

Almost done! Click the Mail Merge Toolkit button on the Wizard window (or the Merge & Send icon on the Word ribbon). Both Word Mail Merge and Mail Merge Toolkit require the same steps to be done to configure the mailing, but Mail Merge Toolkit introduces lots of new features.

Mail Merge Toolkit for Outlook

On the final window, specify the important fields, such as To (choose here the name of the worksheet column that holds the recipient e-mail information), Subject line (it can also be personalized!) and the mailing Format (for standard merging, choose HTML, Filtered), and any additional ones you require.
Note that you do not need to select “PDF, Attachment” as a mailing format if you wish to include .PDF files as attachments.

Merge to email

Clicking Ok means that you’ve successfully configured your mailing, and – after you specify the account to send from a folder to store the temporary copy of your Word document – Outlook should be able to send it in E-mail messages right away!

8 thoughts on “How to use the Mail Merge feature in Microsoft Word 2016

  1. Unable to install mail merge toolkit for all user in MS office 2016. After installing the software of mail merge toolkit. It is reflecting an error ” Mail Merge toolkit is not properly installed. Kindly install it. Please resolve the issue.

    1. Hello Saurabh, thank you for your question.
      That error message was know with last year versions due to incompatibility with Office updates – and we fixed it.
      If you continue getting that error message with the latest version, that states most probably, the program fails to launch its Outlook component – either due to technical issues with Microsoft Office Outlook, or because the add-in is disabled in Outlook, or because outlook.exe was running during the installation process at that computer.
      Please open Task Manager, enable processes from all users in the Processes list – and make sure no outlook.exe and winword.exe is running. And run the setup again to repair installation.
      If you have other applications which use Outlook mail profile or mailbox (Link, Skype, sync tools, etc.) – please terminate them before running the setup.

    1. Hello Evan, thank you for your question.
      Please test if the regular Mail Merge functions on the same computer as expected.
      (Our add-in is the extension of it – and requires this function).
      Our add-ins can work with the desktop Microsoft Office versions – if you have desktop Office applocations installed on your local computer, please follow our specialist’s advices in this post:
      https://www.mapilab.com/blog/mail-merge-attachments-outlook/#comment-8056
      If your Office 365 is a cloud-based subscription, our Word and Outlook add-ins are unfortunately unable to work with such systems.

  2. Is there a way, when sending a mail merge through outlook to set a no response command? Want to send out a reminder, but don’t want responses to it.

    Thanks.

    1. Hello Charlene, thank you for your question.
      If you can configure such option for your outgoing messages in your e-mail account (e.g. ask your mail system administrator for that) – that setting will be applied to your outgoing messages generated by Mail Merge Toolkit as well.
      But probably, creating separate Outlook POP account will help you with this as well: in the new Account Settings-> More Settings-> General, you can configure the “Reply E-mail” filed: type there any third e-mail address you wish (e.g. noreply address used in your mail system), and replies will go to that separate mailbox.

    1. Hello Patti, thank you for your question.
      That error message states the program fails to launch its Outlook component – either due to technical issues with Microsoft Office Outlook, or because the add-in is disabled in Outlook.
      1) Please try to launch Outlook before you start mailing from Word.
      2) Please enable the add-in in Outlook (the steps are valid for Outlook 2010-2016):
      First, go to Outlook menu: File-> Options-> Add-Ins-> “Disabled Items” – highlight* the add-in in the list and hit “Enable”.
      After that, please point to COM Add-Ins and put the checkmark to the check box next to the add-in. Please see the screenshot: https://www.mapilab.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/1427.jpg
      3) If it is not listed among Disabled Items – please remove the tick from its check box in COM Add-Ins, click OK, then point back – and put the checkmark. (That runs troubleshooting and fixes issues)

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