If you need to send the same type of contract to a list of people you might want to send mail merge campaigns. A mail merge campaign is the process of sending the same type of document to a set of contacts, usually stored in a spreadsheet or mail client (e.g. outlook contacts). Whilst the mail merging capabilities of the major mail clients allow you to email a contract template to a list of contacts using a spreadsheet, it can be a slow and error prone process. Moreover, emails sent from a mail merge can't be recalled which means that a mail merge can amplify the effect of a misconfiguration of the template or errors in the spreadsheet. This article explains what mail merge is, why mail merge is not suitable for sending contracts and provides some mail merge alternatives you can use for creating contracts.
What is the mail merge feature?
Mail merge is a mass notification service which allows you to send an email template to a list of contacts. The template can be tailored using contact information stored which means that it can be used to send professional email campaigns which are personalised. Mail merge software can also be used to send personalised cold emails. Mail merge has also been applied to sending contracts via bulk email campaigns. For example, a property manager taking on a batch of tenants or an HR manager issuing graduate employment contracts can use mail merge to send tailored contracts by simply importing mail merge data from a spreadsheet.
Whilst mail merge can be used for this use case it won't offer signature tracking and other contract management features which are essential for a smooth contracting experience.
What are the pros and cons of mail merge?
One of the key benefits of mail merge is that it is a tried and tested approach for sending emails to contacts in bulk and is available in the apple mail inbox, outlook mail merge software and you can often add a mail merge toolkit to your email client if it does not have a native mail merge capability. As a result, it's very easy to find mail merge instructions for your mail client and mail merge use case.
However, sending emails using mail merge can be error prone which means that you might consider mail merge alternatives when your use case has a low tolerance for errors or mistakes. Mail merge alternatives can also be beneficial if your use case requires additional features such as signature tracking.
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What mail merge alternatives are more suitable for creating contracts in bulk?
As discussed previously, merge merge is not the most appropriate approach for sending agreements in bulk as contract templates are too complex to tailor and mail merge does not offer any campaign management or visibility in the contract signing process once emails have been sent. A more appropriate mail merge alternative for sending contracts is to use a contract management platform which has bulk import capabilities.
How to create contracts in bulk with Legislate
When creating contracts in bulk with Legislate, you first need to specify the list of contract values which will stay the same in the mail merge, and the values which will be treated as variables. For example, term dates in a student accommodation licence agreement will be the same for all the students of an academic year but their room number and associated accommodation licence fee will vary. Once you have set the values for the contract terms you can do the same for the party fields. For example, the University signatory details in this example will stay the same but the student's details will change for each student.
Once you have specified the value types for the contract and party details, you can add the data for the variables in order to trigger invitations to parties via email for electronic signature. You can also mass sign the contracts and track their progress. Pending contracts will receive automated messages to remind them about the signature process.
If you need to create contracts in bulk without using mail merge, sign up to Legislate today. Configure lawyer-approved contracts to your specific requirements by answering simple questions.