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Transcript of emailMerge from a shared mailbox video

This is the transcript of 'Email merge from a shared mailbox' video

Stu Hasic

Hi there me again. I'm here with another video and this time it's something that I've had requested multiple times, but has always been a little bit convoluted or complicated to explain. But what I've tried to do is put it into something that's a bit more concise, a bit clearer. Some steps that you can easily follow to achieve this particular function which is how to email, or email mail merge from a shared mailbox.

So let's give you an example. You're at a school, you're wanting to send an email from the school account rather than a personal account, which is a shared mailbox, and you want that email message to be unique for each of the recipients. So it could be a letter going to parents about their child at school, or some activity that's going to happen at the school.

The way to do it is using a combination of three Microsoft Office products and that's Excel, Word and Outlook. And we're going to go through the process of using all three of those to achieve this activity, called an email merge from a shared mailbox. Now, things that you're going to need - Outlook Desktop for Windows needs to be installed - the desktop app - so you can't use the webmail. You can't use email in your browser, it has to be the desktop app. And as well as that you have to have the shared mailbox attached to your email, so hopefully the person doing this is somebody who already checks the school email account, and they have not only their own personal mailbox that you see on the screen, but they also have a shared mailbox.

So in my case, I'm not at a school, but I've got a shared mailbox for T4L News that a lot of people would be familiar with, and that mailbox is just a separate mailbox that I can jump between in my Outlook quite easily. And what we want to do, is send using *this* address, *not* using this address. So when the parents receive an email, it comes from this address rather than the personal address of the SAM or the principal or whoever it is that's doing this particular function.

Next thing that you need is an Excel spreadsheet that contains the recipient emails and related info. Now I've got just an example of what that might look like, but you'd obviously have a spreadsheet that contains all of the parent emails the parent names and you might also have that linked at the same time in each record with the associated students, their year, their roll class and their teacher's name. In this example, so we're wanting to use this spreadsheet to merge a unique email to each of these people, or to each of these people over here regarding those people there.

Let's just get rid of those notifications now, these are the people that we're sending the email to so, that's in our spreadsheet and it's just called Parent Emails.xlsx. Now the next thing you need is the text of a desired email message to merge and send.

So this is the message that we're wanting to send. I've just typed up as text, it's not an email, it's just text in a Word document and that's where you need to go. So this is an invitation for a parent-teacher meeting, and we want it to be sent to the parent, we want to talk about the student's name, the teacher's name, and it's pulling in that information and it's going to uniquely send a customised email to every single parent that's in the spreadsheet. And this is about booking an appointment for the parent teacher meeting and it links off to an appointment booking form that you would set up separately. "We look forward to seeing you soon!", it's signed off by Jennifer Ngo and she's the principal at Rockmore Public School. But it's going to come from the school email address. So that's the text of the email that we want.

The other thing that's recommended is using a jpeg of the school's letterhead or similar so i've got an example this is. An example school letterhead that you could just scan of your school letterhead, or you could make it in whatever graphic application that you've got. But it's something that helps to identify that the email is coming from the school and it's not some random phishing email that people are very wary of. And you want to make sure that people consider your email as being genuine, so two ways of doing that - one is going to be a personalised email that includes the the parent's name and the student name and the principal's name and so on, and the second option is going to be a graphic that parents would probably be familiar with which is the school's banner and they're the things that you're going to need.

Now, how you do it? These are the steps. So there's about nine steps that we're going to go through to complete this process. First step is Outlook. You need to change the default mail account to the shared mailbox. If you do not do this step - and it's actually a two-part process - if you do not complete this step, the email that is mail merged to everybody will come from your mailbox, and you'll be the one getting the replies and you'll be exposing your email address. So it's maybe not what you want. You want the school's email address so that's changing the default mail account.

How do you do that? Let's go into Outlook and what you do is go to File and up here in Account Settings, you need to go to Account Settings and then you'll see this thing that says there's two mailboxes in your Outlook. One is your personal one and, one is your shared mailbox. And the tick there next to that says that the default is mine, so what we need to do is change the default to this one. And that's done by clicking on it and choosing Set as Default. Switches the order around and makes T4L News the default mail account.

Now that's step one - remember I said it was a two-step process. So you've got to close that, and then the next thing you've got to do is go back into File but this time we're going to Options. And inside Options, you need to go into Mail and then you need to scroll down a bit to the Send Options, Send Messages section. And the one that you need is here - "Always Use the Default Account when composing new messages".

So it's not just a matter of making your shared mailbox the default mailbox, you also need to choose this option to always use the default account when composing new messages. And then you say OK to that, and that's done. That process, those steps in Outlook, we're going to reverse those later on. Change it back, because you don't want to, as you use your email, you don't want to send every email message as the school email box.

Okay, Excel, make sure Excel is closed. You can't have this spreadsheet open when Microsoft Word wants to go reading the data that's in here, and sending it off to Outlook. So you need to close this otherwise you'll get an error message to say that the file is locked by another user. Okay, in Word we need to start a new document. We need to go to Mailing, Start Mail Merge, Email Messages - and then we need to select recipients. Use an Existing List, use your Excel file. Then we want to insert our letterhead, then we want to compose the message and Insert Merge Field.

