How to Insert Emails into Excel Cells, Columns or Sheets

Email and Excel are better together. Discover how to easily insert email content into Excel cells, attach Excel files to messages, or automatically email your spreadsheets. This guide covers clever Excel and Outlook integrations to collaborate through datasets.
Whether you need to pull email data into a spreadsheet, distribute reports to colleagues, or build segmented mail merges, we’ve got you covered. Learn the smartest ways to combine emailing with Excel.

Embedding an Outlook Email Message as an Object in Excel

One handy way to insert Outlook emails into Excel is by embedding them as objects directly into cells. This allows you to display the full content of an email message within your spreadsheet.
Here’s a step-by-step walkthrough of how to embed an Outlook email as an object in Excel:

Save the Email as a .msg File

First, open the Outlook email message you want to embed. This needs to be an email that you have received or created yourself in Outlook.

Go to File > Save As in Outlook. Browse to select the folder where you want to save the email. For the file name, enter anything you want with a .msg file extension. So for example “MyEmail.msg”. Make sure to select “Outlook Message Format – Unicode” for the Save as type option.

Click Save. This will save the email message as a .msg file that we’ll link into Excel next.

Insert Object in Excel

Now open the Excel workbook where you want to embed the email. Select the cell where you want the Outlook email to be inserted.

Go to the Insert tab and click the Object button under the Text group. The Object dialog box will appear.

In the Object dialog box, switch to the Create from File tab. Click the Browse button. Browse to and select the .msg file you saved above.

Make sure the Link to file box is unchecked – we want to embed not link. You can optionally check Display as icon to show an icon that will open the email.

Click OK and the email message will be embedded into the selected cell in Excel!

Editing the Embedded Email

To make changes or updates to the embedded Outlook email, simply double-click on it. This will open the message in Outlook itself, allowing you to edit it.

When you save and close the email back in Outlook, the updated version will automatically be reflected in your Excel worksheet.

Linking vs. Embedding

Rather than embedding the full email into Excel, you also have the option to link to the Outlook .msg file.

Check the Link to file box in the Object dialog when inserting the email. This will insert a link that opens the email in Outlook rather than showing the email content directly in the cell.

Linking results in a smaller Excel file size since the email content is not saved within the workbook. However, the original .msg file must remain in the same location for the link to work.

Embedding inserts the full email content into the Excel file itself. The email will always be available even if you move the Excel file somewhere else. But the Excel file size will be larger.

When to Use Embedded Outlook Emails in Excel

Here are some examples of when embedding Outlook emails into Excel can be useful:

  • Including full email records or conversations related to a project directly within a project workbook.
  • Referencing email content like dates, sender names, or details easily within sheets, formulas or charts.
  • Keeping email evidence or audit trails together with related financial data or transactions.
  • Sending a workbook containing embedded emails to colleagues so they can quickly see email details relevant to the spreadsheet data.
  • Viewing email content more easily within a workbook rather than having to switch between Outlook and Excel.

So in summary, embedding Outlook emails into Excel as objects provides a handy way to bring in relevant email details and conversations directly into your worksheets. This keeps all the information together in one place and can provide valuable context alongside your Excel data.

Inserting a Hyperlink to an Email Address in Excel

Another way to insert emails into Excel is by using hyperlinks that link out to new email messages. This allows you to insert clickable links that will open up your email client and start a new message when clicked.
Here are steps to insert hyperlinked email addresses in Excel:

Use the Insert Hyperlink Feature

Excel has a built-in feature to add hyperlinks, including links to email addresses. This can be found on the Insert tab in the Links section.

Click on the cell where you want the email hyperlink to be inserted.

Go to Insert > Hyperlink. The Insert Hyperlink dialog box will appear.

Under Link to, choose Place in This Document. This allows you to link to an email address.

In the Type the cell reference box, enter the email address you want the link to open. For example:

[email protected]

Add a Subject Line

You can also add a subject line that will prefill in the new email message. This helps provide context on the email’s intent.

In the ScreenTip box, enter the desired subject line for the email. For example:

Quarterly Report Email

This will now appear as hover text over the cell, and will also prefill as the subject when the email opens.

Format the Visible Link Text

By default, the email address will show as the visible link text. You can customize this text to anything you want.

After entering the email and subject, click on the Text to display box. Type the text you want to be visible in the cell. For example:

Email John the Report

Finish Creating the Link

Finally, click OK to insert the hyperlinked email address into the cell.

You will see the text you entered as the clickable link. Hovering displays the email address and subject line. Clicking opens a new email message with those prefilled.

