- You can start a newsletter with Microsoft Outlook for free, using the service’s tools to help you customize it.
- Once you’ve made your first newsletter, you should save an Outlook template that contains the fonts, styles, and format.
- Sending the Outlook newsletter is as easy as creating a contact group and placing it in an email.
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If you want to do it yourself but have the broadest array of tools for formatting and styling the newsletter, you can use Microsoft Word and merge your contacts from Excel.
But perhaps the simplest way to create your own newsletter is by using Microsoft Outlook.
How to start a newsletter with Microsoft Outlook
Creating a newsletter template
The first step is to create a template that can serve as a consistent backbone for your newsletter each time you need to send it. The template will define the background and font selection as well as the overall structure of the newsletter, so you only need to replace the text and images each time.
1. In Microsoft Outlook, click “File” and then in the fly-out pane on the left, choose “Options.”
2. In the Outlook Options window, click the “Mail” tab.
3. Click “Stationary and Fonts.”
4. Click “Theme.”
5. Browse the themes and find the one you want to use. Some themes have custom background images, while others only customize the font style and color. When you find a theme, click “OK” to exit each dialog box and return to the main Outlook window.
6. Click “New Email.” The blank email should open with the theme attributes you just specified.
7. Now use this new email message window to craft your email template. Create headings, sections, body text, and insert images as needed – it’s up to you whether you want to create your first newsletter in its entirety or just use boilerplate temporary text. Either way, create a backbone that you can modify with fresh text each time you want to send a new newsletter.
8. When your template is done, click “File” and then “Save As.”
9. In the “Save as type” dropdown, choose “Outlook Template.”
10. Give your newsletter template a name and click “Save.”
You’ll probably want to return to Outlook’s Options and reset the theme to the default, or all future emails you send will use the same theme you just selected for the email newsletter.
How to open and fill in a newsletter template
Once you’ve saved your template, you can use it every day, week or month to send a new newsletter.
1. In Outlook, click “New Items” from the “New Email” tab and then, in the dropdown menu, choose “More Items,” then “Choose Form.”
2. In the Choose Form dialog box, click the dropdown menu for Look In and choose “User Template in File System.” You should now see a list of all templates you’ve created and saved in Outlook.
3. Choose the template you want to use and click “Open.”
4. Now modify the boilerplate text and images you entered when creating the template.
How to create a mailing list for your newsletter
If you create a newsletter using Microsoft Word, you need to merge your contacts from Excel because Word doesn’t have the ability to manage email addresses on its own. But it’s much easier in Outlook, because as an email app, it already has a database of contacts.
You simply need to create an email group so you can send the newsletter to the right group of people quickly and easily.
1. In Outlook, click the Contacts icon at the bottom left of the window. Outlook should switch to the Contacts view.
2. In the “New Contact” tab, click “Contact Group.”
3. In the untitled contact group window, click “Add Members” in the ribbon, then choose “From Outlook Contacts.”
4. In the list of contacts, double-click each name you want to add to the group. You should see the name appear in the field at the bottom.
5. When you’ve added all the contracts to your group, click “OK.”
6. At the top of the contact group window, type a name for the group (such as “Newsletter Mailing List”) and then click “Save & Close” in the ribbon.
How to send your newsletter to a mailing list
Now that you’ve created your mailing list, sending the newsletter is simple: In the Bcc field at the top of the email window, type the name of the group you created. As you type, you should see it appear as an auto-suggestion. Select it and then click “Send.”
You should always put the mailing list on the Bcc field so the recipients can’t see each other’s email addresses. This is good newsletter etiquette because it preserves your mailing list’s privacy.
How to create a recurring newsletter reminder
If you plan to send a newsletter regularly – whether it’s daily, weekly, monthly or on some other schedule – Outlook can remind you automatically about the impending date. You simply need to set up a recurring event in your Outlook calendar.
1. At the bottom left corner of Outlook, click the Calendar icon.
2. In the ribbon, click “New Appointment.”
3. Fill out the untitled appointment window. Enter a title, such as “Monthly newsletter.” Enter the first start date and time.
4. In the ribbon, click “Recurrence”
5. In the Task Recurrence window, specify how often you should be reminded. Select whether it should be daily, weekly or monthly, for example, and set when the event should repeat. When you’re done, click “OK.”
6. When the reminder is all configured, click “Save & Close.” Now Outlook will let you know when it’s time to prep your newsletter.