The Wide Area Newsletter Wizard is a CMS tool that lets you create newsletters and marketing emails quickly and easily.
Much like any commercial email system, the Wizard lets you add text, images and links to a newsletter using a simple WYSIWYG editor. Once integrated with your content, the Wizard will fetch the headlines, images and links that you want to appear in each newsletter.
Once the template has been populated, the email is ready to send.
What is a newsletter template?
Email templates are used to create HTML email messages in a format that lets you style the message and embed images within the content. