How to Print Labels and Form Letters with BCM and Word

You can use BCM Marketing Campaigns to print mailing labels, form letters, and send e-mail newsletters.  The easiest way to create a template is to add mail merge fields to a Word document.  Below are step-by-step instructions for creating a mailing label template.  When you create a form letter or e-mail newsletter, many of the same principles apply.

Create a Mailing Label Template

  1. Open a new document in Word (CTRL+N)

  2. From the "Mailings" tab, click "Start Mail Merge | Labels..."

  3. Select your label paper type (e.g. Avery US Letter 5163) and click "OK"

  4. From the "Mailings" tab, click "Select Recipients | Select from Outlook Contacts..."

  5. Choose the "Business Contacts" folder and click "OK"

  6. A list of your Business Contacts will be displayed.  Just click "OK" since we'll select specific recipients later.

  7. From the "Mailings" tab, click "Address Block"

  8. Select your desired address options, then click "OK"

  9. From the "Mailings" tab, click "Update Labels"

  10. Click "Preview Results" to see how your mail merge would look.

  11. Adjust font and size of the first label, then click "Update Labels" again to preview the changes

Once you're happy with how the labels look, you need to remove the Outlook data connection by copying the documents contents into a new document:

  1. Click the "Preview Results" button again to turn off the preview

  2. From the "Home" tab, click "Select | Select All" (or press CTRL+A)

  3. From the "Home" tab, click "Copy" (or press CTRL+C)

  4. Create a blank Word document (CTRL+N)

  5. From the "Home" tab, click "Paste" (or press CTRL+V)

  6. Click the save button to select a destination folder and file name (or press CTRL+S)

  7. Be sure to remember where you saved your template!

Note: To prevent accidental changes to your template, you should save a backup copy or mark the document Read-Only by right-clicking on the file in Windows Explorer and selecting "Properties", then check the "Read-only" box and click "OK".

Now you can print labels for specific customers by creating a new Marketing Campaign in BCM, selecting your recipients, and clicking the "Browse" button to locate the label template you created in the steps above.  Click the "Launch" button on the Marketing Campaign form to open Word and start the mail merge.  From the Word "Mailings" tab you can now click the "Finish & Merge" button to print your labels.

Additional Note: When you launch a BCM Marketing Campaign or open a Word document, you might see the following prompt:

Opening this document will run the following SQL command:
SELECT * FROM <your datasource>
Data from your database will be placed in the document. Do you want to continue?

This message appears if the document references a mail merge data source.  This message is described in Knowledge Base article 825765.

Here are two alternatives to avoid this prompt:
1.) Copy and paste the document contents and mail merge fields into a new, blank document
      - or -
2.) Insert mail merge fields into the Word document without connecting it to a data source.  To do this:
     a.) From the Word Ribbon, select "Insert | Quick Parts | Field | Categories:Mail Merge"
     b.) Select AddressBlock or use MergeField to select specific fields (e.g. First_Name, Last_Name, Business_Phone, etc.)

Comments (10)
  1. iNET45 says:

    This is great. But.. Can you give a sample of how to grab a custom field from a form called CustomField1

    I was able to find it in the db under dbo_ContactIMAPVIEW.UserField3

    But Can you give us a sample db or sample word doc with mailmerge for custom fields??


  2. Jerry Blake says:

    Good question, Mike.  This is not currently supported very well and we’re working to address this.  The workaround is to export selected contacts to a .CSV file, then use that file as the source for your mail merge.

    To do this, go to Outlook’s main window.  

    1.) On the menu, click "File | Import and Export | Business Contact Manager for Outlook…"

    2.) Choose "Export a file" and click Next

    3.) Choose "Comma Separated Values (.csv)" and click Next

    4.) Select Specific Records and complete the export

    5.) From Word’s Ribbon menu, click the Mailings tab, click the "Select Recipients" button and select "Use Existing List…"

    6.) Browse to the file exported in step 4

    7.) Select Other Encoding | Unicode (UTF-8) and click OK to convert the file

    8.) From Word’s Mailings ribbon, click Insert Merge Field and select your custom field

  3. dsparks says:

    This is a great idea but unfortunately does not work to an acceptable level. We have 3 salesmen I just recently convinced to move to BCM promising that it will be better than ACT!. So far, they are ready to lynch me and the biggest problem is the ability to write a single letter and produce a label or envelope.