Customizing Email Hyperlinks

There are additional options when inserting email hyperlinks in Excel:

  • You can hyperlink existing text in the cell rather than adding new text.
  • You can begin composing the body text of the new email in the ScreenTip box.
  • You can link to mailto: links hosted online rather than typing email addresses.
  • Use Ctrl+K as a shortcut to open the Insert Hyperlink dialog box.
  • The linked text does not need to match the email address.

Uses for Email Hyperlinks in Excel

Email hyperlinks allow you to quickly open prefilled emails from links in a spreadsheet. Here are example uses:

  • Including links to send prepopulated feedback forms or surveys.
  • Adding links in a customer or contact list to quickly email individuals.
  • Creating a mailto link on a website that clicks to open a prefilled message.
  • Letting users request information, documents, price quotes etc via links.
  • Preparing multiple different links each with different prefilled content.

So in summary, hyperlinking cells to email addresses provides an easy way to initiate emails directly from Excel. You can customize the content that opens and even prefill subject lines or message bodies. This helps streamline communication and save time compared to manually launching emails.

Attaching an Excel File to an Email Message

When you need to send an entire Excel workbook file via email, the easiest way is to attach it to an outgoing message. Here are a couple ways to attach an Excel spreadsheet to an email within Excel itself.
Use the Email as Attachment Feature

Excel has a built-in feature to attach your workbook to a new email message. This generates an email with the file included as an attachment.

Open the Excel workbook you want to send. Go to the File tab and select Share > Email as Attachment.

This will automatically open your default email application and begin a new compose window. Your Excel file will be included as an attachment.

Enter the recipient, subject, and body text as needed, then send the email.

By default, the file will attach in its native Excel format (.xlsx or .xlsm). To attach as a PDF instead, choose Adobe PDF from the Send as dropdown menu before sending.

Use the Quick Access Toolbar

Another fast way is to add the Send to Mail Recipient button to your Quick Access Toolbar in Excel. This will let you quickly email the open workbook.

Click the dropdown arrow next to the Quick Access Toolbar. Select More Commands.

In the Excel Options window, choose All Commands from the left dropdown menu. Locate and select Send to Mail Recipient in the list. Click Add to include it in the toolbar.

Now you will have a button to send your spreadsheet files as email attachments right from the toolbar. Simply open the desired file and click the button to generate a new outgoing message with the Excel file attached automatically.

Choosing the Attachment Format

By default, your spreadsheet will attach to the email as a standard Excel file that preserves all data, formatting, formulas etc. However you can also attach it in other formats:

  • PDF – This converts your spreadsheet to a PDF document. Formatting is preserved but data is non-editable.
  • XLS – The older .xls Excel format. Attach as this if compatibility with old versions of Excel is needed.
  • XPS – Saves as an XPS document which preserves fidelity but data is non-editable.
  • Form Values – Attaches a text file with just the values without formatting.
  • CSV – Saves as a CSV (comma separated value) text file. Easily imported but loses formatting.

When Sending Excel Files as Attachments is Handy

Emailing Excel spreadsheets as attachments gives you an easy way to share full workbooks with others. Here are some examples:

  • Sending tables of data like financial reports, inventory lists, project plans etc.
  • Sharing templated spreadsheets or tracker sheets for others to populate themselves.
  • Enabling team members to update shared data files or schedules.
  • Distributing Excel-based forms or surveys to be filled out by recipients.
  • Backing up important spreadsheet records by emailing them to yourself.
  • Allowing colleagues to verify or check over a workbook you have been updating.

The main downside is that attachments can clog up inboxes and be easy to lose track of. For frequently updated collaborative sheets, sharing via OneDrive or SharePoint may be better. But for occasional spreadsheet sharing, email attachments provide a quick and easy workflow in Excel.

Copying Email Addresses from Excel into Outlook

For sending mass emails, you can easily copy a list of email addresses contained in an Excel spreadsheet into the Outlook mail client. This allows you to quickly populate the recipient list for bulk mailing.
Here are the steps to copy email addresses from Excel and paste them into Outlook:

Set Up Address List in Excel

First, you need an Excel sheet with a column containing all the email addresses you want to message. This could be something like:

  • A mailing list
  • List of customers
  • Prospects list
  • Contacts from your address book

The emails should be in one column without headers or other data fields. You may want to copy the column to a new sheet to isolate just the mailing list.

Open a New Email in Outlook

Once you have the email list ready in Excel, open Outlook and begin a new blank email message.

Populate the subject line and email body with the content you want to send. But leave the To field empty for now.

