How to make a mailing list from Google Contacts

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Create a record acceptable for merging—or for usage by a mailing service—from 1 oregon much sets of Google Contacts

Drawing of Google Contacts logo adjacent  to connection     "Contacts" with arrow pointing to Google Sheets logo adjacent  to connection     "Sheets" with arrow pointing to a drafting  of an addressed envelope.

Illustration: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic

The pursuing steps assistance you alteration names and addresses you've saved successful Google Contacts into a modular (comma-separated worth oregon .csv) record you whitethorn usage arsenic a information root for postal work mailings. The steps besides screen however to harvester 2 oregon much sets of exported Google Contacts addresses into a azygous usable database without duplicates. I urge you usage a desktop-class browser, specified arsenic Chrome, since galore of the export, import and information cleanup steps payment from a laptop oregon desktop sized screen.

SEE: Electronic connection policy (TechRepublic Premium)

1. Export contacts

First, spell to Google Contacts connected the web, past prime Export from the left-side menu. If the paper isn't displayed, click oregon pat connected the 3 horizontal lines successful the precocious near country to entree the paper (Figure A).

By default, the strategy volition export each contacts. To prime a subset, you whitethorn prime the drop-down menu, past Starred contacts, Frequently Contacted oregon immoderate acceptable of contacts by Label. (Alternatively, you whitethorn individually prime contacts earlier you commencement the export process. To bash this, click oregon pat connected each contact's illustration image, past prime Export.) If you program to export contacts often, I suggest you make and use labels to signifier contacts successful groups, since that makes enactment simpler.

Choose the Google CSV format button, past prime Export. The strategy should download and prevention a record to your computer. Typically, the exported record sanction is contacts.csv. You mightiness rename the record to bespeak the acceptable of contacts exported on with the day (e.g., WolberContacts-20210818.csv).

Repeat the export process for each idiosyncratic whose Google Contacts you privation to see connected your mailing list.

Figure A

Screenshot of Google Contacts, with the three-horizontal enactment     paper   circled, and an arrow pointing astatine  Export (after Import).

Export each (or some) of your Google Contacts successful .csv format connected the web.

2. Import contacts into a Google Sheet

Create a caller Google Sheet (e.g., benignant sheet.new successful Chrome), past prime File | Import. Navigate to 1 of the interaction files you saved above, take it, past click (or tap) connected Select. This should show an Import record screen. 

For the archetypal interaction information file, prime Replace Spreadsheet, past Import Data. For further interaction information files, prime Append to existent expanse to spot the imported contacts successful rows aft the extremity of existent information (Figure B).

SEE: How to sync your Google contacts to your iPhone (TechRepublic)

Leave the Separator benignant arsenic Detect Automatically, and besides permission the container adjacent to Convert Text to Numbers, Dates, and Formulas checked. Select Import Data.

Repeat the import process for each file. You should extremity up with each of your imported contacts files connected 1 Google Sheet.

Figure B

Screenshot of Import record  with "contacts.csv" selected, Append to existent   expanse  arsenic  the import location, and Detect automatically arsenic  the separator type. Import information  fastener  acceptable   to beryllium  selected.

Within Google Sheets, import contacts. For the archetypal interaction list, prime Replace Spreadsheet arsenic the Import Location. For further lists, take Append to Current Sheet.

3. Delete duplicate header rows

If you imported much than 1 interaction file, you volition person a header enactment for each import. Keep lone the archetypal header enactment (i.e., enactment 1). Scroll down to each further imported header row, click connected the fig of the enactment to prime it, past take Edit | Delete enactment (Figure C). After this step, you should person headers successful enactment 1 on with each your contacts successful a azygous sheet.

Figure C

Screenshot that shows further  header enactment      (row 45), with a reddish  enactment     done  it to bespeak  the request   to delete it.

If you import much than 1 interaction database into your spreadsheet, marque definite to delete the further header rows.

