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By Jane Sherwin
Online newsletter templates are easy to use and a great way to shape your message so that it stands out in your reader’s mailbox. We’ll start with a definition, and then go over how to use these ingenious tools.
What is an online newsletter template?
With an online newsletter template you can insert your newsletter content directly into your email. When readers receive the email, they can read your news without having to open an attachment. You can insert links to your website, or to any other source you want readers to look at. Even better, you don’t have to know any fancy HTML codes.
Online newsletter templates are made available through ’email service providers.’ By using an email service provider, your template will keep its shape and design as it goes from your own computer out into the many different systems people use to manage their email.
Using online newsletter templates
Step #1: Select an email service provider.
These are easy to find: just google ’email service provider’ or ’email marketing service’ and you’ll see several right away. You might want to ask a friend to recommend a good email service provider. A good service provider will walk you through all the steps online to setting up a template.
Step #2: Browse among the templates
Your service provider should have a large variety of styles to choose from. They range from simple ‘newsletters’ to ‘events and invitations’ and to many categories, such as real estate, fitness, and associations. Within each category are many different templates to choose from. Take some time, browse among the different categories and styles, and click on some of the templates so you can take a closer look.
Remember: The templates are very flexible. You can add and change colors, insert your own images and logos, and add boxes for additional articles. So when you are browsing, think more about the overall style than the existing colors and pictures.
Step #3: Select a template and work with it
Selecting a template is simply a matter of clicking on it. Now you are ready to modify and customize your template! Your email service provider should make it easy for you to work on your template. Each section has an editing bar that enables you to enter and revise text. You can change fonts, make them bold or italic, insert bullets and numbers.
You can also change background colors and font colors using the editing bar. If the original template is red and green, and your colors are blue and yellow, only a click or two will get the right colors in place.
Step #4: Add new text boxes and images
Use buttons at the side of the template to insert new boxes, such as a ‘coupon’ box or an ‘introduction’ box. With other buttons you can upload images, such as your signature, or your logo or photograph, and insert them into your template.
Step #5: A couple of useful online tools to know about:
Maybe you have an unusual shade of violet that is everywhere on your website and stationery? Use colorcop.com, an easy-to-use online tool for matching colors exactly.
Another useful tool is Picnik.com, which you can use to crop photos and make them the right size for your newsletter.
Step #6: When your template is final, be sure to save it. When you are ready to send out next month’s issue, your newsletter will be ready for you to enter the latest news. Your design work will be all done!
Copyright (c) 2010 Jane Sherwin. You may reprint this entire article and you must include the copyright info and the following statement: “Jane Sherwin is a writer who helps hospitals and other healthcare facilities communicate their strengths and connect with their readers.’
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