Copy the Email Addresses

Switch over to the Excel sheet with your list. Select and copy the entire column of email addresses.

Paste into the BCC Field

Go back to the email in Outlook. Click in the BCC field and paste the copied email addresses.

This will populate the BCC line with all the email addresses, separating them with semicolons.

Verify Email Addresses

Before sending your mass email, be sure to verify the addresses pasted correctly without duplicates or formatting issues.

You can also clean up the list beforehand in Excel by:

  • Removing blank cells
  • Deleting duplicates
  • Splitting into separate first/last name columns
  • Checking for formatting errors

Send the Email

With your bulk recipient list populated in the BCC field, complete and send the mass email.

The recipients won’t see each others’ email addresses since they all appear in BCC.

Customize Email List in Excel

Some additional ways you can customize the Excel mailing list include:

  • Adding columns for first/last name to personalize messages
  • Including subject line, tags, groups etc to segment recipients
  • Assigning a priority value to determine email order
  • Flagging opt-out subscribers and filtering them out
  • Marking dates when subscribers joined, last opened etc

With some further formatting and segmentation in Excel, you can create advanced and targeted mailing groups for your Outlook mass emails.

Benefits of Using Excel Email Lists in Outlook

Copying Excel mailing lists into Outlook provides the following benefits:

  • Quickly message hundreds or thousands of subscribers
  • Streamline newsletter and marketing blasts
  • Keep master recipient list in Excel for easy editing
  • Update and optimize contact lists for better segmentation
  • Reduce errors from manually entering email addresses
  • Tag and categorize subscribers based on activity and interests

In summary, repurposing your Excel contact sheets as Outlook recipient lists is a great way to scale your email campaigns. With some careful formatting and segmentation, you can customize bulk sends for better personalization and open rates. Just be sure to properly format the worksheet columns and double check the list before clicking send!

Parsing Email Content into Excel Cells

You can use VBA macros in Excel to pull in specific data from Outlook emails to populate cells with things like date, sender name, subject, and more. This automates parsing email content into your spreadsheets.
Here is an overview of using VBA to parse Outlook email data into Excel:

Create a VBA Macro to Extract Email Data

First, within the Excel workbook where you want the email data to be imported, go to the Developer tab and open the VBA editor.

Add a new macro, and add code to connect to your Outlook session:

Dim olApp As Outlook.Application
Set olApp = CreateObject("Outlook.Application")

Next, reference the email item you want to import using something like:

Dim olMail As Outlook.MailItem
Set olMail = olApp.Session.GetNamespace("MAPI").OpenSharedItem(emailItemPath)

Parse and Populate Cells with Email Data

Now parse the email properties and assign to Excel cells like:

Range("A1").Value = olMail.SenderName
Range("B1").Value = olMail.Subject
Range("C1").Value = olMail.ReceivedTime

The code loops through all the required fields and continues populating cells:

Range("D1").Value = olMail.Body 
Range("E1").Value = olMail.CC
Range("F1").Value = olMail.Attachments.Count

Add loops as needed to import multiple emails into rows. Adjust cells references dynamically.

Run the Macro to Import Data

With the VBA code created, you can now run the macro at any time to parse the email metadata and populate the linked Excel cells.

The data will automatically flow from Outlook to Excel for analysis.

Common Email Fields to Extract Into Excel

Some common email properties you may want to parse and analyze in Excel include:

  • Sender/Recipient – Name, address, contact info
  • Subject
  • Date/Time received
  • Date/Time sent
  • CC/BCC
  • Body text/content
  • Attachments – Name, number, size
  • Categories or Tags

Plus custom headers, keywords, priority etc.

Benefits of Importing Email Data into Excel

Reasons you may want to extract your Outlook email content into Excel include:

  • Analyze senders, subject lines, response rates of campaigns
  • Track attachments and documents sent in emails
  • Create a log or audit trail of critical communications
  • Watch for emails with certain keywords or tags
  • Segment outbound emails by time periods or categories
  • Identify relationship between email data and business metrics
  • Build a contacts database from past email exchanges

In summary, using VBA to parse Outlook emails into Excel provides a powerful way to track and analyze your email data. With some Excel formulas added, you can gain insights into the effectiveness of your communications and campaigns.

Creating a Mail Merge Email List from Excel Data

Mail merge is a useful way to create customized emails, letters, or labels using data from an Excel spreadsheet. Here’s an overview of using mail merge to output an email list using contact data from Excel.
Set Up the Excel Data File

Your Excel file should contain one row per contact, with columns for each field you want to insert into the emails or letters. For an email list, you might include:

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Company
  • Job title

The first row should contain column headers, with each field in its own column. Avoid blank rows or cells. This structured data will feed the mail merge.

