Send emails to up to 200 people at a time and automate follow-up without sacrificing personalization

Mail merge lets you extend your email efforts, allowing you to:

    • Send personalized messages to hundreds of prospects at once from your email account
    • Save hours of time by scaling outreach while maintaining one-to-one messaging
    • Sync with your CRM, track real-time engagement, launch multi-stage drip campaigns

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How It Works

Unlike marketing automation platforms, Yesware sends each stage of the mail merge directly through your Gmail account, making a mail merge email indistinguishable from an ordinary 1:1 email.

Not just for sales reps, Mail Merge is commonly used by:

  • Account managers to send product update newsletters
  • Account executives to send event invitations
  • Managers to send tracked memos to groups ensuring individuals read and engage

Below, we walk through the creation of a 3-step Gmail campaign for new leads. As you read, keep in mind that Mail Merge is useful for any case where you want to send personalized emails to a large number of recipients at once.

For example, it’s a great tool for setting up a nurture campaign within your Gmail account to re-engage leads from a previous quarter with collateral. This feature can also track recipient actions like email opens and link clicks and automate follow-up depending on how each recipient engages.

1. Create a New Mail Merge.

To start a Mail Merge, click the “Mail Merge” option at the top of your inbox:


You will be brought to a page that lists all your past campaigns, with statuses and metrics including emails opened, clicked, and replied to. Once you are on this page, select the blue “New Mail Merge” button in the top right corner.


Next, name your campaign.

Note for multi-stage mail merge campaigns: By default, when sending follow-up emails Yesware will re-use the subject line of the previous stage and append “RE:” to thread your follow-ups as replies. Uncheck the “Send each stage as a reply” option if you’d like follow-up emails to start a new thread.



2. Upload Your List.

Next, add your recipients. You can select from a Salesforce list view or upload a CSV file to add recipients.

Salesforce List View

Click the drop-down and choose from the available lists. This will copy the contacts or leads in the list to your recipient list.


To view your current lists in Salesforce:

  1. Log into your Salesforce account.
  2. Select the Contacts or Leads tab.
  3. Use the View drop down menu to select a list.
  4. Click “Go” to see the contact list and fields for the selected view.

To create a new list view:

  1. Log into your Salesforce account.
  2. Select the Contacts or Leads tab.
  3. Click “Create New View.”

From there, you can set up a new view using filters and select which fields you’d like to be displayed in the list. Once saved, the new view can be retrieved in Yesware.

Note: Yesware will only pull this list once at the start of the mail merge, and so follow-up stages will use the same information even if you later update these contacts in Salesforce.


Upload a Comma Separated Value (CSV) File

To create a CSV file of your recipients, you can use Excel or another spreadsheet application. Click here to access the file from the example below. Then, choose “Download” to edit your own copy.

Or, if you want to start from scratch:

    1. Create a new spreadsheet.
    2. Add columns for each piece of data that you’ll want to include in your mail merge. The title for each column will determine the name of the template placeholder when creating your Mail Merge.


Note: The first column of your spreadsheet must be “Email”

  1. In Excel, choose File > Save As. Change the format to “Comma Separated Values (.csv)”. After pressing Save, Excel may warn you about features not working in the selected format – that is not a problem (A CSV file is just a text file with column names and field values separated by commas). Also be aware of the fact that CSV files do not support formulas in Excel spreadsheets.


Personalize Your Gmail Mail Merge to Each Recipient


Your mail merge campaign will be the most effective when you tailor each recipient’s content. Read our blog post to learn 6 specific techniques for email personalization.

Editing the Recipient List

Once you have uploaded the Salesforce list or CSV file, the list will be shown in Gmail.  If you need to make any changes, you can double click on the spreadsheet cell to edit the information.


Note: Changes made to a Salesforce list in Mail Merge will not be synced back to Salesforce.

3. Add Your Content.

You can draft a new message in the Compose window or use one of your templates.  Remember that in Mail Merge, placeholders must match your column names from your Recipient List. If your template’s placeholders differ, then the data won’t match up. For example, you might use {!Contact.FirstName} in your typical 1:1 template, but as in this example you need to use the column name from the spreadsheet mentioned earlier:  {!First Name}.

