A Mail Merge is a way of contacting multiple clients with a pre-set template via Email, SMS, or Letter.
Section 1 - Configuring your Client Contact Preferences
Before you start the process of a Mail Merge you will need to configure your client contact preferences. This ensures that your clients are set to receive correspondence in the method (email, letter, SMS) that you are opting to use.
For more information on the general use of Client Contact Preferences please see the following guide.
a. Go to Tools > Options > General System Options > Set Up Client Preferences.
b. The Marketing & Mail Shots section on this screen is the point from which you can select the format you would like to send your Mail Merge.
You can set preferences based on 'Auto-Select' or 'Always on'. In the example above the Mail Merge will send an e-mail to all those with an address available and then a Letter to those who cannot receive the e-mail. If you'd like to enable one or more of the options to always send then use the tick boxes to the right.
c. Once you've made your changes choose Apply and then Update Now! to roll out the changes to existing clients whose preferences are not locked.
Section 2 - Setting up your Mail Merge Template
You now need to configure the content of the Activity Template that will be sent to the clients who are part of your Mail Merge.
a. To begin setting up your template head to Tools > Activity Templates.
b. Use the Marketing / Mailshot filter to the left of the screen to view only your existing Mail Shot templates. You can then use the Modify option to change existing entries or choose Add to create a new one.
c. When adding or modifying a template for your Mail Merge ensure that the template category selected is Marketing / Mailshot. Only templates within this Category will be available to send at the end of the Mail Merge process. You can then enter the text/attachments required for each of the contact formats you've chosen for this Mail Merge.
Section 3 - Creating and Sending your Mail Merge
In order to compile a list of clients who will receive this Mail Merge you'll need to run a Report. Through this process you can identify a particular criteria of client who may need this correspondence or simply send it to all clients on the system. For the purpose of this guide we'll be sending the Mail Merge to all clients but if you wish to send to a specific group then the reporting guide should assist in getting to this stage. Once you've run your report continue from point c of this section.
Please Note: Not all reports can be used to Mail Merge. Check that your report has the 'Mail Merge' button available after you choose Finish.
a. To run a Report for all Clients navigate to Reports > Reports & Mail Merge > Clients. Highlight the Client List and choose Run. Make sure 'Non - Enter Dates' is selected and choose OK.
b. Allow the report to run through. This may take some time.
c. Once the report is run you'll be presented with a series of options. If you'd like to review the list of clients before sending the Mail Merge then choosing Preview will allow you to do so. Once you're ready to continue with the Mail Merge choose the Mail Merge button.
d. In the Mail Merge Output Options screen you have some options to further control the sending of the Mail Merge. Choosing 'One Line per Client' will only send the Mail Merge to any clients in the results once, regardless of how many times they were present as a result in the report. Choosing 'One Line per Report Result' will send them a copy of the Mail Merge for each time they were a result. Choose 'One line per Household' to only send one Mail Merge to any number of clients who share the same address line 1.
From here you can also choose to exclude clients marked as deceased and those who have 'Exclude from Mail Shots' set in their client contact preferences in their Client Details.
Press Marketing & Mail Shots to continue.
e. You'll now be presented with a pop-up that tells you how many clients are selected to receive the Mail Merge. Choose OK to continue.
f. In the following screen you have the option to add the results of the report you ran in this instance to one you'd done earlier. This can be useful where you can't compile all the relevant clients using just one report and need to use multiple. In this event you would run the first report, use the 'Create a New Mailshot' option to give it a name, choose Continue and then Exit the Mail Merge process without sending. Repeat the process for the second report and when you reach this point use 'Select an Existing Mailshot'. You can then choose to merge the two lists or replace the older one with your most recent results.
If you will just be using this one report then give the list of results a name in the 'Create a New Mailshot' field. You'll also need to 'select who is responsible' for running the mail shot. All the activities produced will appear in this users name and in their activities list if they are unable to send.
Choose Continue to proceed.
g. In this final screen you will send your Mail Merge. Begin by selecting the template you set up earlier in the 'Selected Activity Template' dropdown.
You will see all the clients set to receive your Mail Merge listed here. If you spot a person in the list that you don't want to receive the mail merge then tick the 'Done' box in the column for their relevant activity type.
At the bottom of the screen you'll see the activity types available for this mail merge and how many clients are set to receive each. Our template has Letters, E-Mails and SMS available which is why each of these is highlighted. However, we set our client preferences to choose E-Mail first and then Letter. Because of this, none of the clients are set to receive the SMS.
When you're ready to send click the respective Activity button to begin sending. Pressing 'E-Mails' will send those, you can then press 'Letter' and the letters will be prepared.