Use Mail Merge in Word with an Excel file to personalize communications

Rather than sending out one generic email to students, why not personalize the email for each student? It is easy to insert the student’s name and other information into the email through Word’s Mail Merge feature with an Excel file containing the student name, email, and other information. I have recorded a quick tutorial video (2:29 minutes) about how to use Mail Merge to personalize emails. I regularly use Mail Merge in my communications with students – it is fast and easy.

You can use Mail Merge to communicate any information you have in an Excel file. For example, I have used Mail Merge for the following communication tasks:

  • Give feedback on a video assignment
  • Assign companies to individual students (i.e., each student has to review a different company)
  • Remind students about what time their upcoming exam is (students are in different classes)
  • Tailor emails to reflect student performance (i.e., “You are doing a great job in the course,” “I have concerns about your performance in the course,” “I noticed that you have missed several quizzes,” etc.)

Whatever information you can include in an Excel file can be included in the mail merge. Typically, I have an Excel file that contains all grade information with one row per student (assignment scores are in the columns.) I sort the file several ways to make it easy to copy comments to students who can be grouped similarly based on assignment performance. When I have a comment for each student in a Feedback column, then I do my Mail Merge and include that comment in the email as another field in the Word document. I do not typically need to email grades, as students have those in the Learning Management System, but I can personalize emails based on assignment performance.

Anyways, please let me know if you use Mail Merge in other ways – I am always interested in learning new ways to use tools.

Have a great day!


About Dr. Wendy Tietz, CPA, CMA, CSCA, CGMA

Dr. Wendy Tietz is a professor of accounting at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, USA. She is also a textbook author with Pearson Education.

3 Responses to “Use Mail Merge in Word with an Excel file to personalize communications”

  1. Excellent tip to utilizing word, excel and emails smartly and save time! thanks Wendy, this is far beyond accounting. You are a star! keep sharing this great materials

  2. Thank you, Wendy. This tip is very interesting. Please share more.

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