    I spent hours creating templates and testing on a test database (about 100 contacts). I convinced them that the benefits of BCM would outweigh the problems (time it takes to click through menus to perform a simple action). When I finished and implemented on our live database, the salesmen nearly killed me. To bring up the contacts in Word takes almost 3 minutes (3112 contacts for one salesman). This should not be this slow. Everything else operates correctly on these brand new workstations.

    The label function is also very complex for them and they hate using it.

    I was informed by the VP of Sales that we need to migrate back to a new version of Act! if I cannot sort out a solution within the month. One thing I also like about other products is that I can call a support line (for free if I purchased their product) instead of typing a comment on a blog to get a solution or working through a newsgroup hoping I get an answer by someone who might know something.

  4. dsparks says:

    ^^ Let me add that I personally like this product. The problem is, however, that what IT likes and what sales likes are often two different perceptions of what is useful about the product. I truly appreciate your time in developing this product. I do not mean to take swings at your team, it’s more frustration on my part 🙂

  5. CedricM says:


    Regarding your blog entry, I have the following problems:

    1. The mailmerge fields available when creating a mailmerge via BCM 2007

    Marketing campaign are not the same as those available via standard Outlook

    mail merge (but when selecting BCM contacts).

    1.a. There are subtle differences in the naming, which wreaks havoc with

    templates, e.g. (in German, for ‘Company’) you have ‘Firma’ with standard

    and ‘Unternehmen’ with Marketing campaign mail merge.

    1.b. The field list for marketing campaign mail merge is a subset of contact

    / account field list plus specialized marketing campaign fields. It should

    be all the available contact / account fields plus all the campaign fields.

    For example, we have customized BCM contacts with a user defined field

    ‘Brief Anrede’ with the welcome text that should be written at the beginning

    of the letter. We need this field because there are so many rules in German

    that we can’t simply program it. Almost all contacts have a specific welcome

    sentence ‘Sehr geeherte Herr Doctor Gates’, ‘Liebe Frau Melinda’, …

    We can use this customized BCM account field with standard mailmerge,

    because all BCM account database fields are offered during the mail merge.

    We can’t with marketing campaign as those customized fields (and in fact any

    database field) are not offered.

    This would be really great if you could patch this behavior.



  6. Ted Lanzo says:

    you launch a direct mail print campaign… the program takes you to Word to perform the mail merge part of it… so I have done this even gone through the merge and print commands and upon exiting after printing and going back to BCM… marketing campaign page where you originally launched it — it says nothing… i.e., it doesn’t say it has been executed. If you do this with Mass Advertisment and then launch it greys out the list area, is says it has been executed and the launch button on the bottom of the page now reads RESEND… this doesn’t work if you choose Direct Mail Print, IT SHOULD! Can you tell me why… this appears to be a functionality problem in the program. The receipents do not appear when you launch a Mass Advertisment campaign as they would appear in the receiptents section upon successfully launching a Direct Mail Print… it is important this function work properly!

  7. podhi says:

    I wonder if there is a way to filter out the list of addresses i want to print by either filteringing on a custom filter field or a prebuilt filter field?

    Thanks for your assitance.

  8. kflorian says:

    BCM uses the word "Title" to refer to a "Courtesy Title" such as Mr. or Ms.

    When one creates a _new_ Word 2007 Mail Merge through a BCM Marketing Campaign interface, all BCM Contact fields are available for insertion in the Word document, including a field called "Title" which happens to be a "Courtesy Title" as well as a field called "Job Title".  All well and good.  The problem occurs when one attempts to "Launch" the campaign.  When one launches the campaign, BCM starts word, loads the specified document, and presents a more limited set of fields for the merge.  The field called "Title" is not found an is identified as an "Invalid Mail Merge Field.

    In the list of fields offered for replacement there is no equivalent field.  It is still possible to do a merge with the requisite "Title" field but only if one never "Launches" the campaign.

    Others have identified this problem in various forums.

    Surely, this cannot be the intended behavior.

    Is there a work around?  

    When can one expect a fix?

    Ken Florian

  9. mlawsonco says:

    If I mail merge a template with more than one contact how do you link the Word file to the contact?

  10. Rob Schieren says:

    Has the custom field mail merge been fixed for 2010?  I cannot find my custom fields to merge into the Word doc.

    Please help.

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