Staying in touch: Set up your newsletter template

Download a template

To get a head start on creating a professional looking newsletter in Microsoft Word, take advantage of the free E-Mail Newsletter template, which is available on the Microsoft Office Online Templates Web site. On the Web site, you can also find e-mail newsletter templates with various decorative themes.

When you download the template, it opens in Word on your computer — ready for you to customize it.

 Note   You'll notice the e-mail newsletter template uses a table to hold the copy and graphics. This prevents format changes from occurring when it is opened in different e-mail programs. You can easily add or delete rows and columns from the table to accommodate your needs. The following picture of the E-Mail Newsletter Template shows the different table cells outlined in red.

Sample template with cells outlined in red Sample template with cells outlined in red

Customize the template

With the template open in Word, add your company logo, change the colors to reflect the ones your business uses, and then put in your business address, phone numbers, and Web site address. In other words, develop a customized template that you can use for each issue.

It's a good idea to use the Web layout view when creating your newsletter (on the View menu, click Web Layout). That's the look your customers will see when they receive your e-mail.

Fonts

This is a good time to choose the fonts for headlines and body text. A good rule is to never use more than two or three fonts in a newsletter. Any more becomes confusing, making your efforts look less professional. Be creative with the ones you do choose by utilizing different sizes and colors, and by using bold and italics to add variety and contrast. It's easy to add these custom styles to your template's style palette so they are instantly available. The example following utilizes only two different fonts, but it varies the look with bold and italic type, color, and different sizes.

Example of different fonts, styles, and formats

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Finally, delete any features you won't be using and add any standard copy or features that will be constant with each issue.

ShowTip

Include an address for those wishing to opt out

Once you are done with these general changes, save the result as a Word template.

Save your Word template

  1. With your customized template open, open the File menu, and click Save as.
  2. In the Save as type drop down list, select Document Template and name your template. Accept the default to store your template in the Templates folder. Click Save.

You now have a customized template, which will save you time and give each issue of your newsletter a consistent look and feel. It's time to create your first issue. Start by opening your customized template.

Create a file based on your template

  1. Open Word, open the File menu, and click New.
  2. In the New Document task pane, under Templates, click On my computer, and then double-click your named template.

 Note   In Word 2002, in the New Document task pane, under New from template, click General Templates.

The template opens as a new document.

  1. Open the File menu, click Save as, and name the issue. In the Save as type drop down list, select Word Document. Click Save.

Now you're ready to start adding items and articles to complete your newsletter.

Next step

Step 3: Complete your e-mail newsletter