4. Delete columns 

Next, delete each the non-address columns (Figure D). Obvious columns to delete volition beryllium each columns to the close of file BY (i.e., Relation 1- Type). But you besides volition privation to delete each different non-address fields, including email, birthday, directory server, mileage, etc. The extremity is to extremity up with a idiosyncratic oregon enactment and code information connected each row.

SEE: How to make an envelope successful Google Docs (TechRepublic)

As you delete, region combined columns and support idiosyncratic columns of data, since these abstracted columns streamline sorting aboriginal successful the process. For example, region Column A (e.g., "Andrew J. Wolber), which is simply a combined file that includes the contents of file B ("Andrew"), C ("J."), and D ("Wolber).

Since it is communal to person much than 1 code for a idiosyncratic (e.g., home, enactment oregon further enactment locations), reappraisal your information cautiously earlier you delete immoderate file with Street, City, P.O. Box, Region, Postal Code, Country oregon Extended Address information. In immoderate cases, you whitethorn request to cut-and-paste code accusation from 1 acceptable of columns into different (e.g., for a location to enactment code oregon vice versa) to guarantee that each code accusation is contained successful a accordant acceptable of columns.

Figure D

Screenshot of email and telephone  columns displayed, with a reddish  X implicit    each   file  to bespeak  the request   to delete it.

Select and delete each non-address columns, specified arsenic email addresses, telephone numbers and truthful on.

5. Delete duplicates

If you've combined interaction lists from aggregate people, benignant your database to place duplicates. I suggest you benignant 3 antithetic ways: By concern name, past sanction and thoroughfare address. Review the database aft each sort. Consolidate oregon delete information arsenic desired. (For much details, work How to alphabetize successful Google Sheets.)

SEE: How to migrate contacts to a antithetic Google relationship connected your Android device (TechRepublic)

Additionally, Google Sheets tin assistance you find and region duplicate data. Select a range, past take Data | Remove Duplicates. Sheets volition bespeak the fig of rows removed and the fig of rows that remain. (For much details, work How to find duplicates successful Google Sheets.)

6. Standardize abbreviations

The mode galore radical participate addresses successful Google Contacts whitethorn not lucifer modular U.S. Postal Service abbreviations. For example, you mightiness regenerate Road, Route, Street, Suite and Avenue, respectively, with RD, RTE, ST, STE and AVE for mailing purposes. (Review common abbreviations astatine USPS.com, arsenic successful Figure E.) In Sheets, usage Edit | Find and Replace to streamline this process.

Figure E

Screenshot of USPS leafage   of Street Suffix Abbreviations, showing Alley abbreviated to ALY, Annex to ANX, ARCADE to ARC and AVENUE to AVE.

Use modular postal abbreviations wherever possible.

7. Export your list

Select File | Download | Comma-Separated Values (.csv, existent sheet) to export your list, arsenic shown successful Figure F. This creates and downloads a record with the record sanction of your papers combined with the sanction of your expanse (e.g., Mailing List - contacts.csv). The comma-separated record includes the header enactment with the names of the information fields. This is the record that you whitethorn usage arsenic the root information for your mailing.

If you usage a mailing service, it whitethorn instrumentality further actions connected your database to standardize mailing abbreviations you whitethorn person missed, adhd postal codification information (e.g., ZIP+4) oregon update addresses owed to moves (e.g., with the National Change of Address database). Mailing services whitethorn complaint fees for these changes. You mightiness privation to update the names and addresses successful Google Contacts with immoderate changes identified.

Figure F

Screenshot of the Download | Comma-separated values paper   displayed.

Choose Download | Comma-Separated Values to export your mailing database from your spreadsheet successful a modular format.

What's your experience?

Do you usage Google Contacts arsenic a information root for mailings? Do you standardize code accusation to bespeak mailing standards erstwhile you participate data? How methodically bash you update code accusation successful Google Contacts aft a mailing? Are determination further services you suggest that marque mailings easier? Let maine know, either successful the comments beneath oregon connected Twitter (@awolber).

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