How to create newsletters in Office 365
Many Office 365 users asking how to send nice looking email newsletters to colleagues. Preparation of the engaging newsletters in the Outlook applications could be a challenge, so maybe using SharePoint will be the easier way to build great looking newsletter?
Thankfully building a modern-looking newsletter in Office 365 is a really easy job and do not require technical knowledge from you. All you need to have is a SharePoint site!
Building an engaging newsletter will give you an additional communication channel that will bring your colleagues to the most important information that you want to share with them. You can use this tool to:
- inform about changes in the department
- present success storied of your team
- share project case studies
- introduce new employees
- invite your colleagues for the team events or meetings
Create Office 365 newsletter
In the first step, you will need to create content of the newsletter that will be sent to your colleagues.
1. Create SharePoint Site
To start your work you will need to have SharePoint site that allows you to create the newsletter. To create SharePoint site follow article How to create SharePoint Communication Site.
If you cannot find the link to Create Site button you will need to contact with your IT service team for the creation of the site. Click here to get the email template that you can send to IT Administrator.
2. Publish interesting news
On your SharePoint site, you will have the possibility to gather interesting announcements that you will be able to share with your colleagues. In the article How to create great announcements on Office 365 you will find the tutorial that will guide you through this process.
Remember that first impression done by your newsletter will strongly depend on the visual side of your announcements. During the preparation of every news try to focus on the catchy header and great leading pictures.
You will find more tips related to the preparation of the beautiful announcements in the linked article.
Send the SharePoint newsletters
The final step of our process is sending an email newsletter to our colleagues. Generation of news digest will take no more than 2-3 minutes. Remember that you will need to have content of announcements already in place.
Before you will send the newsletters to prepare three key elements:
- Choose 4 to 7 key announcements you want to share
- Sort them from the most to the least important
- Nominate the list of colleagues to whom you want to send the newsletter
Prepared content can be also used for the creation of the Office 365 newsletter template. Every newsletter you will create on SharePoint will be saved as a template that you can reuse in the future.
2. Open the announcements
To send the newsletter open SharePoint site that contains the News section and open view of all announcements.
By choosing to See all button you will display all announcements.
3. Start generation of the newsletter
Just click on Send a news digest button.
4. Choose announcements that you want to share
Ticking the boxes next to the post (1, 2) will be required to choose posts for newsletter content. When you will be ready to click on Next (3) button.
5. Compose the email content
In the final step, you will need to compose all information that will be sent in the email notification. You will need to fill in the form and set chosen news, by:
- (1) Headline – put here catchy headline information for your colleagues. If you are planning to send a regular newsletter to your users it is worth to put the date at the beginning of the headline. An example you can use:
Check out news from Sales team
5 great improvements done by Sales team this month
We deliver! Check our success stories
- (2) To – type here the recipients of the message
- (3) Message Body – you can put here an additional message that will be displayed in the top of the email message. From the perspective of the way how newsletter is built, I recommend putting here one sentence that extend the essence of the headline.
- (4) Remove button – remove news from the newsletter
- (5) Move button – change the order of the announcements
- (6) Send news digest button – send a prepared newsletter to your colleagues
6. Enjoy the results of your work!
Your work is done. Your colleagues in a few seconds will receive the great looking newsletter prepared by you.
Automatic Office 365 newsletter
Microsoft introduced the automatically generated SharePoint Online newsletter. Users will receive a newsletter summary of the news published across the organization SharePoint sites. The feature is fully automatic and currently does not have a configuration. Office 365 nominate relevant information and personalize the sent newsletter for each user
The automatic newsletter for Office 365 is currently during rollout. It will be available at the end of the 2020 year globally.
How automatic SharePoint newsletter select the news
- Only published news posts that are relevant to the user, and that the user has not viewed yet.
- The only news that the user has access to.
- The maximum number of news is ten.
- The maximum number of automatic newsletters per week is one.
How Office 365 newsletter nominates interesting news posts
Using the power of Microsoft Graph, based on criteria:
- When someone in the user’s direct management chain publishes a news post
- When someone a user works closely with publishes a news post
When a news post is published to a site that the user follows
Can user unsubscribe from auto news digest
To unsubscribe from the auto-news digest emails you need to choose the unsubscribe button on the bottom of the email
Can I send the newsletter to people outside my organization?
Yes, you can. To send news digest to external partners you have to share the SharePoint site with them first. Detailed instruction about sharing your SharePoint site with the external users is described in the article How to share SharePoint site with external partners.
Can I put recipients in BCC field?
Unfortunately not. All recipients will be displayed in To field and email address will be visible to each other.
Can I automate the newsletter sending process?
Automation of the sending process is possible but will require technical support form IT service team.
Can I copy the list of recipients to the newsletter?
Not directly. You can use SharePoint group to easily manage recipients of the message. More details on the SharePoint Group creation you will find in the article How to create SharePoint group.
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