Easy question for 100 points!

Posted on 1998-05-08
Last Modified: 2013-12-25
I have an list  of email addresses and first names from people who have subscribed to my club.

How can I 'mail merge' my newsletters, so they use the recipient's first name?

Dear Jonathan

Thank you for joining my club blah blah blah

Can I do this in a free programme? Can I do this sort of thing in a combination of Word 97 and Outlook Express?

Please let me know...

Kind regards

Question by:mindwave
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Expert Comment

ID: 1855917
How are the E-Mail address and Names Stored and what are you gonna merge them to (E-Mail or printed document)

Author Comment

ID: 1855918
They are only stored in a members html guestbook format, so they have to be manually entered again so I don't care what I have to import them into.

I will be using it for mail merging outbound emails .

Thank you for your interest...


Expert Comment

ID: 1855919
Do you mean that people subscribing to your club will have their names and email sent to you, then u put them together in some sort of a group name. Finally, you'll send articles to the members?
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Expert Comment

ID: 1855920
I believe I have the answer, if I understand the question:

If you have a list where the names and the emails are distinguished by "<" characters, you can divide it up using Word's "Convert Text To Table" command (Table Menu). Simply use the "Separate Text At" option to split your list at each occurence of the "<" character...

For Example,

John Horner <>
Some Guy <>

Splits up nicely into a table. Once you've separated them out, you should be able to use the fact that they're in a table, plus a bit of judicous Search/Replace to do what you need.

If not, there are some options in Excel 5, ("Text To Columns" from memory, don't have it on this machine) that may be able to help you...

If you can put the info into an HTML Table, then save as text, by the way, it will format the columns using whitepace, i.e. pushing the data around like so:

[viewed in Courier/Courier New these columns line up]

John Horner <>  (nice guy)
Some Guy    <>        (complete dickhead)

Which may make it more susceptible to interpretation by Word/Excel.

johnny "Parse the salt" 99


Author Comment

ID: 1855921
Thanks johnny99 but that's not what I need...

I don't care HOW I extract the names and emails. What I need to know is, assuming I have the first names and email addresses, how do I go about emailing my newsletter to hundreds of people, each getting their first name as the example below shows...

MoneySaver Smart Shopper Alert 10th May 1998
Issue #1    May 10, 1998
Save Money & Get Stuff Free!!

Hi johnny99

Thank you for joining the MoneySaver Club. This newsletter & many more offfers is at

In your newsletter this week:

1) Wharf warfare! Have your say!
2) Enjoy the best coffee from Alan for free
3) Getting 2 cds for free
4) Save $20 on a tune-up at Kmart Tyre & Auto
5) Free Sausage Software and a $535 bonus!

etc. etc.

What database do I enter the names and email addresses to then 'mail merge' outward bound emails?

Thank you,

I really appreciate your helping me!

Jonathan :-)

Expert Comment

ID: 1855922

I don't know of any software that will create and merge emails.

Word will of course create mail-merges, but then you'd have to cut and paste each one into an email. A databse would have the same problem.

My instinct is this can't be done with your resources, but I'd suggest you do a search in or with the right keywords and maybe there's something out there.


Expert Comment

ID: 1855923
I understand your question now. I also agree that no email software has been able to provide this function.

You maybe can download a database program from either of the two sites. Remember the www prefix.

Author Comment

ID: 1855924
Thanks guys.

I'm off the the shareware sites.


Expert Comment

ID: 1855925
Remember the www prefix, JK? Want to try it without? Not all sites have www at the start of them... : )


Accepted Solution

hkp earned 100 total points
ID: 1855926
If you use Word 97, you can use the mail merge dialog.

1. Select "Tools" menu.
2. Select "Mail Merge..."
3. Select "Get Data".
4. Select "Use Address Book"

Now, there can be some differences in system responses, but this is the basic concepts. You should be able to select the "Outlook Express" address book from a list of possible address books.

5. Create your main document, by inserting field "First_name" into the document. There's a mail merge toolbar for these operations. It will look something like this:

"Dear <<First_name>>

Thank you for joining my club blah blah blah

Can I do this in a free programme? Can I do this sort of thing in a combination of Word 97 and Outlook Express?

Please let me know...

Kind regards

Jonathan "

I hope this is what you needed.

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