Need a quick, easy-to-understand way to personalize email communications to your students? Google has you covered.
Check out Yet Another Mail Merge or YAMM, a Google Sheets add-on that allows users to send personalized email messages through Gmail. The add-on merges a spreadsheet of data with a Gmail message template, similar to the way Mail Merge works with Excel and Word. Here’s how it works:
- Create your spreadsheet of data in Google Sheets. Include all information you want to put in your email message, such as first name, last name, address, URLs, images and so forth. These will be your column headers.
- Draft an email in Gmail and insert the column headers from your spreadsheet where you want that information in the email. Use this markup: <<Column Header>>.
- Go back to your spreadsheet. On the top menu bar, select “Add-on” and do a search for YAMM. Select YAMM then follow the instructions for installation.
- Once YAMM’s installed, you will return to your spreadsheet. “Mail Merge” will appear in your toolbar. Select “Mail Merge” then “Standard Merge.” Choose your email template in Gmail.
- Click “Send.”
And that’s it! If you would like to watch a video walk-through of this process, here’s a good one on YouTube.
How might a teacher use YAMM? Perhaps you want to send a standard email message to your students but include different information for each, such as grades, notes, comments, group assignments and so forth. Or maybe you want to send email reminders to parents of their upcoming parent-teacher conferences. YAMM can help you do all of this and more. Good luck!
Howard Walker is an instructional technology coach with the Oklahoma City Public Schools. He has almost 30 years of teaching experience in the classroom as well as providing training, coaching and mentoring to teachers, principals and district staff members.
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