You can also add segmenting fields like:

  • Categories or tags
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Subscriber level

Launch Mail Merge in Word

Open a new blank Word document. Go to Mailings > Start Mail Merge. Click Step-by-Step Mail Merge Wizard.

Select Letters as the document type and use the wizard to connect the Excel file as your data source.

Insert Merge Fields

Add your email content into the Word doc. Use << >> field codes like <> and <> to insert the Excel data columns.

You can also add conditionals and formatting like:

<<IF [Gender]="M">>  
   Dear Sir 
   Dear Madam

Preview and Merge

Preview how a sample output email will look with the merged data. Once satisfied, complete the mail merge to generate individual emails, with data populated from each row.

Export Emails

The output can be exported:

  • As multiple Word .docx files with each contact’s data
  • As an Outlook email folder with the emails ready to send in Outlook
  • As a PDF contact list

Mail Merge with Gmail and Thunderbird

To run mail merge using Gmail or Thunderbird, use add-ons like:

  • Mail Merge for Gmail
  • Thunderbird & Excel Mail Merge

These add connection settings for Gmail and Thunderbird in Word’s mail merge wizard.

The emails populate with the Excel data and you can review and send them within Gmail or Thunderbird interfaces.

Benefits of Using Excel Data in Mail Merge

Key benefits of using Excel data files in mail merge include:

  • Customized bulk sending of hundreds or thousands of individualized emails or letters
  • Managing your contact data and segmentation in Excel where it’s easy to edit
  • Outputting documents or emails with data dynamically populated from Excel
  • Avoiding mistakes of manual data entry into emails
  • Quickly changing data filters to generate segmented mail merge outputs
  • Keeping standardized templates and layouts in Word or other programs

In summary, mail merge provides a powerful integration between Excel data and emails or Word documents. With some Excel skills like formulas to categorize your data, you can efficiently generate customized bulk sends like segmented newsletters at scale.

Automating Recurring Sending of Excel Files via Email

You can use Outlook rules to automatically send Excel workbook attachments on a recurring schedule or whenever the file gets updated. This allows you to easily automate sending of Excel reports, data exports, templates, and more.
Here are some ways to configure Outlook rules for periodically emailing Excel attachments:

Scheduled Recurring Emails

Create a new Outlook rule to send emails at set intervals, such as daily, weekly, monthly etc.

In the rule criteria select Recurrs on a schedule and pick the frequency.

In the actions, choose to attach your Excel file and specify recipients.

This will now automatically run based on the schedule, attaching the latest Excel file version each time.

Trigger Emails on Excel File Changes

To auto-send the Excel attachment when the file gets updated, create a rule using file properties as the trigger.

Set the rule criteria to send the email when “Sent to contains [email protected]” (your own email address).

In the actions, attach the Excel file.

Now whenever you manually email yourself the updated file, the rule detects that and triggers sending the attachment to the desired recipients.

Auto-Forward Updated Excel Attachments

Similarly, you can auto-forward incoming Excel attachments using a rule triggered by file properties.

Detect when an email “Has attachments” with Excel file types in name.

In actions, forward it and specify additional recipients to automatically receive the attachment.

Now when you get an updated report emailed to you, Outlook forwards it to others.

Customizing and Debugging Rules

Some tips for setting up Outlook rules involving Excel:

  • Adjust run frequency, trigger criteria, recipients list as needed
  • Limit attachment size if emailing large Excel files
  • Consider auto-saving Excel as PDF to control formatting
  • Test rules repeatedly and check sent items for issues
  • Adjust date filters to limit emails to work days
  • Disable rules temporarily to isolate problems

Benefits of Automating Excel Emails with Outlook Rules

Automating recurring sends of Excel attachments provides these advantages:

  • Easily distribute regular updated reports on a schedule
  • Notify stakeholders as soon as source data gets refreshed
  • Reduce manual work of repeatedly emailing same files
  • Quickly forward any Excel files received to other parties
  • Maintain version control by auto-sending latest file versions
  • Get reminders to send reports by emailing yourself triggering files

In summary, Outlook rules give you the power to easily schedule automatic emailing of important Excel reports, dashboards, trackers, data exports, and more. This can save time, ensure recency of data, and improve report distribution in your workflows.

