How to format a .CSV file for Mail Merges


You may have received an error when sending off your mail merge using a .CSV file for recipients. You may have never created or sent an email with a .CSV file before. Either way, here are a few tips to ensure your .CSV is formatted correctly and that your mail merge will send successfully. 

1. Your first column has to be recipient's email addresses. Make sure that it is titled "Email". 

2. Check that all email addresses are formatted correctly.

  • has a .com / .org / .edu etc. at the end
  • no spaces before or after the email. 

3. All columns must have a heading, and column headings can only be one word (no spaces at all).

  • Unacceptable headings
    • "Company Name"
    • " Company "
  • Acceptable headings
    • "Company"
    • "Company_Name"
    • "CompanyName"

4. Ensure your .CSV file does not contain any duplicate email addresses.

You can check this in Excel. The following steps will mark all duplicate emails in red.

  • Highlight the entire email column (click on the "A" at the very top)
  • Click "Conditional Formatting" in the ribbon
  • Select "Highlight Cell Rules" and then "Duplicate Values"
  • Click OK


Then select the extra row (click on the row number on the left hand side, e.g. 4), right click, and hit "Delete".


5. Remove any columns not being used as a merge field.

6. There are a few different .CSV file types. You must save your file as the following: 
CSV (Comma delimited) (*.csv).


Feel free to download our sample CSV file as an example below.



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