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Easy email newsletters

With Microsoft Publisher 2003 you can create email newsletters quickly

With Publisher 2003, Microsoft completely revamped Publisher's HTML tools. Now it's easy to make a good-looking website, and the pages are editable. And if you want to produce an HTML-formatted emailed newsletter, you'll be hard pushed to find a better tool than Publisher 2003. This tutorial will show you how to do just that - and if you haven't considered email as a marketing tool before, you might be interested to know that using newsletters for business development can help you maintain a relationship with your customers.

To get going, select Open New Publication in the Task Pane on the left. If it's not there already, click the tiny down arrow at the top of the Task Pane; if the Task Pane itself isn't there, go to View and click on Task Pane. In the New Publication list, select Web Sites and E-mail then E-mail. Click on the various subcategories to display sample templates on the right.

Choose a template that approximates to what you want - as with all Publisher templates you can customise it with your own choice of colours, graphics, text styles and so on.

You will see that some information on the template is already filled in, based on what you have in your Personal Information Profile You can change this by going to Edit | Personal Information. Other elements are given placeholders, some of which have Wizards available if you right-click on them - the logo placeholder, for instance.

Try right-clicking on that and select Wizard For This Object. This will give you a choice of Logo Designs (readymade logo styles) and Logo Options (customise the design). If you want to use this to insert your own pre-made logo, click on Choose Picture and browse to find your image. When it's imported, the picture will be automatically resized to fit within the logo placeholder. You can always manually adjust it by using the resizing handles on the picture.)

Replace the placeholder text and graphics with your own material. The newsletter templates have a 'remove your name' text box at the bottom where you can add the relevant hyperlinks (right-click and select Hyperlink).

Once you are happy with how the email looks, save the file. When you're ready to despatch the newsletter, go to File | Send E-Mail and select Send This Page as Message. A header will be added to the top of your newsletter where you can add the email addresses and subject line. Click the Send button and you are done.

Don't forget data protection

Unless you are sending to a small group of people who don't mind their addresses being shown to the world, it would be professional to put your recipients into the BCC: field (this could be individual addresses or an Outlook distribution list). Put a dummy name in the To: field - you could for instance create a new alias for yourself as list@yourcompany.co.uk. That way no-one sees who else has received the newsletter. This important for data protection reasons - read more about data protection here.

If you prefer to use a third-party mailing list manager, just save your newsletter from Publisher as a web page. Then tell your mailing program to use the saved document as an HTML-formatted message.

��Like what you've read? Try our free newsletters.

What next?

We've produced a number of printed How to... guides, showing you how to do new things with Microsoft software. You can download or order them free of charge from our download centre.

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