Email Merge Directions Using Microsoft Word and Excel

Danya Stuart -

While the email invitations Headquarters provides to chapters are valuable components of your recruitment campaign, we highly encourage chapters to send their own invitations. These can be sent via regular mail or email. When the invitations are sent via a local source (advisor email; college letterhead; signature from your college president), they are viewed as more legitimate. This local recruiting effort can reinforce other efforts to drive up your membership acceptance rate, making Phi Theta Kappa accessible to more students and providing them with life-changing membership benefits. I am going to walk you through how to send email invitations through your Outlook email.

Now that you have exported the list of eligible students with their personal passcodes, let’s look at how you will create an invitation to invite these students so they can accept membership through our online acceptance process.

  • Open the Excel file that you just downloaded from the ‘Eligible Students’ tab on
  • Scroll to the very bottom of the file and enter the name, address, and email of your Divisional Specialist.
    • You will see a map of the divisions and then a list of the divisional specialists on the screen now. This will give you their name, address, and email to enter in the spreadsheet.
  • Also, I encourage you to enter your name, address, and email so that you will receive a copy of the email that is sent.



  • Now, save the Excel file somewhere you can find it.
    • I recommend saving it on the desktop or in a file folder designated for your eligible student files.
  • Open one of the Microsoft Word documents listed next to this video.
    • These are the sample invitations you will use in your email merge.
    • One Word document contains a space for orientation and induction information, and one does not.
  • Go to ‘Mailings’ > ‘Start Mail Merge’ > ‘Email Messages’
    • This will show the letter in an email format.



  • Delete from the top of the letter/email
    • Date
    • Name
    • Address
    • City
    • State
    • Zip
  • Remove the Signature (everything under “Sincerely”) section at the bottom of the letter/email, and enter your own signature that is in your email.
    • You can copy and paste your signature directly from my email into Word.
  • In the Microsoft Word document, enter the following information:
    • Date: (in the fifth paragraph - this will be your enrollment deadline date)
    • Membership Fee: (in the sixth paragraph)
      • If you are not sure what this is, please contact your Divisional Specialist.
    • Advisor Information: (in the last paragraph)
    • Orientation/Induction: (in the last paragraph/if applicable)



  • Save this document.
    • Once again, I recommend saving all files pertaining to PTK membership campaigns in one folder.
    • Also, by having a designated folder you can refer to these at a later date if you have any questions.
  • While in Microsoft Word, go to the top and click on ‘Mailings’ > ‘Select Recipients’ > ‘Use an Existing List…’



  • Find the Excel document that contains your eligible students and passcodes.
  • Click ‘Open’
  • Click ‘OK’




  • Go to the first field you wish to merge and delete the placeholder wording in the document
  • Scroll up to ‘Mailings’ > ‘Insert Merge Field’
  • Select the field name you wish to merge (Complete this for each field you wish to merge).
    • First Name (Salutation line): Make sure to add punctuation after the first name.
    • Passcode (5th paragraph)




  • Once complete, click on ‘Preview Results’
    • This will show you what your email will look like once fields have been merged into your document.



  • Now, click on ‘Finish & Merge’ > ‘Send Email Messages…’
    • In the ‘To:’ drop-down, make sure that you select the email option.
      • It may already be selected.
    • Type whatever subject you wish for your email to have in the ‘Subject line:’ field.
    • The ‘Mail format:’ should auto-populate to HTML.
    • Leave ‘All’ selected under ‘Send Records’
    • Click ‘OK’



  • You will see the Word document start to cycle through all names for the invitations.
  • If you go to your email outbox, you will see them sending.
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