Avoid Making the Top 5 Mail Merge Errors

Mail merge not working? These might be why

One drawback to using mail merge to create documents is that you run a higher risk of making more mistakes than creating each document individually. Check for these frequent mail merge mistakes before finalizing them and sending them off to print. 

Wax sealed envelopes, close-up
 Barry Rosental / Getty Images

Comprehensiveness

Double-check whether you inserted all the necessary information required for a successful mail merge. It is relatively easy to overlook a field when you are creating your document. Pay particular attention to addresses and, more importantly, ZIP codes. You should also ensure that the greeting lines or other areas where you have inserted several fields in succession are all filled out correctly.

Accuracy

While this may seem like common sense, you would be surprised at how many people mess up their mail merges because they didn't check for accuracy. To ensure your mail merge's accuracy, you will need to ensure that you inserted the correct fields in the right locations. If you have fields with similar names, it is all too easy to insert the wrong one. If you find you're making this error frequently, it is a good idea to re-evaluate the names you're giving your fields to avoid future confusion.

Spacing

Spacing is a significant factor. Sometimes it is difficult to tell how many spaces you have entered into a document. The use of mail merge fields makes it even more difficult to tell, mainly when they are close together. You may even find that you have omitted spaces altogether. It is essential to check your document to ensure that you have spaces between all the fields. Otherwise, the final product will contain several massive illegible run-on words.

Punctuation

Similarly to spacing, many people overlook the value and importance of punctuation when working with mail merges. It is easy to miss punctuation when working with mail merge fields because of spacing. You will notice that you often misplace punctuation, omit it completely, or add double punctuation when you have multiple mail merge fields in a row.

Formatting

Your text's formatting is one of the critical mistakes that lead to a "mail merge not working" Google search. Check whether the formatting applied to your mail merge fields is correct. Whether you are a newbie mail merger or have completed hundreds of mail merges, it is essential to check your mail merge fields for italicization, underlining, and bold formatting and correct them before finalizing the Mail Merge.

Wrapping Up

By no means is this an exhaustive list of errors you can introduce in a mail merge process, but it is an excellent place to start. And it would be best if you proofed for other mistakes, such as typos and misspellings, that could occur in any document.