How to create a mail merge letter

Kimberly Wooten -

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. In this video, I am going to walk you through how to create letters that can be printed on your college letterhead and sent via regular mail.

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 exported 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.

  • Now, save the Excel file somewhere you can find it.
    • I recommend saving 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 mail merge.
    • One Word document contains a space for orientation and induction information, and one does not.
  • In the Microsoft Word document, enter the following information:
    • Date: (at the top of the letter - this is the date you will mail your letter)
    • 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)
    • Advisor or College President Signature Information (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
    • Last Name
    • Street Address 1
    • Street Address 2
    • City
    • State
    • ZIP Code
    • First Name again (this one is after the word “Dear”)
    • Passcode

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

  • Now, click on ‘Finish & Merge’ > ‘Edit Individual Documents’
    • This opens a new Word document with all individual letters.
    • From here, you can print the letters on your own letterhead.
    • I recommend saving this on your computer in the same folder as the original letter template and Excel file.

Sample Letter With Orientation and Induction

Sample Letter without Orientation and Induction

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