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How to Create Email Newsletters

Newsletters are a WordPress custom post type that is formatted specifically for email clients. All of the styling and layout are compatible with email clients. You can think of Newsletters as University letterhead for your emails.


Creating Newsletters

Create a Newsletter by clicking Newsletters > Add New in the WordPress Dashboard.

Create a header image at 600 pixels wide by 173 pixels tall. Upload the image via “Set featured image” in the Featured Image box of the WordPress Edit screen. You can use a different image height, but it may not display properly… 600 x 173 is perfect.

Templates: Default, Letterhead and Digest

This example newsletter uses the optional Letterhead template. It produces a fixed width, single story newsletter.

The Default template produces a responsive, Magazine style newsletter that can contain multiple “child” stories. The main story begins with an optional featured image that is the full width of the main column. Below the main story, several child stories can be added.

After you create the main story, Add New to create child stories; choose the main story as their Parent (see the Attributes box in the editor window). Featured Images will display as thumbnails to the left of the title and content. To rearrange the order of the child stories, go to Newsletters and click/drag the children into the desired order.

The E-Newsletter Digest template automatically creates a newsletter with excerpts from a category: E-Newsletter. Create a post category named E-Newsletter first; assign posts to that category, and they will appear in the Newsletter. You have to manually curate the posts belonging to that category.

The Weekly Digest template automatically creates a newsletter with excerpts from the preceding week’s posts, based on the scheduled or published date of your newsletter.

You can manage your mailing list in a 3rd-party app such as MailChimp or Mad Mimi, or you can submit a Newsletter to a UTC Raven/Scrappy mailing list.

Keep it Simple!

Keep your layout VERY simple. Center images on a separate paragraph element, on their own line. (Right or left aligned images are not supported in most email clients). If you are adept at HTML, you can use a <table> structure to split and align your content into columns; HTML can be edited in the Text tab of the WordPress Editor.

Sending a newsletter to a UTC Raven/Scrappy email list

  • Publish or Update the newsletter post
  • View the newsletter post in FireFox
    • Right click on the page and select View Source
    • A new window will open and display the source code for the page
      • Select All & Copy the source code to the clipboard
  • Open and log in
    (if you don’t have an account, click Log In, then Register Password”)

    • Find and click the name of the list to which you want to send your newsletter
      • UTCINFO: UTC Faculty and Staff
      • UTCNEWS: UTC Students, Faculty and Staff
      • SCRAPPY: UTC Students
    • From the “hamburger dropdown” menu, click Post Message
      Screenshot revealing the location of the hamburger dropdown options menu

      • Add a Subject
      • From the Content-Type drop down, select HTML
      • Paste the source code in the Message area
      • Click Show Advanced
      • Click Send Test to Self & review the message in your email client
      • If you are satisfied, click Send Message to send to the mailing list
        Screen shot demonstrating the HTML messaged Advanced options

Sending a newsletter to a 3rd-party mailing list manager

Consult your vendor or provider; they will suggest either cutting and pasting HTML source code, or submitting the URL of the newsletter post.

Linking to your newsletters

Make note of the address of your newsletter by clicking View Post; the URL displayed in your browser’s address bar is the link to the newsletter. An archive of your newsletters is available as a category archive; you can find this archive page by removing the name of your newsletter from the URL. You may wish to create a WordPress Menu item for the Newsletters archive.

Including images in a newsletter post

You can include images or WordPress Galleries in your Newsletters. Choose a smaller image size; WordPress automatically creates smaller versions of uploaded images, so choose the Medium or Thumbnail size.

Canoe Trip.

Small image.

WordPress Galleries and Embedded media such as YouTube videos are not recommended; they will be stripped out or mangled by many email clients.

Footer information

The footer of your newsletter is created by editing Appearance > Theme Options [General Settings] Powered By Text. Facebook and Twitter icon/links are created via Appearance > Theme Options [Social]

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
615 McCallie Avenue
Chattanooga, TN 37403
(423) 425-4111
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