Note: Placeholders are both case and space sensitive. So {!First Name} does not equal {!first Name} or {!FirstName}. Placeholders must match the column names exactly.


Note: Make sure that there isn’t a blank space at the top of your email, as this may trigger a warning saying body text is missing.

You’ll also need to include your email signature, as Yesware Mail Merge cannot pull your signature from Gmail. To do this, open Gmail in a new browser tab, choose “Compose” new email, and then copy your signature and paste it back into the tab with your Mail Merge.



To check that your placeholders are being filled with the right data, click “Preview” to see how your content will look to each recipient.


You can now personalize and edit the message for specific recipients. To do so, use the “Edit” option next to Email Body. This will be available on the “Preview” section.

Need inspiration for an effective cold email template? Here are four winning approaches.

Next, choose when to send your mail merge.


Note: The scheduled time you choose must be at least one hour into the future.  

Once you’ve selected a time, press “Send” and you will see a confirmation message that your mail merge has successfully been scheduled.

4. Set Up a Drip Campaign to Automate Follow-Up Emails.

Click “+ Add Stage” to create an automated follow-up email right from your Gmail account. You can add up to 9 follow-ups for a total of 10 stages.

You can select from the drop-down under what conditions the follow-up should be sent: the recipient hasn’t replied, the recipient didn’t open the previous stage, or the previous stage sent without a problem (it didn’t bounce). Next, choose how many days later to send the follow-up.


5. Sync Campaign With Your CRM.

Under Finalize Mail Merge, you can CC or BCC every email in your mail merge to specified addresses.  If you are using a non-Salesforce CRM, you can enter the unique BCC address for your CRM to make sure that all outbound Gmail messages are sent to your CRM.

For Enterprise users, the mail merge emails as well as replies received can be synced to the Salesforce Activity History for matching contacts/leads.  For the sync to occur, the “Send to Salesforce” option must be checked off prior to finalizing the mail merge.


Finally, check the box acknowledging Gmail’s daily message limits and hit Send!

6. The Mail Merge Report: View Recipient’s Opens, Clicks, Replies.

Clicking Send will return you to the main screen, where you can view the status of the merge you just created as well as your past merges. Here you can view the Open, Click, Reply and Bounce rates for the mail merge.


Clicking on a row will bring up the detailed view with info on each recipient. If you need to cancel sending, click the button at the top to stop the mail merge. Click “Export CSV” to save a copy of this report.


Scroll to review your follow-up stages, and optionally remove specific contacts from receiving a follow-up email.


Note: In rare cases, a recipient’s reply may not be detected. This can happen when the recipient makes changes to the body text or subject line when replying, causing Gmail to think their reply is actually a new email thread. In this case, you’ll need to enter this Mail Merge Detail View to manually remove the recipient.

7. How to Re-Use a Mail Merge Template.

You may have noticed the “Save as Template” button on the front page of the Mail Merge application. Click this button to save the campaign as a template. For example, a rep might use this same 3-touch campaign for the new leads they receive each Tuesday.


Click “Save as Template,” which will bring you to the Mail Merge Templates tab. Then, click the pencil icon to edit the name. Once you save, select “Use Template” to start a new mail merge using this template.


You can also create a mail merge template from scratch by using the blue New Mail Merge Template option under the Mail Merge > Mail Merge Template page. Mail Merge Templates are a Yesware Labs feature.

We’ve recently launched the ability to share mail merge templates. Team Managers can now share mail merge templates across the team and edit team templates.

To do so, click the Mail Merge Templates section of the Mail Merge page. From there, locate the Mail Merge Template you’d like to share and choose “Copy” and select the team you’d like to have access to the template. You can learn more about Mail Merge Templates here.

Your Turn.

Mail Merge is a great way to scale your activity. Adding a personal column to your CSV file lets you send more emails while maintaining a personalized approach to communicating with each prospect. Mail Merge is a useful tool for prospecting, nurturing leads, sending event invitations, distributing newsletters and tracking internal memos. Lastly, Mail Merge Templates let you identify your most team’s successful emails and opens up the content as templates for each of your reps to use.

For any additional questions, please visit our Support Center to search FAQs or submit your own request.