Creating multiple letters at once, but with a personal touch. That’s possible thanks to mail merge, a popular technology widely used in the business world. What is the appeal of this technology and what options are available in the document creation software of SmartDocuments?
Automated communication—you simply can’t do without it in today’s world. We regularly receive letters that we know were generated fully automatically. Yet these letters often include personal details. This is thanks to what is known as the mail merge function, a feature used by many organizations. But what exactly is mail merge?
Mail merge: what is it?
If taken literally, the term ‘mail merge’ sounds like we’re combining letters. And that’s actually what it means. Mail merge lets you combine large volumes of post, so you can send them all at once. But we’re not talking about stuffing a big stack of letters into a letterbox at the same time. Mail merge is the technology that allows you to generate multiple personalized documents based on a standard template. It allows you to combine a form letter with a set of variable data, but for massive volumes of documents at the same time.
Variable data with mail merge
What are the variables we mentioned above? They could be anything. (Yeah, we know. That doesn’t tell you much. We’ll explain.) Some examples of these variables could be a name, an address and a date of birth. But it could also be your energy consumption over the past month (in a letter from your power company) or the number of points accrued with the local housing association.
Why work with mail merge?
Why should you work with a mail merge function? What does it bring to the table? Maybe it goes without saying (but we’re going to say it anyway)—time! Generating multiple personalized documents at once saves time. It's a bit cliché but it’s also true: time = money. Another added bonus: mail merge makes it quick and easy to personalize your outgoing correspondence. This can work miracles, especially for large organizations, such as housing associations, municipalities and healthcare institutions. These organizations have large numbers of customers, which means high volumes of correspondence. It’s not possible for these organizations to generate each letter manually. Mail merge allows you to personalize ‘mass communication’.
Multi-document output function of SmartDocuments
At SmartDocuments, we believe that a mail merge function is essential. That’s why we've integrated it into our document creation tool. Even under a new name, the nature of the beast hasn't changed and it certainly isn't less efficient. With our multi-document output (or MDO) module, you go through a single Q&A screen to generate multiple personalized documents. The software from SmartDocuments links seamlessly with your database, allowing you to retrieve the necessary (personal) data automatically. Want to try an even smarter approach? You could also use a single link with an XML file to generate hundreds of personalized documents at the same time.
Interested in creating large volumes of personalized documents in no time with SmartDocuments software? Request your free demo!