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Email Merge with delayed send using Word, Excel and Outlook

Sending email from a mail merge

So, I was recruiting research participants for a study and realized that I wanted to send them reminder messages to tell them to come to the lab for the days/times they signed up. However, I didn't want to write a bunch of emails by hand. I went back to my old friends - Word and Excel to do an email mail merge. I wanted the messages to go out on the day of the scheduled appointment - at something like 6:00 AM, but I'm usually sleeping then - so I thought Outlook could help me with that. Uh... well... kinda.

Here are the steps for the email merge

  • Create an Excel spreadsheet with the names, email addresses and other information (mine had the date and time for the appointment
  • Do a mail merge with Word, setting up all of the fields EXCEPT for the email address
  • Execute the merge - Word will ask you for the email address's field

So, I was able to get Word and Excel to fire off an email to my list of people, but couldn't get it to delay the sending of the email. My work-aroud? I set up an outgoing email rule to delay the sending of the email. The rub is that it would only delay the email by a number of minutes, as long as that number of minutes was less than 120.

Here are the steps for the mail rule to delay 120 minutes