Mail merge in Google Docs thumb

in Google Docs, MailChimp

Mail merge with Google Docs and MailChimp


A while ago Google launched the Google Drive Add-ons. This opened up lots of possibilities as these new apps can help extend the capabilities of Google Drive.

I found lots of useless add-ons, but there was one add-on that caught my attention and which might actually be useful, the one developed by MailChimp. That caught my eye also because these guys sent me a plastic monkey that now sits on my desk.

Mail merge in Google Docs 0

A test drive

In this article I will give this add-on a try to see how things work out. Let’s say that I am a freelancer and I want to send all my clients a brief thank you note for being such great clients, something like that:

Mail merge in Google Docs

Made that in Google Documents, take into account that I maybe want to send that to 100+ people and I want the client name and company name populated automatically.

A list into a Google Spreadsheet

First I need to make a simple Google Spreadsheet with the information that I need to use in this merge, email, client name and company name. See the document bellow:


The MailChimp add-on

I first need to install this plugin to be able to use it, I go into the plugins section in my Google Document, search Merge by MailChimp and install it.

Mail merge in Google Docs 1

The data source

I have the add-on set up, I now have to tell Docs where to take the data from, yes I am talking about the spreadsheet you can see above.

Mail merge in Google Docs 2

After we select the data source we can see further options in the right side of the screen:



Mail merge in Google Docs 3Merge tags

Merge tags refer to the dynamic data that we insert into our thank you note, the part that automatically inserts the name of the client where we need it.

Mail merge in Google Docs 4

Because we have 3 columns in our initial table we have 3 merge tags: first name, company name and email. By clicking on each one it will give a small piece of code that I insert in my text. For example, the code for the first name is: *|First name|*.

After inserting the merge tags, my thank you note looks like this:


Email info

Last but not least, we have to put in additional email information like:

  • From name
  • From email address
  • Email subject
  • Permission reminder: that little disclaimer in the footer explaining you why you are receiving this email
  • Contact information

The end result

This is how the email looks like in my Gmail.

Mail merge in Google Docs 5

Reports

After I send out my thank you note, a thing that I want is to see who opened the email. I can see that in the reports section.

Mail merge in Google Docs 6Final thoughts

I like this plugin and I find it useful. I am not going to send out my newsletters this way, however, it is a great option for sending personalized emails quickly.

It would be really nice to be able to filter the data in my data source right from my document, this way I could select the clients I want to receive my thank you note.

What do you think?

Let me know in the comments section bellow.


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