I may be the most computer savvy person here... that does not mean I know anything
August 13, 2012 1:17 PM   Subscribe

I need to send a merged email from a Gmail address. Problems have ensued.

The email must be a merge because it will contain the recipient's name, and also a link with a unique number in it.

I figured out how to hook up the Gmail address to my Outlook, and send emails from it via Outlook. (I usually use Outlook for work, and my work address was associated with it first.)

I thought I had this problem all worked out. BUT, when I try to do a merge through Word, it automatically sends it from my primary work email! I cannot find an option to switch to a different Outlook email address for sending merges. Is there an actual way to do this? Baring that, is there a way to do a mail merge directly through Gmail? I am tearing my hair out here and have already wasted hours on this nonsense. Any solution that costs $0 will work.
posted by showbiz_liz to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Can you download Thunderbird to your work pc and set that up with your gmail account and send it through that?
posted by JohnnyGunn at 1:20 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Have you tried removing your work email from Outlook?

Alternatively, you may be able to create a new user in Windows, login as that user, and set up Outlook to use GMail.
posted by theclaw at 1:25 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

In my Outlook (2008, I think?), if I go to Tools -> Account Settings, and then click on the currently-non-default account, it gives me a "Set As Default" button to set that account as the default outgoing email. Is mail-merge ignoring this setting? (Sorry if I'm just repeating what you did; not quite clear, possibly I need more coffee.)
posted by inigo2 at 1:35 PM on August 13, 2012

This might help: Lifehacker: Get mail merge in gmail with this google docs template

I frequently mail-merge from google doc spreadsheets using a script called 'just another mail merge script' although it uses a slightly different process than the above link does, as I already have all the emails in a spreadsheet. (I do booking confirmations for talks, we get people to sign up via a google form.)
posted by halcyonday at 2:18 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

FWIW, I use Thunderbird with the Mail Merge add-on to push out mail through a Gmail account. That costs about $0.
posted by cgk at 3:11 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

The Thunderbird option seems like a good bet- I'll try it tomorrow and see if it works! (Other ideas def. welcome in the mean time though, in case it doesn't work out...)
posted by showbiz_liz at 4:03 PM on August 13, 2012

Outlook 2003/xp used to allow you to change the default account on the fly by going into the account list and moving accounts around. Later versions of Outlook (2008/2010) have changed functionality so that no matter what you do, the original default account gets used during mail merging - no matter what your preferences say about which account should be the default. It drove me batty when we first updated our work versions of Outlook. (It's Outlook's fault, has nothing to do with Gmail as the sender account.)

The way I solved it was to create two separate profiles within Outlook - one that is my normal profile with several accounts, and one that only has the email account that I use to send merged emails. There is a setting that makes you select which profile you want to use every time you open the program. So on most days, when I open Outlook and get a little popup that asks which profile to use, I select my "Normal" profile and go about my day. Then if I have to do a mail merge, I close Outlook and re-open it. This time when I get the pop-up, I select the "mail merge" profile instead, which only contains the correct account and thus can't send accidentally from the wrong one. Set it to use a fake or blank "receive" server, so that you don't start downloading received emails for that address. As a bonus, all your mail merged "sent" emails can be stored in this profile, so you don't clog up the sent folder in your normal profile. When you are done sending the merged emails, close and re-open Outlook, and go back to your normal profile.

It's slightly clunky, since you have to select your profile every time you open Outlook, but it works!
posted by gemmy at 4:03 AM on August 14, 2012

I tried the Thunderbird thing, it didn't work- made a template but it didn't actually produce any drafts from my file like it's apparently supposed to. Tried gemmy's solution, but for some ungodly reason the emails will not send. They just... sit in my outbox. Mocking me.
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:23 PM on August 15, 2012

Apparently the POP settings will not work for setting up a new profile... even though they work just fine for setting up a second email address within the original profile.
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:46 PM on August 15, 2012

What version of Outlook? You may have to add a specific setting to include the newly added account to be included in the automatic send/receive. In Outlook 2010, at least, you can set up a send/receive group and have fine-tuned control over which accounts try to send when you push the "send" button. Make sure the account is included.
posted by gemmy at 8:42 PM on August 16, 2012

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