Thunderbird (Win) - How To Perform An Email Merge

Instructions for using Thunderbird for an email merge. Requires the Mail Merge Extension.

Install the Mail Merge Thunderbird extension

If you have a machine managed by ACS, please complete the hardware/software installation service request form and ask for the Thunderbird Mail Merge extension to be installed.

Create a Spreadsheet

  1. Create an Excel spreadsheet with the data you want to merge into an email. The first row should contain a field name for each column. Here is a sample spreadsheet:
Excel sample

  1. Save the spreadsheet as a "CSV (Comma delimited) *.csv" file. In our example, it will be called "datasource.csv". After clicking "Save" you will get two warnings about saving to this format. Click "OK" and then "Yes".

Compose the Email

  1. Using Thunderbird, compose the email message you'd like to send.   Use {{fieldname}} every place in the email you want to insert the merged data from the spreadsheet.   For example:

Merge template

Note:  If you choose to send and attachment with the merged email message, you may attach the file at the time you're composing your message.  (like you would for any other email message with attachment).   The attachment becomes part of the template and will be included when you send your merged message.  

  1. When you're finished composing the message, choose File > Mail Merge.  The following dialog box will appear:  

Mail Merge dialog


  Source = source of your data.   Either choose CSV or Address Book (Thunderbird address book)

  Deliver Mode = Send Now, Save As Draft or Send Later

  Format = HTML, Plain Text or Both

  Attachments =  location of the attachment (I found it easier to specify the attachment in the composition of the email)

  CSV Filebrowse and select the csv data source file

acter Set = default should be fine

  Field Delimeter = defaults to comma (,) [change as needed]

  Text Delimeter = defaults to double quote (")  [change as needed]

  Batch Start, Stop, Pause = Used for sending a certain number of emails

  Further information about the Mail Merge extension can be found on the developer's site at:
   This extension can also support if|then|else statements in the variables.


  1. Click OK when finished.  The mail merge will then run.
  2. Sent copies of the outgoing message will be saved in your default "Sent" folder.   The primary merge email will remain in your "Templates" folder.
  3. The resulting message to the recipient will look like:

Sent Mail Example

Thanks to Computing and Educational Technology Services at University of Pennsylvania for the original article.

Keywords:ACS, CALS, Thunderbird, email, merge   Doc ID:27859
Owner:Charlene K.Group:College of Agricultural & Life Sciences
Created:2012-12-27 13:49 CDTUpdated:2012-12-27 15:35 CDT
Sites:College of Agricultural & Life Sciences
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