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ACT – Newsletter-Style Email Template Tutorial

Creating Newsletter-Style Emails

Newsletter-style emails can be a great way to connect with your Broadband and send out information about events, education, advocacy and fun FAST!

This guide will help you send out attractive, consistent email newsletters to your Broadband. (To make this work best, you will need a Gmail account.) To send these out, we use Google Docs to format our newsletter and then Gmail to send them.

If you need any help during any part of this process, contact your Grassroots Regional Coordinator.

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Quick-Start Instructions

1. First Get the Template

Once open, go to File -> Make a Copy to work on your own version of the template!

For more tips like adding your own links, read “Step One” under the detailed instructions below!

2. Add Info and Edit

  • Add your content. Keep it simple, and its more likely to look right to your members.
  • Double check all Dates, Locations, Names, and Contact Details.

For more tips like adding your own links, read “Step Two” under the detailed instructions below!

3. Copy, Paste, and Send!

  • When done editing, click on the Edit menu >> Select All
  • Click on the Edit menu >> Copy
  • Paste into a Gmail email and send it to just yourself first to test it.
  • Send it to your group – don’t forget a great subject line!

Only Google Groups or Gmail will work with this method to send the email, not other email services.

For more tips like adding your own links, read “Step Three” under the detailed instructions below!

Detailed Instructions

Step One: Set up your newsletter template

  • Log in to Google. If you do not have an account and need help setting one up, please contact the national office.
  • Open the Broadband Weekly Email Template by clicking here. (Or click Here for a version with a sidebar!)
  • Select File → Make a Copy… to make a copy of the template on your own Google Drive (which you can edit).
    • A dialog box will show up. Under Name, enter “Broadband Weekly Email Template”.
    • Click OK.
  • Your template is now ready to be customized for your emails! You can always access your template at, it will be named “Broadband Email Newsletter Template”.

Step Two: Enter your newsletter content

  • Make sure you are editing your own copy of the template.
  • Replace (Your Broadband) with your Broadband’s name, and “Date here” with the date. Writing the date out, like “January 1, 2016” or “Week of January 1, 2016” looks good.
  • Fill out the various sections with your own content.
  • Personalize your sign-off and contact information at the bottom.
  • Tips:
    • Make text into clickable links. Have your web-address tested and ready, either written out in front of you or copied (select text and on your keyboard hit Ctrl-C to copy it). Next, click and drag to select exactly the text you want to make clickable. Last, choose Insert → Link… from the menu. Type (or paste with Ctrl-V) your web address in the Link field, and click Apply.
    • Be Consistent. Use consistent formatting in all your emails to keep your message clear and so members get used to finding the new information they want. A good start is to leave fonts and font sizes alone. If you really want more customization, try to use paragraph styles or contact the Broads office for help.
    • Keep it brief. Most people lose interest in an email in under a minute, so limiting your message to 2-4 important headlines with clear descriptions can really help keep readers engaged.
    • Avoid Complex formatting. Some kinds of formatting are fine (adding links, text alignment, and using Insert → Horizontal Line to separate sections are all fine), but others will not work in an email. Do not try to wrap text around images, add columns or tables, change the line spacing, or use features like footnotes.

Step Three: Edit, Copy into an Email Message, and Send

  • Ensure all your information is correct. Be sure to check Dates, Times, Locations, and Links.
  • Edit for grammar, spelling, and clarity. Your newsletter reflects on Broads as an organization!
  • In a new tab or window (leave your Google Doc open and accessible), go to your email account and compose a new email.
  • Enter a subject line (example: Boulder Broads’ Wilderness Weekly: New Hike This Saturday).
  • Now, we must copy your newsletter from Google Docs to your blank email message.
    • In Docs, select Edit → Select All
    • Copy (Control+C on a PC, Command+C on a Mac) or right click on the highlighted text and select Copy.
    • Switch to your blank email message, click on the text box where the email content will go, and Paste (Control+V on a PC, Command+V on a Mac) or right click and select Paste.
  • Look everything over and if it looks good, hit the Send button.
  • You’ve done it, you’ve sent your email newsletter!

Important Note to Gmail Users: You can copy and paste your newsletter into Gmail to send to your group, but it will not work in Hotmail, Yahoo, or any other email provider.