How to Use the Email Newsletter Builder

The tools for emailing out event invitations and other announcements have gotten a makeover, which includes the introduction of a new Newsletter Builder. The Newsletter Builder allows you to assemble a newsletter from recent blog posts and upcoming events, and then add introductions and transitions to make that content stick together.

Other recent updates include improving the YouTube email previews that are displayed in a message when you include YouTube videos in an email.

You will find the Newsletter Builder under the RSVP Email Newsletters and Notifications menu of the administrator’s dashboard.

Newsletter Builder

The form at the top of the page allows you to pick up to six blog posts or upcoming events to be assembled into the skeleton of a newsletter.

This is ideal if you have been adding news updates to your website as blogs periodically — and perhaps cross-posting them to social media — but want to be able to periodically assemble them into a newsletter that can also include event notices. In the example shown below, I’ve selected an upcoming WordPress for Toastmasters online workshop, followed by a recent blog post.

For long blog posts, you may want to use only the first few paragraphs of content in the body of your email, followed by a link to Read More. I cover how to do that below.

After submitting this form, you should see a prompt saying “Newsletter created,” followed by links to edit the newsletter or view it as-is. In most cases, you will probably want to edit it first.

Here’s what you’ll get in the editor: the content of the chosen posts and events loaded in the order you specified, with a subject line based on the title of the first item you picked (along with the date, if it’s an event).

Newsletter in the editor

After I’ve added an introduction and tweaked the title (which will become the email subject line), here is what the message looks like in the template for email content. In addition to displaying the content in a template meant for email, rather than blog posts, this view includes the controls for sending out messages.

Newsletter in email template

When sent out by email, it looks like this on my computer ..

Newsletter as desktop email.

… and like this on my phone.

Newsletter viewed on a phone

Using an Excerpt from a Blog Post

While using blog posts as building blocks of a newsletter is a good way of getting readers for those posts, you may not want to include the entire blog post every time. Instead, you can provide just enough content from the top of the post to interest readers in clicking a “Read More” link to read the rest.

WordPress provides what’s called the “more” content block for this purpose, which also applies to listings of blog posts where readers are invited to browse the content and click a “Read More” link for more details.

You add the more tag the same way you would add an image or any other content item, by clicking on one of the “+” buttons in the editor and choosing “more.”

The tag displays like this in the editor, when you are preparing your blog post …

The “more” tag determines where a Read More link should be displayed

… and like this as part of an email newsletter post.

You can also create newsletters and other messages from scratch by following the Add New link from the RSVP Email menu. However, using the Newsletter Builder is a good way of sharing the best content from your website with an email list.

* This software is offered "for Toastmasters" but not is provided by or endorsed by Toastmasters International. The use of Toastmasters brand assets (with proper disclaimers) in website designs has been reviewed by the Toastmasters International brand compliance team.