How to prepare for Mail-Merging Letters, Envelopes, and Labels
What is a Mail Merge?
A mail merge is the automation of adding data (like names and addresses) to mailing materials (letters and envelopes). Letter campaigns can be a bit tedious without mail merges, which allow you to input data in the header and body of the letter to make them more personal. You can input any data you’d like into the letter, for example you can include title and company if you’d like.
What can mail merges be used for?
Mail merges can be used for any letter campaign you might send, including engaging customers, sending out deals, asking for fundraising, etc.
How do they work?
In order to run your mail merge, you'll need to use at least 2 programs: one for spreadsheets and another for creating your mailing materials.
- Prepare your data: You can export your data from Less Annoying CRM for use in your mail merges.
- Prepare your mailing materials: You can create template documents, labels, and envelopes in a word processing program like Microsoft Word.
- Merge your data with your mailing materials: Finally, you'll need to merge the data in your spreadsheet with the data in your templates materials. Microsoft Word has a built-in feature for mail-merging, but if you plan on using another system, you'll want to make sure that it can handle mail-merging.
Part 1: Preparing Your Less Annoying CRM Data for Mail-Merging
The first step is exporting your data from LACRM. On the Contact page filter your contacts by any applicable fields on the left menu to narrow the list to just the contacts you’d like to send a letter (for example you can filter by group, pipeline, or state). Once you’ve filtered the contacts, select “Export” on the left side of the grey menu bar. (If you do not see an 'Export' option, it means the administrator on your account has turned off that permission setting for your account and you should reach out to them if you need to run an export.)
Next, clean your spreadsheet to include only the columns you need. This step isn't required, but it'll make things easier down the line. Delete the columns that don't include the data you want, for example you may not need phone numbers or background info included in your letters, envelopes, or labels.
Double check to make sure your spreadsheet is set up properly. Each recipient should have their own line with any data that you’ll need in the merge (such as address, title, etc.). Here is an example of what that might look like:
Part 2: Preparing Your Mail-Merge Materials and Running the Merge
Using Microsoft: If you plan on creating your mail-merge documents in Word and Excel, you can follow this tutorial from Microsoft.
Using Google: Google Docs and Sheets don't have a built-in mail-merging feature, but you can purchase a plugin (like this one) to help you merge your data. There are also plugins that work with Google Sheets and Gmail (like this one) to help you run an email merge; instead of creating documents and labels that you can print, you can send personalized emails.
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