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How to Send Mass Emails in Outlook - Everything You Need to Know



You want to send the same email to different people, but you still want a touch of personalization in it. Doesn’t this make you wish for a tool that could have made this task easier?


Well, we’ve had this tool with us for ages actually! Microsoft Outlook.


Sending mass emails in Outlook isn’t as intimidating as it sounds. There are a couple of intricacies involved, sure. But, after you understand the working of the software, managing your business and locking in sales will become both easy and efficient. Of course, in order for the email to be effective, you do need to work on your business email template. Once you do that, sending emails will automatically become easy.


In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about mass emails, Outlook, and sending mass emails on Outlook, in that order.

The different types of emails you should send

According to MarketingSherpa, 61% of consumers like to receive weekly promotional emails. You can determine the type of email to send your customers depending on who they are and what they do. We have compiled a list below to help you understand this better.


  • If a customer has just subscribed to you, send them a welcome email.

  • If you haven’t heard from a customer, send them a promotional email.

  • If your customer has completed a year of being associated with you, send them an anniversary email.

  • If your customer has unordered items in their cart, send them an abandoned cart email.


What you need to take into consideration is that your email list doesn’t comprise of similar people. Every one of them will have their own tastes and preferences. Understanding their needs and wants is what it takes to create a successful email marketing campaign.


The Different Types of Emails You Need to Know Of

We've already given you a brief of what type of email you need to send to both existing as well as potential customers. Every type of email plays a specific role that makes up different spokes of the proverbial marketing wheel. They include:

  1. Welcome emails

  2. Newsletters

  3. Specials offer emails

  4. Product announcement emails

  5. Abandoned cart emails

  6. Confirmation emails

  7. Curated content emails

  8. Review emails

  9. Milestone emails

  10. Mobile optimized emails


Welcome emails

Commonly referred to as the cash cow of emails, welcome emails can actually increase the revenue by over 320% in comparison to promotional emails. This is mainly because the interest of the recipient is at its peak being a recent subscriber.

You should ensure that your welcome email is detailed and contains information about all the products and services you offer. Include a catchy and effective call to action, and you’re good to go.

Newsletters

The importance of the newsletter cannot be diminished. It helps to build a relationship with the customer and establish goodwill. It provides a platform for your products along with your brand name. Newsletters help the customers to be in the loop with the latest happenings and offerings which, in turn, is great for arousing their interest.

Specials offer emails

Special offer emails include coupons, discounts, special deals, etc. that can help you make sales. You can offer a few of your customers' special deals hailing them as VIPs.


Here's an example of a personalized subject line:


Using catchy email subject lines can make your customers feel special and recognized. This will help you in two ways – increasing customer loyalty and earning revenue.

Product announcement emails

If you have a strong existing customer base, product announcement emails can really help to boost sales. In fact, sending these emails to existing customers can increase conversion by 60 to 70%.

You need to formulate an effective sales email template to increase the chances of the prospective customer to place their order. 

Abandoned cart emails

Image Source: Solutionists

The very fact that your customer has added something to their card indicates that they are interested in the product. With an average clickthrough rate of 21%, nearly half of the people end up placing their orders.

Confirmation emails

Confirmation emails serve as evidence of a completed action such as reservations, orders and so on. This type of email can be sent to both customers as well as website visitors.

The three most common reasons for sending a confirmation mail are as follows-

  • A confirmation email for purchase activity

  • A confirmation email for shipping activity

  • A confirmation email for subscription activity

With these emails, the customer can review the payment and shipping information, avail fast support, and get an expected delivery date. Since customers more or less expect this in the mail, the email open rate is high as well. You can attach a few promotional contents towards the end.

Curated content emails

Curated content refers to a collection of high-quality and useful pieces of content that would be of interest to your customers.

For effective content curation, you need to choose a topic and then curate relevant content. Neil Patel created a checklist to understand content curation better. Here’s the gist.

  • Does this problem need to be solved?

  • Is there enough data to support further discussion and analysis?

  • Is the information reliable and can you trust its source?

  • Will the content help you to strengthen your brand?

  • Is the perspective you’re aiming for unique and has exploration potential?

Only proceed with the content if every single answer to the above questions is affirmative.

Review emails

Customer reviews play a very important role to determine the quality of the product and the goodwill of the brand. With 84% of the customers trusting online reviews as much as personal recommendations, review request emails can be extremely useful. Your existing customers also feel that their opinions are valued and will gain trust in your brand.

As for the seller, you can understand your customer better, your plus points, and improvement areas.

Milestone emails

Milestone emails can be a celebration of either your company’s milestone or the customer’s association with you. For example, your company has completed a decade being in business, or a customer had subscribed to your email list a year before.

This makes the customer feel special increasing their loyalty towards your brand. You can also offer special discounts to them for boosting sales. Talk about killing two birds with one stone.

