How To… | Mail Merge (Office 2016)

Creating a Mail Merge in Office 2016

To start putting together a mail merge, Microsoft Word (not Outlook) is the program to use. It has the tools to send bulk email as individual and personalised emails. You will need Office 2016 with Outlook 2016 installed on your computer, so ask the ICT service desk if you are unsure by calling 01522 886500 or emailing

Follow the instructions below to set up your first mail merge. There are also some very good instructions from Microsoft available, and the links to these and to some more in-depth training from are at the bottom of this page.


  • No more than 10,000 emails can be sent from a single mailbox in one day.
  • No attachments can be sent in a mail merge.

Creating a Mail Merge

  1. Starting in Microsoft Word, prepare the email you are going to send by typing the message you’ll send or by copying it in from an existing document.
  2. From the “Mailings” tab, in the “Start Mail Merge” group, choose “Select Recipients”, and then choose the “E-mail Messages” option.
  3. Prepare your mailing list using an Excel spreadsheet. Make sure you use the first sheet for your Data and that there is a “Heading” for each column and the email addresses are correct. You can use an Excel CSV, or Excel Xlsx files, or an Access database, or Outlook contacts/Office Address List.
  4. Link your email message to the mailing list. From the “Mailings” tab, choose “Start Mail Merge”, choose “Select Recipients”, and then choose an option, i.e. “Use an Existing list….”. If you are sending to everyone in the list go to step 5, otherwise you can edit the list.
  5. Add “Merge” fields to personalise the email. On the Mailings tab, in the Write & Insert Fields group, choose Address Block and you can insert the address block using the format you want i.e. “First Name”, these fields must match the “Headings” in your data source.
  6. Preview and Finish. Choose “Preview Results” and scroll through a sample to check they are what you are expecting. You could send a test to a small data sample. When you’re happy with the results of the “Preview” choose “Finish & Merge” then click on “Send E-mail Messages”.
  7. You can save the mail merge if you are likely to use it again.

Instructions from Microsoft

Use mail merge to send bulk email messages

Mail merge using an Excel spreadsheet

Mail merge instructions from Microsoft

Training from