How to personalize an email in Outlook

Personalize an email that will be sent to multiple contacts.

Have you ever created a draft email in a text editor with [[INSERT NAME HERE]] and used this to send out the same email to multiple people?

Maybe like me you have made the mistake of forgetting to update the placeholder. Even worse not updating it to the persons details your sending it to and leftthe previous contacts details in.

“Hi Ralph, how is Acme Corp going”, which you then send to Helena at Duff Inc!! Whoops, relationship burned.

Creating personable emails are key for building up a relationship with a potential lead or existing customer.

However, it can be a drain on your time if you are sending out say a product or service update to your client base. With 95% of the content being the same in every email.

Personalization using Outlook.com

As I have just touched on. Sending personalized emails from a template is something I have done, many many times. I’m not even going to think how many times I have made an error in an email.

In my previous blog post I discussed my side projects and how I was reaching out to people and local businesses.

I also touched upon why I created Outflash. The main reason was to try and reach as many of my contacts possible. Whose information I had saved in Outlook. In a quarter of the time.

Wanting to keep the emails personal and have that “human touch” to them. I didn’t want to build something that was just a generic email sender.

Once my initial research and design had been completed. My focus shifted. The most important task was to try and make it simple for a user of Outflash to insert a placeholder. Either into the subject line, or the email body.

All this had to be done at the click of a button. I wanted to reduce the “copy and paste” aspect as much as possible.

Create once. Use existing contact information.

With Outflash. When you compose an email, this will then be used as a template to send multiple emails to a list of your contacts that you have selected.

As mentioned, Outflash has predefined placeholders that you can insert into the subject line and email body.

These placeholders will be updated using the information stored against a contact when Outflash sends each email on your behalf.

At the time of writing this post. Outflash has a button allowing you to insert a contacts first name, last name. Or the name of the company the contact works for, into the email subject or body.

We hope to add more placeholders in the future as our add in matures.

When Outflash sends each email on your behalf. These placeholders will be updated using the information stored against a contact.

Outflash saves a copy of each email it sends for you in your ‘Sent Items’ folder within Outlook. If you open the email, you will see that the placeholders in the email have been updated with the contact information associated to the recipient.

If you have forgot to create a contact. Or are emailing someone only once and are worried about people seeing the placeholders. Don’t worry. If our system can’t find a contact linked to an email address. Our service just removes the placeholder, then send the email as normal.

This may make the content of the email a bit strange to read. We think it is better than not sending the email or leaving placeholders in.

Reduce errors and use your existing apps.

So, there you have it. A way to personalise emails with contact information using Outlook.

The Outflash add-in is really easy to install into Outlook. If like me you use Outlook.com while on the go. Then the Outlook desktop app when at home or in the office. You only need to install Outflash once and it will appear in all versions of Outlook.

I hope you like the sound of Outflash. Personally I would love it if you started using the add-in I created. If you do choose to use Outflash. Please drop me an email at phil@outflash.xyz letting my know how you have found using the service. What you like and dislike about the add-in.

You can find instructions on how to get started with outflash here.

Thanks for reading. Hope to hear from you soon.

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