Mobile optimized emails

As per Campaign Monitor, nearly 53% of emails are opened on mobile devices. This creates the need for optimizing emails to make them mobile-friendly.

If the email is difficult to read or unpleasing to look at, people will straightaway delete it with some even hitting the dreaded unsubscribe button. Sending personalized mass emails is definitely good but mobile optimization has also become a necessity with the changing times.

How to send mass email in Outlook?

Sending personalized emails or sending mass emails individually can be done quickly by using the mail merge feature of Microsoft Word together with Excel and Outlook.


Mail Merge can help send the same documents with unique details to various individuals. Your mail will have the same format, the same text, same graphics but will have a personalized greeting. You can make the email subject line unique too.


In a nutshell, mail merge will make every recipient of the message the only recipient.

The mail merge feature has two parts:

  • The main document that remains constant.

  • The changeable data.

The Two Parts that Mail Merge Uses

Constant Main Document

Changeable Data Source

Consists of the main body of the text that remains constant.

Consists of the part that requires personalization. For example, name and address.

Refers to MS Word and MS Excel.

Refers to Microsoft Outlook Contacts


These two parts are then “merged” together by mail merge (you see how aptly it’s named?). This way, you can send mass emails in Outlook without spamming your customers.


Here are the detailed steps to help you send mass emails in Outlook.

Writing the personalized message and starting mail merge

  1. Write the body of your email and then paste it into the message body when the need arises.

  2. Now, you need to upload your contact list. You can use the Outlook address book to select multiple recipients at once. Or, if you want, you can also upload a list of contacts from Excel or Access.


Selecting the Recipients for the Mass Email on Microsoft Outlook

Image Source: Covve

  1. Launch "Microsoft Outlook". From your contact list, select the contacts you want to send a personalized email to. To create your personalized recipient list, select the contact (CTRL + Click). If you feel that the list is too long and hence, want to manage it better, you can click on the dropdown arrow next to "All" and select "Sort". You can also take advantage of "Sort by Categories" to compartmentalize your recipient list.

  2. From the toolbar, click on the "Mail Merge" option. A “Mail Merge Contacts” dialogue box will open.

Image Source: Make Use Of


  1. From the “Contacts” category, click on “Only selected contacts”.

Image Source: Covve

  1. From the “Merge options” category. Fill in the following:

  • Document type: Form Letters

  • Merge to: E-mail

  • Message subject line: Type in a catchy subject line to make your recipient open your email

  • Click “Okay”.

  1. A new ‘compose email’ window will open up. In the window, from the “Write and Insert Fields” category, click on “Greeting Line”.

Image Source: Covve

  1. An “Insert Greeting Line” dialogue box with appear. You can customize the entries as per the options that are given in the box.


The Insert Greeting Line Dialogue Box

Image Source: Make Use Of


(Note: The merge fields come from the column headings in the mailing list. If you find a mismatch, use “Match Fields” to ensure accuracy. If you still face any discrepancy issue, select the dropdown list for that field. Match the column with the one on your list.)

  1. You can use the “Insert Merge Field” option in the “Mailings” tab to add more fields.

  2. Write the body of your email if you haven’t yet or copy-paste it from MS Word.

Image Source: Covve

  1. Click on “Finish and Merge”. From the shown options, select “Send Email Messages”.

Image Source: Covve

  1. Finally, click "Okay" on the pop-up that will appear and then press "Send". Your mass personalized mail will go to all your contacts.


Preparing the recipient list in MS Excel

As mentioned above, you can also select the list of recipients by creating a spreadsheet in MS Excel. In this case, the recipient selection process will slightly differ. Read on to learn more about this in detail.

  1. In an Excel spreadsheet, store all the information of the recipients.

  2. For this, create three columns in the spreadsheet. The first column, second column, and the third column should have the first name, last name, and email address respectively. Take care to ensure that the email address is separate and doesn’t include any special characters.

  3. Every recipient's information should be exclusive to a particular role. In other words, every recipient should have separate rows.


Here’s an example for you to understand this better:

First Name

Last Name

Email Address

John

Doe

johndoe@gmail.com

Jenny

Jacobs

jennyjacobs@hotmail.com

Ryan

Reynolds

ryanreynolds@gmailcom


After starting Mail Merge, click on “Select Recipients” and then, “Use Existing List”. You need to select the excel spreadsheet that you had created earlier and then select “Open”.


When the “Select Table” window pops up, select the name of the sheet that contains your recipient’s information. If the first row of the created spreadsheet contains column headings, you need to click on “First row of data contains column headers”. Then, click “Okay”.


You can then proceed with the rest of the steps of personalizing greeting lines and composing the email body. Selecting the recipient list can be done either on Excel or Outlook, the end result will not be different.

Mail merge tips to make your life easier

Here are a few tips to help you send personalized mass email individually, saving you time and extra effort.

