The Best Way to Use MS Office to Create & Maintain a Mailing List for Database Labels

By Sharon Koss

A mailing list is a database of personal or business contacts. Collect business information from customers every time they contact your company, especially your website. Use a combination of Microsoft Office Outlook's Contacts, Excel and Word to maintain customer and personal information. MS Contacts is a database program to collect and store information. Export a list of names and addresses to Excel and use Word to format and print labels.

Create the Database

Open Microsoft Outlook Contacts. Click on "New" and type your contact information into the fields. Include names and addresses, phone numbers and any other relevant information.

Add "Categories" to your contacts to add another layer to organize your contacts. Click on the "Categories" button on the lower right of the screen, and select a default category. To add a new category, click on the "Master Category List" button, click in the white box, type the new category name and then click on the "Add" button. Click on "Save and Close" when finished. Update the contacts information whenever receiving new information.

Export the contacts to an Excel spreadsheet. Open Outlook, and click on "File," "Import and Export," "Export to a file," "Microsoft Excel" and "Next." Then click on "Contacts" and give this file a name and location.

Click on "Map Custom Fields" to remove extra fields. Click on "Clear Map" on the right bottom of the window. Click on the plus sign on the left side of the window and select each field, instead of the block to add more sorting options. Also, when using the entire grouping, Microsoft Outlook adds additional fields. For example, the address block includes the country. Click on "OK" and "Finished."

Open the Excel file and add column headings for the first name, last name, street, city, state and zip code.

Create Mailing Labels

Open Microsoft Word, click on the "Tools" menu and then "Letters and Mailing." Click on the "Mail Merge Wizard," and select "Label."

Click on "Change Document Layout." The "Label Options" dialog box opens. Choose the label from the product number list and click on "OK."

Select recipients by clicking on "Use an Existing List" and "Browse." Select the Excel file and click "Open." Uncheck any boxes in front of the last-name column to remove them from the printing list. Click on "OK" when finished.

Arrange the labels. Choose either the "Address Block" or "More Items," to insert fields into your label. You can also click on "Match Fields" and choose from the list of available fields. Then click on the "OK" button.

Click on the "Update all Labels" button. This creates the labels with the information from the Excel spreadsheet. Preview the labels for errors and make all necessary changes.

Add the labels to your printer. Click on "Merge to Printer" and click "OK."