We recommend that you send your questionnaire links to students by email using mail-merge (some Careers Leaders may wish to send their links using other methods). The instructions below explain how to do this using Outlook and Word, though other email systems use a similar process. The process has two parts:
1. Build your student mailing list
2. Send your student emails using mail-merge.
1. Build your student mailing list
1.1 Download your questionnaire links if you have not already done so. Please see How to download questionnaire links for guidance on how to do this:
1.2 Next, access a list of the same students’ names and email addresses. You may already have access to this data, or you may need to request it from other colleagues (e.g. your MIS administrator) or seek further permissions. This data also needs to be in .CSV or Excel format, as it will be combined with the questionnaire link data (see 1.1):
1.3 You now need to add the students’ email addresses in a new column beside their names in the questionnaire link data spreadsheet. Right-click on the ‘Last name’ column on the questionnaire link data spreadsheet and select ‘Insert columns’. A new column will appear. Name this column ‘Email’ in the first row:
1.4 Now copy the email addresses from the other spreadsheet and paste them into the new column (note: make sure that the correct email address is added beside the correct student):
1.5 Save your new spreadsheet with an appropriate file name:
2. Send your student emails using mail-merge
2.1 Create a new blank document in Word. Type-in the email that you want to send to your students containing their questionnaire links. We recommend keeping the email simple - you may want to include a deadline by when you want the students to complete the questionnaire by.
The email body copy needs to contain two unique elements for each student: their first name and their questionnaire link. In the example below, these are shown as tags in brackets:
If you wish, you can use the same email text as in this example by copy-and-pasting the text below:
Dear <FIRST NAME>,
Here is your questionnaire link. Please complete your questionnaire by 20th September 2021:
2.2 Select Mailings > Start mail merge > Step-by-step Mail Merge Wizard:
2.3 Select ‘Email messages’ from the menu to the right of the screen, then click on ‘Next: Starting document’:
2.4 Select ‘Use the current document’, then click on ‘Next: Select recipients’:
2.5 Select ‘Use an existing list’ and click on 'browse' to the right of the screen. Select the spreadsheet you saved in step 1.5 (above). Open the file and you will see a modal window. Click on ‘Open’:
2.6 A modal window will pop-up. Click on 'OK':
2.7 You can now check and edit your list of students again if necessary. Once you are happy with your list, click ‘OK’:
2.8 Click on ‘Next: Write you letter’:
2.9 Click on ‘More items’ to add your merge fields into your email (the merge fields ensure that each student email contains the correct first name and questionnaire link):
2.10 Select ‘First name’, then click on ‘Insert’. Then select ‘Questionnaire link’, then click on ‘Insert’. This will insert your two merge codes:
2.11 You then need to remove your place-holder tags and replace them with the merge tags. Make sure that the merge tags are in the correct places. After you have done this, your email should look as follows (Note: each merge tag is contained within double chevrons):
2.12 Click on ‘Next: preview your letters’:
2.13 You can now preview all of the emails that will be sent to your students by using the tool to the right of the screen (note: at this point, you may want to ask another colleague to check that you have set-up the mail-merge correctly and the data you are about to send out to students is correct/permitted):
2.14 When you are happy with your emails, click on ‘Next: Complete the merge’:
2.15 Select Finish & Merge > Send Email Messages:
2.16 A modal window will pop-up. Add the copy that you want to appear in the email Subject field when it is received by your students. Select ‘Plain text’ as the email format.
Finally, click on ‘OK’ to send your emails to your students:
Note: Some users may find that their sent emails get stuck in their Outlook outbox. If this happens, open Outlook and click on ‘Send/Receive All Folders’ to clear the outbox.
2.17 You can check which students have completed their questionnaires by viewing the 'Status' column beside the student questionnaire links in Compass+: