Whether you're looking to cut printing and postal costs or just want a way to reach customers and contacts more quickly, Microsoft Outlook offers you the option to create electronic versions of newsletters. An e-newsletter in Outlook, also known as a blast, enables you to announce new products, introduce the latest members of your workforce and share announcements. Microsoft provides a number of free downloadable templates you can customize for your e-newsletter purposes, saving you setup time and enabling you to focus on precise formatting to get your message across.
Download a newsletter template to use for your e-newsletter (link in Resources). Double-click on the downloaded e-newsletter. This launches Microsoft Outlook with a new email message based on the template.
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Place your cursor into the message box, the main section of the message window. Click the "Format Text" tab. Highlight text in a part or the entire section of the newsletter, such as where the template says "Company name" or "Tagline and description." Type over the placeholder generic text with your own. Scroll through the newsletter to add text to different sections such as the headers, subheaders and article areas.
Change the text's appearance, such as formatting the font to match your company's preferred font and formatting headers to match your company logo color, with the options on the "Format Text" tab. Keep in mind that you don't want the aspects of the newsletter to distract readers from the information you're conveying, so choose formatting options that work well together, such as one or two fonts and colors rather than multiple fonts and colors. You can also keep the colors that come standard with the template.
Click the "Table Tools" tab at the top. Scroll through the options in the "Table Styles" section of the ribbon. Glide the cursor, without clicking, over the different styles and see how they apply different formatting to the newsletter, such as colors and spacing. Use the scroll bar to see additional styles that don't fit on the ribbon. Click a style to commit the formatting change to the newsletter.
Click the "Insert" tab. Click the "Picture" button and browse to an image to add to the newsletter. This is an ideal way to add product photos, as well as your corporate logo. To swap out a generic image included on the template, right-click the picture and click "Change Picture." Navigate to the image to use on the newsletter, such as a head shot of the CEO, and double-click the picture.
Fill a column on the newsletter with color to draw the readers' eyes or call out an important section to read by clicking the cursor into that column or space. Click the yellow "Table Tools" tab if it is not enabled, and click the "Design" tab below "Table Tools." Click the "Shading" menu and click a small colored box from the menu, which instantly fills that area with color.
Scroll through the newsletter to review the entire template. Check that you haven't left in any placeholder parts, such as a generic word "Heading" or a place that says "Enter date here." There is usually text at the bottom of the template to type the company name, address, phone number, website and other details, as well as a generic "unsubscribe" message you can change or edit. To delete any unwanted parts of the template, highlight the text and press the "Delete" button or click an option, such as a Facebook or Twitter icon, and press the "Delete" button.
Click into the "To" box and add newsletter recipient addresses, or click the red "X" in the message window and click "Yes" at the draft-saving prompt so you can revisit the newsletter at a later time. Change the subject line, if desired, especially with templates, which come with a generic "template" subject line already inserted.