Best Practices and Tips

When inserting emails into Excel or sending Excel file attachments, follow these best practices to streamline your workflows and avoid common issues:
Limit Attachment Size to Reduce Email Size

If inserting Outlook email content into Excel or attaching large Excel files to emails, keep in mind message size limits:

  • Outlook restricts attachments to around 25MB per email
  • Gmail limits total email size including attachments to 25MB

To reduce email size:

  • Save Excel attachments as PDF or XPS which results in a smaller file size compared to the native XLSX format
  • Shorten embedded email content in cells by only bringing across relevant excerpts rather than full messages
  • Split attachment into multiple smaller emails if needed to get under size limits
  • Consider alternative transfer methods like shared cloud storage links for very large Excel files

Verify Email Addresses to Avoid Bounces

When creating an email address list in Excel to use in Outlook mail merges or to copy into the BCC field, be sure to validate all addresses to identify any that are misspelled or invalid.

Typos and malformed email addresses will cause bounces and errors which hurts your sender reputation. Use Excel functions like email validation formulas to flag invalid entries.

You can also copy and paste the list into a free email verification tool to automatically detect bad or risky addresses. Doing upfront validation helps improve email deliverability.

Use XLSX Format Instead of XLSM for Compatibility

When attaching Excel files to emails, XLSX is the safer and more compatible format compared to XLSM:

  • XLSM files contain macros which may get flagged or stripped by email clients
  • Macros can introduce security risks if enabled without the sender’s consent
  • XLSM attachments may not open properly on mobile devices

So unless you specifically need to preserve macros, save your Excel attachments as regular XLSX files. This ensures widest compatibility across different platforms and email services.

Additional Tips

Some other tips include:

  • Test embedded emails and attachments by sending samples to yourself first
  • If linking to network files, be sure recipients have access permissions
  • Save attachments to cloud storage as backup in case of email issues
  • Format Excel data clearly and explain context before emailing workbooks
  • Use password protection selectively on sensitive attachments
  • Enable read receipts and track email opens to confirm receipt

In summary, applying best practices around attachment hygiene, address verification, and file formats will help ensure smooth emailing of Excel contents. A bit of testing and preparation goes a long way in making your Excel-based emails more effective.

Key Takeaways

Inserting emails into Excel or attaching Excel files to emails provides useful ways to share data and communicate through spreadsheets.

  • Embed Outlook emails in cells using Insert > Object to bring messaging into Excel for reference.
  • Create email hyperlinks in cells to launch new draft messages to contacts.
  • Attach Excel files to outgoing emails using Share > Email as Attachment from within Excel.
  • Copy email lists from Excel columns into Outlook’s BCC field to instantly populate recipient lists.
  • Import email data like sender, date, subject into Excel cells using VBA macros.
  • Generate customized mail merges using Excel as the data source for mass personalized emails.
  • Automate Excel attachments on schedules and triggers using Outlook rules for recurring sends.
  • Limit attachment size, validate addresses, and use common formats like XLSX for seamless emailing.

With the right workflow, you can collaborate on spreadsheets efficiently through Outlook and Excel integrations. Email enables distributing your Excel data to those who need it with just a few clicks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I email an Excel file to someone?
A: In Excel, go to File > Share > Email as Attachment. This attaches the file to a new email message. Or use the “Send to Mail Recipient” button on the Quick Access Toolbar.

Q: Can I insert multiple emails into a single Excel sheet?

A: Yes, use the Object insertion method multiple times to embed numerous email .msg files into different cells in the same sheet.

Q: How do I extract specific data from an email into Excel?

A: Use VBA macros to parse the email content and pull the desired information like date, sender name, subject etc. into specified cells.

Q: What’s the best format to send Excel attachments in?

A: XLSX is the safest and most compatible. Avoid XLSM if sending to recipients who may not allow macros. Consider PDF to preserve formatting.

Q: How can I automate sending an Excel report every month?

A: Set up an Outlook rule triggered by a schedule to periodically attach the file and email it automatically.

Q: Can I mail merge emails using my Excel contact list?

A: Yes, use the Excel file as your data source in Word’s mail merge wizard to generate customized bulk emails.

Q: Is there a size limit when attaching Excel files to emails?

A: Outlook and Gmail both restrict total attachment size per email to around 25MB. Split into multiple emails if needed.

Q: How do I validate all the email addresses in my Excel contact list?

A: Use the email validation formula in Excel or paste into a free email verification tool to flag any invalid entries.

Q: Can I automatically forward any Excel attachments I receive to others?

A: Yes, set up an Outlook rule triggered by Excel file types in received emails and auto-forward to specified people.