What is a mailmerge?

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A mail merge is the name given to the ‘personalisation’ of messages generally for such purposes as a company mailout. To use a mail-merge system, you first store a set of information, like a list of names and addresses, in one file. In another file, you write a letter, substituting special symbols in place of names and addresses (or whatever other information will come from the first file).

For example, you might write:

       Dear <name>:

       Our records show that your address is:

       If this is incorrect,...

This letter has certain ‘fields’ enclosed in angle brackets – these fields need to be different for each customer who is receiving the letter. So another file containing a list of all the values for the fields must be prepared. An example of such a file:

“Mr A Smith”,””,”18 Home Way”,”Clearnight Avenue”,”Cleveland”,”USA”,”HJ 00910″
“Miss H Cat”,”Bed Right Inc”,”3 Suite 93″,”Apple Yard”,”San Francisco”,”USA”,”CA 093390-9833″
“Ms L Mouse”,”Run-Fast Corp”,”Run-fast House”,”Beachwood Avenue”,”Coventry”,”UK”,”CV21 8IW”

When the letter and the list are merged, three letters are generated using the above example.

GLCommunicator manages lists of electronic addresses automatically allowing customers addresses to be added and removed at will. Where the information comes from, either member file or an ODBC data source is transparent to the mail merge process. GLCommunicator will complete any fields that are required by using the Mail Meta Language (MML). MML can be used to create a single highly personalised mailing that could possibly be unique to each member of the list.

When using GLCommunicator in this way you would use the MMLprocessing language to provide the mail merge facilities. The angle brackets in the example above would be replaced with <"hash" and "hash"> respectively and the information to fill these ‘fields’ would be taken from the list membership file.

Keywords:list GLCommunicator mailmerge personalisation dynamic

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