Build a mailing list with Access 2003

by Cindy Kennaugh

The most important element in your direct marketing campaign is your mailing list. Identifying the customers you want to reach is critical for advertising your products and services. Making the information flow from you to your customers and potential customers requires managing a list that is updatable, expandable, and versatile enough to use for every one of your different marketing purposes. You can meet this need by building your mailing list database in Microsoft Office Access 2003.

Creating the Access database

Creating an Access database by using the Database Wizard is easy. To create a database, all you need is the list of names and addresses that you want to put into your database.

Create a new Access database

  1. On the File menu, click New.
  2. In the New File task pane, click Blank database.
  3. In the File New Database dialog box, type a name for the new database, and then click Create.
  4. Under Objects, click Tables, and then double-click Create table by using wizard.Create table
  5. In the Table Wizard dialog box, click Business.
  6. In the Sample Tables list, click Mailing List.
  7. In the Sample Fields list, select the field you want to add, and then click the add field arrow.Add Field to add the field to the Fields in my new table list.Table Wizard

Repeat step 7 to add all of the fields you need to the Fields in my new table list.

ShowTo change the name of a field

  1. Select the field in the Fields in my new table list, and then click Rename Field.
  2. Type a new name for the field, and then click OK.
  1. When you have added all of the fields you want in your database, click Next.
  2. Under What do you want to name your table? type a name for your table, select an option for creating a primary key (primary key: One or more fields (columns) whose values uniquely identify each record in a table. A primary key cannot allow Null values and must always have a unique index. A primary key is used to relate a table to foreign keys in other tables.) field, and then click Next.
  3. Click Enter data into the table using a form the wizard creates for me, and then click Finish.

When you click Finish, Access displays a form that you can use to add the new records to your table.

Add record

Updating or revising your database

Creating your database is just a start. As you seek out and find new contacts, you might want to add them to your mailing list. You might also want to add new fields so that you can categorize the lists and fine-tune your marketing. For example, you might want to add a hobbies field so that you can easily target customers who enjoy gardening or woodworking. Whatever your need, it's easy to update your Access database.

ShowAdd new contacts to an existing database

  1. Open your database.
  2. Under Objects, click Forms.
  3. Double-click the form for the table that you want to use.
  4. Make sure that the form is displayed in Form view. To do this, on the View menu, click Form View.Select Form View
  5. On the record navigation toolbar, click New Record to open a new blank record in the table.
  6. Type the contact information in the form fields.
  7. To add another record, repeat steps 5 and 6.
  8. When you have finished entering all of the new contacts, click SaveSave on the toolbar.

ShowAdd new fields to an existing database

  1. Open your database.
  2. Under Objects, click Tables.
  3. Double-click the table that you want to modify.
  4. Make sure that the table is displayed in Design view. To do this, on the View menu, click Design View.Select design view
  5. In the first empty row under Field Name, type the name of the new field.
  6. On the same row, click the empty box under Data Type, and then select the data type that you want.Add a new field
  7. To add more new fields, repeat steps 5 and 6.
  8. When you have finished, click SaveSave on the toolbar.

ShowDelete a field in your database

  1. Open your database.
  2. Under Objects, click Tables.
  3. Double-click the table that you want to modify.
  4. Make sure that the table is displayed in Design view. To do this, on the View menu, click Design View.Select design view
  5. Click the row selector next to the field that you want to delete, and then press DELETE.Select left edge of field
  6. If you are prompted to confirm the deletion, click Yes.

 Note   When you delete a field, you lose any data that was stored in that field.

When it's time to mail your marketing material, your Access database mailing list works seamlessly with the features in other Microsoft Office System programs — such as the mail merge features in Microsoft Office Word 2003 and Microsoft Office Publisher 2003 — to place the right customer information from the database in the right places in your marketing letters and on your mailing envelopes.

About the author    Cindy Kennaugh is President of On The Mark, a Silicon Valley–based consulting firm specializing in all aspects of business-to-business marketing in the high-technology industry.

 
 
Applies to:
Access 2003