email mail merge in Office 2010 with hyperlinks

The goal of this tutorial is to perform a mail merge which includes a unique URL (web address) for each record. That way, you can send email with unique URLs for each recipient, which may be useful when sending surveys or tracking individual followup.

This is the procedure to embed a hyperlink into a mail merge in Microsoft Office 2010, using Word and Excel.

1. Create and save the Excel document containing the data from which you will generate messages. Let’s say you want to mail these people:


2. Create the Word document you’ll use to perform the merge by opening a new Word document.

3. Under the Mailings ribbon, click Start Mail Merge.

4. Click Select Recipients and choose Use Existing List.

5. From the file selection window, navigate to the Excel document you saved and press Open.

6. Select the sheet from which you want to pull data.

7. Compose your message and insert the variable fields from your Excel file by choosing Insert Merge Field from the Mailings ribbon.


8. In this step I’ve completed the message we want to send, without including the hyperlink. The purpose of the next steps are to change “click here” into an actual link to the URL defined in the Excel file.

9. Delete “click here.,” and leave your cursor there. That’s where we’ll insert the real “click here” hyperlink.

10. From the Insert ribbon, choose Quick Parts, then Field…


11. From the Field window, choose Hyperlink from the list on the left, then click OK. Nothing else needs to be changed here.

12. Now you’ll see that “Error! Hyperlink reference not valid..” has been inserted into your message. Not to worry, this is normal.

13. Press ALT+F9. The fields will change to brackets:

14. Put your cursor right before the \*, then select Insert Merge Field from the Mailings ribbon.

15. At this point, the link code should look something like { HYPERLINK {MERGEFIELD URL}\* MERGEFORMAT}. Key ALT+F9 again.

16. You’ll see that the link has changed back to “Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.” but that’s okay, it actually is valid. Now we just need to change the text of the link. Select the error text, except the period, then type the link text.


17. We can check to make sure this worked by clicking Preview Results from the Mailings ribbon. Here you can see that hovering over the link confirms that it will go to the URL specified.


18. To confirm that the URL will match the records from Excel, click the next record arrow to preview the next entry:


19. At this point, you’re all set to perform your email mail merge with associated hyperlinks from each record. As a finishing touch, I like to change the link text to blue and underline it so it’s more apparent that it is a hyperlink. You can accomplish this by using the basic text formatting functions in the Home ribbon.


20. To perform the mailing, select Finish & Merge from the Mailings menu.


21. Type a subject for your email and click OK. Your messages will then be sent!

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