  • From the “Mailings” ribbon, use the “Preview Results” button to see your spreadsheet data in the body of the message instead of the field names. You will be able to see the customize message for every recipient.

  • If you want to send PDF attachments, newsletters, or flyers, you can send a link containing the same instead. Publish these graphics or PDF on your website and then use mail merge to send a mass mail containing the link. Using your website’s statistics, you’ll be able to view the number of people who have downloaded the PDF.

  • In the case of mass email, customization for every recipient is the easiest when the data is split into many columns. For example, having separate columns for the first and last names is more efficient than in a single column for the entire name.

  • This is because putting two fields together in the message is easier in comparison to putting two fields apart.

  • Before sending a mass mail, you can also add yourself as the first recipient in your spreadsheet. Using the “Preview Results” option, you will be able to view the message that you will receive.

  • The standing instructions will remain the same but you need to change “All” to “Current” from the “Send Records” option. This way, only the message currently being reviewed via Outlook will be sent i.e. only you will receive the mail.

Sending mass mails from Outlook: pros and cons

Starting with the pros of sending mass mail in Outlook. Firstly, as a user, you won’t require any extra newsletter tool. Secondly, the recipients of your email get personalized emails which can improve your chances of securing a sale.


The cons of using Outlook is mostly centered around the display of the messages. Newsletters may not display correctly due to the absence of a newsletter tool. Similarly, if the recipient has a different version of Outlook then you, there might be display issues again. Also, there are no personalization tools in Outlook for users to take advantage of.


Having said this, the sheer convenience and effectiveness of sending personalized mass mails to individuals make it quite appealing and preferable for most users. 

Understanding why email with a lot of BCC’ed recipients has a higher bounce rate

BCC stands for Blind Carbon Copy and is used to send the same email to somebody with the benefit of other email recipient addresses being hidden. BCC does have one major con – it's also the most commonly used method for sending spam.


The problem here is that the sending server, recipient’s domain server, and the recipient email server will view your mass mail in a different manner.


The sending server will see that you are sending an email that is going to a lot of email addresses at once. Some of these emails may even be delivered to email addresses on the same domain which will then be viewed by the recipient domain’s mail server. If by chance, you send the mail overseas, then the recipient email server will see it too.

All these will count as strikes increasing the chance of your mass mail to land up in spam. It is due to this very reason why sending mass emails from Outlook is better.

Exercising control over outgoing mass mail in Outlook

After you are done with the mail merge, Microsoft Outlook will send out emails almost immediately. This might not be favorable for a lot of us. The good news is that Outlook gives us the option to delay an outgoing email.


You can disable the automated send feature or you can schedule the sending times of your mails. This way if you even make any errors in your mail, you'll be able to rectify it before a larger number of people receive it.

How to send a mass mail to undisclosed recipients in Outlook

Nearly all of us have wondered about how to send a mass email and hide recipients.

Thankfully, we have Outlook!


You can create an “Undisclosed Recipients” contact that shows the recipient that the email was sent to others, yet hides the addresses of every other recipient.


Here are the steps to help you create an undisclosed recipients' contact and then send mass emails to it.

  1. From the “Home” tab, select “Address Book” that you’ll find in the “Find” group.

  2. Choose “File” and then “New Entry”. You’ll find that a dialogue box will appear.

  3. Select “New Contact” followed by “Okay”.

Image Source: Lifewire

  1. Type in ‘Undisclosed Recipients’ in the “Full Name“ text box, and your email address in the “Email” text box. Click on “Save” and then close.

  2. Type in an email message. In the “To” field, choose “Undisclosed Participants” that’ll appear as soon as you type in.

  3. Select “BCC”. If you don’t to the “BCC” option, go to the “Options” tab and select the same.

  4. Select the addresses that you want to send the email to and select “BCC”. Click “Okay”.

Image Source: Lifewire

  1. Compose the email and then press “Send”.

Takeaway thoughts

The Average Open Rate of Small to Medium Business

Image Source: Smart Insights

With the average email open rate being between 15.75% to 24.28%, you need to be very careful when it comes to sending emails, especially to a large number of people. The main aim of sending a mass mail should firstly be to not land in spam. Secondly, the customer should open the email to view the content. Thirdly, the email body should be enticing enough for the customer to do what you want him or her to do. This, in turn, will increase your click-through rates. Only when all these steps are fulfilled will you be able to lock in sales.


Hence, you should first and foremost concentrate on developing an impactful and professional email template. The body of your mail can be a lot of things depending on the type of mail you are sending. You should take care to always include a call to action to get what you want.


By using Outlook, the task of sending personalized mass emails has definitely become easier. However, the main job of formulating an email that'll still lie with you.

 

 


Author

Mathieu Picard

CEO, Anyleads, San Francisco

We are the leading marketing automation platform serving more than 100,000 businesses daily. We operate in 3 countries, based in San Francisco, New York, Paris & London.

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