How 2 . . . Send mass e-mails addressed to each recipient

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Ever get a message that is clearly a mass e-mail but has your name after "Dear" and wonder how the sender did it? It's easy to do using the "Mail Merge" feature of Microsoft Outlook and Word. The following instructions are written for Microsoft Word and Outlook 2003, although the steps are similar if you are using Word and Outlook 2007. Don't use this feature to spam people!

1. Go to your Outlook contacts and select the contacts you want to send the e-mail to by holding down the Ctrl key and clicking on the contacts. Select "Mail Merge" from the "Tools" menu.

2. At the top of the dialog box that appears, make sure "Only selected contacts" is checked. At the bottom, choose "E-mail" from the drop down list under "Merge to." Enter the subject line for your e-mail message and click "OK."

3. A new Word document will open automatically. Hover over the icons at the top of the document and click on "Insert Greeting Line" when you see it. Fill out the "Greeting line format" section to decide how you want to address the e-mails (i.e. "Dear John," "Dear Mr. Smith," "To John," etc). Click "OK."

4. Hit Enter on your keyboard and compose the rest of your message (excluding the salutation). When you are finished, click the "Merge to E-mail" button in the toolbar at the top of your document, then click "OK." Your e-mails will now be sent out and you can check your sent items in Outlook to confirm.

5. Mail Merge is also useful for other tasks, such as printing form letters or address labels. To learn more, go to and search for "mail merge" in the search box.