What is Mail Merge?
Mail merge is a software function which allows a word processing program to input personalized or unique information in a templated document. The word processing program is commanded to take information and data from a separate document (usually a database or a spreadsheet). This saves the user the trouble of manually inputting different information and manually saving them as one file each, and is an especially useful tool for people who need to send bulk mails (or emails). Mail merge is usually done for letters (college admission notice, credit card promotions, notices), labels, envelopes etc.
When the command to ‘merge’ is executed, the software automatically lifts the details from the information document, replacing symbols (typically names, addresses, account numbers, phone numbers) with the actual unique set of information. Mail merge is sometimes referred to as print merge.
Mail merge is supported by a number of word processing software, including Microsoft Word, Appleworks, Lotus WordPro, OpenOffice Writer, and Corel WordPerfect. In the Microsoft Office suite, when using Microsoft Word, a user has the option to choose to personalize information according to information he has on his contacts list in MS Outlook.