Once you’ve gotten the personalization of your emails covered, the next step is presentation. No one likes looking at drab email or newsletters and you have a chance to truly stand out in your reader’s minds.
What’s great about this is that you don’t need to be a graphic artist to create fancy layouts.
All you need is a bit of creativity … and Google Docs.
What you’ll learn with this guide
Think Google Docs is only for text? Think again. You can create an attractive email newsletter template and mail it out to your customers using only Google Docs.
How? Remember we showed you how to use mail merge in Part 1 to create a personalized email? Now we’ll use a blank Google document to create an email newsletter template you can customize every time you have something to communicate.
When you’re done, we’ll show you how to mail merge google docs to get your newsletter out to your audience. We’ll do this using a mail merge add-on like YAMM.
Why create an email newsletter?
Email remains the primary way B2B marketers communicate with their customers – it’s also the one that tends to net the best returns.
With this kind of outreach potential, you owe it to your business to invest in an email newsletter. But it doesn’t have to be a huge investment of your limited resources or time.
With this guide, you can create a simple email newsletter in under half an hour. Then you can have it out to all of your customers in 10 minutes or less.
Why create an email newsletter with Google Docs?
As a business, you want to give your customers the most. But you also don’t want to spend much of your resources doing so.
Email marketing may have the highest return on investment, but the cost can add up, especially if you’re a small business.
Most business owners don’t realize that it isn’t as simple as throwing together a few sentences and sending them out when they decide to run an email marketing campaign.
You have to decide on:
- The type of content you want to send
- How many people you’ll be sending it to
- The visual design of the content
- The accompanying email marketing tools
- The quality of support (if you’re using an email marketing service)
- If you’ll be sending them out yourself or using an agency
As a rule, it’s cheaper if you conduct your campaign yourself. Be aware that as a newbie, you can find yourself making mistakes that can cost you goodwill and potential customers. We speak more about this in Part 1.
Using an agency is convenient, and you avoid these mistakes, but the cost can add up.
A good compromise is doing part of the work and using an email marketing service to do the rest of the work for you. How much of the work will depend on which of their services you can afford.
Sending bulk emails can be done for free or cheaply through these services. Other elements like the visual design could cost you a pretty penny.
This is why it’s always good to have the option of designing and sending out your newsletter with mail merge google docs. Starting with a blank Google doc as your canvas, you can design a simple, visually appealing layout.
Let’s dive into how!
What you’ll need to create your email newsletter using Google Docs
Your newsletter content
Ideally, you should have your content prepared for this. Here's a good resource if you need a few hints on how to develop your newsletter.
The content you import into your Google doc should be compatible with the format. Make sure the images you plan to use can work on Google docs.
Be sure that they work when the email is opened too. You don’t want a newsletter full of images that customers can’t see when they click on your email.
You should have access to Google Drive on your computer. Here’s a helpful guide for you to set it up.
Google Sheets email list
After you’re done with your newsletter, you’ll need your list of customers to send it off to. We’ve included this helpful list of instructions to install Google Sheets from Part 1 to assist you. If your email list is stored somewhere else, here’s how to import it into Google Sheets.
Creating your email newsletter from a blank Google Doc
Step 1: Open a blank Google Doc and reduce the page margins to zero
Doing this will create as much space as possible for your newsletter. Or, you can adjust the margins to what you need. This is to customize your dimensions if you know you won’t be needing the full page.
This can be done in the page setup menu.
You can find the page setup menu under the File Tab. It’s the last option listed.
Step 2: Use tables to create the basic frame for your newsletter
You can go to the table menu to do this. It’s located here:
Depending on your newsletter content, you may customize it by adding the number of tables you need at the dimensions you need them.
When you’re finished, your newsletter frame should look something like this:
You’re now ready to begin inserting your content into these spaces.
Step 3: Begin to add your newsletter content
Once the tables are laid out as needed, begin to insert your content. You do this by copying, pasting, or typing into the table’s cells.
Your content can be text or simple images. A caveat here: because Google Docs does not support some image types, you may want to be careful about taking images directly from the Internet.
Ensure that the images you want to use can be displayed in Google Docs.
As you work, your frame should start to fill out, looking something like this:
Note that you can change the background and fill colors, fonts, and font sizes. You can do this using the Format tab on the upper left-hand side of the screen. You can also use the paint bucket icon
Step 4: Proofread your email newsletter
This is a small but important step. You’ll want to make sure that there are no spelling errors or typos. Make any changes that are needed.
Step 5: Remove the table lines
Another final step you’ll need is to erase the lines of the tables you used as your frame. You can select each table you use and reduce the table borders to zero.
Step 6: Copy and paste your newsletter into Gmail
You’re now returning to familiar territory. Once you are happy with the appearance of your newsletter, you can import it into your draft Gmail email.
You’ll remember that we created one of these when we merged with Google Sheets in Part 1 of our Mail Merge Guide.
This time, we’re going to mail merge using google docs. Open a blank Gmail letter. Copy and paste the newsletter into it. It should look like this:
This is now your draft email template.
Step 7: Open Google Sheets list
Your Google Sheets list should be prepared. Once there, go to your “Add-on” tab as usual and click your preferred mail merge tool, such as YAMM.
Go through the steps we listed in the Mail Merge Guide Part 1.
Step 8: Send yourself a test email
When you’re finished with the mail merge, use the add-on function to send a test email to yourself.
This way, you can see your newsletter's appearance when your customer opens it.
Step 9: Click send
This is it. You’ve arrived at the end. If you’re happy with the final product sent to you in the test, click “Send” to allow the mail merge tool to distribute the newsletter to your readers
Picking a mail merge tool that’s right for you
A mail merge tool and Google Docs can work together to get your email marketing material out to your customers. Even better, they do so in a manner that doesn’t cost you a lot of time or money.
But what about your mail merge tool? If you’re giving any thought to what you should get, maybe you should give YAMM a try.
You can even select email newsletter templates created by YAMM if you don’t want to build them directly from Google docs.
What are you waiting for? Try YAMM for free today!