So that's a few different things that you need to do in Microsoft Word. And we'll do that next, so this was the draft that we were working with, but what we want to do is go File and we want to create a new Outlook document. So just a Blank Document's fine, and this is our blank document. Then it said you need to go to Mailings you need to go to Start Mail Merge and you need to choose the option that says Email Messages. And it changes your screen a little bit, it looks a little bit different. You need to Select Recipients, and this is where we're telling it we want to use that Excel spreadsheet, so we want to Use an Existing List. You need to tell it where to find that list and it's in, in this case, in Documents. And the file was called Parent Emails and that is now saying... okay, we want Sheet1 of that spreadsheet is going to contain our data, so we say OK, yep that's the one that we want. And if you want to verify that you've actually got that in there, if you go to Edit Recipient List, you'll see the parent emails is there, you've got the three different names, you've got their email addresses over here, and so on.

So you don't need to do anything with that, that's just verifying that the data is sitting in the background, ready to be merged into your email document. So the next thing that it wants is the banner, the letterhead. So let's insert that. We go to Insert a Picture. We want to insert it from our Pictures folder in this case, and I've got one in here that's called Rockmore Public School Banner and we say Insert that. And there's our picture. You can scale this down a little bit, you probably don't need it to be as big as it was. And you need to go down to the next line or a couple of lines down, and what we now need to do is get the text that we had so let's just grab this whole message here Ctrl-C to put it on the clipboard and Ctrl-V to paste it in there. And this is now our message.

Okay, so this is where we now need to change these X's into merge fields so "Dear XXX". we need to get rid of XXX and if we go back to our Mailings tab there's an option here that says Insert Merge Field and the one that we want is the Parent First Name, and then a space and then the Parent Last Name. And we'll put a comma after that, so that's how we've defined the introduction of it. "2021 has been a challenging year...if you have any questions or would like to discuss XXX's progress", so let's get rid of XXX here, we leave the apostrophe there and what we're going to do is insert another merge field, which is the Student's First Name, so "discuss student's first's progress at school, we would like to invite you invite you to a quick meeting with...", that same person, so get rid of this XXX again, and we're going to insert First Name again, and here we're inserting the Teacher's Name, so that's this one, and then "you can book an appointment..." and that's the link to it, and "we look forward to seeing you soon". It's signed off by Jennifer the Principal at Rockmore Public School. So that's pretty much it.

We can have a look here, there's an option to go Preview Results. And that will let us scroll through all of these, to just make sure it looks right - so here is "Dear Stuart Hasic, if you'd like to discuss Monica's progress at school... invites you to a quick meeting with Monica's teacher Mr d'Souza..." and up here you've got little arrows that you can scroll through each of the fields to go to the next record. So number two, Maria Jackson and this is George's progress with Ms Williams, and the next one is Spiros Annopolis and Daria's progress with Ms Azzopardi. So that is previewing those results.

Now when you want to finish - and I'll turn that off - when you want to finish and merge we're now ready to send this. So remember we've set the default mail account to the shared mailbox, we're now wanting to send all of those messages - so we're choosing the option here to Send Email Messages. When you click on Finish and Merge. Send Email Messages. Who are we sending it to? And this is where you pull this down and you find the one that's a Parent Email so again, this is pulling it straight out of the Excel spreadsheet.

The Subject Line is were want to say this: "Join us for Parent-Teacher Meeting". Maybe we'll put the initials of the school in, "RPS: Join us for a Parent-Teacher Meeting". And we want to send this as HTML. This graphic is in here and this bolded text, and so on, will not work if it's not set as a HTML message. And we want to send it to everybody in that spreadsheet, so three messages are going to be sent as soon as i click this, what it's going to do is automatically merge.

You'll see these names flash up as it merges the messages and it will send them using Outlook, and using that default account. So let's go OK, watching here - there's the first one, there's the second one, there's the third one. And that's now done. So Outlook didn't pop up, nothing specific appeared in Outlook, it's just sent those messages using Outlook. And I should get a little notification - ooh look! Here it is here. "T4L News RPS Join us for parent teacher meeting.

Join us for parent teacher meeting... Dear Stuart Hasic..." So I've got this email has appeared in my Outlook - let's go have a look at it. So if i jump across to Outlook, here it is here, I'm in my mailbox and I've got an email from T4L News at ITD. "RPS Join us for a parent teacher meeting". if we open that up this is what it looks like. So here's my banner, here's my join us for a parent-teacher meeting, Dear Stuart Hasic... like to discuss Monica's progress at school with Monica's teacher, Mr d'Souza. Click on this appointment form, and so on.

Perfectly legitimate email that's come to me from the shared mailbox. But as well as that, I sent it to a couple of my other personal mailboxes, so let's go have a look at how they showed up. Let's go in here to GMail and we go refresh the inbox and there's one here from T4L News. Join us parent teacher meeting. Let's see what it looks like. Look at that. There's the banner, here's the text - it looks slightly different to the Outlook but that's just the way it is, but it's exactly the same message.

Daria's teacher, Ms Azzopardi, Dear Spiros and so on. Let's have a look in our Yahoo Mail. And here is T4L News, RPS Join us for a parent teacher meeting, exactly the same, Miss Jackson and George's teacher, Ms Williams, and so on and so forth. So there are three mail merged messages, gone from the shared mailbox, and that's exactly how you do it using Outlook, Excel and Word in combination. so they're all the steps that you'll follow. Now you'll remember it says here is the last step - Outlook: change the default mail account back. So that's a matter of reversing those steps that we did - File and then Options and then Mail.

And go down to the Send Options and untick that one, say OK and then go back to File and in Account Settings and Account Settings you need to set your mailbox as the default again. That's got to tick against it, Close. You've reversed everything that you've done, you've sent your email messages off. It could be 500 different parents. Everyone got a unique message, and that's it! So that is how to do this amazing thing called how to email merge a message from a shared mailbox. Hope that was of use and I'll see you in the next video!


End of transcript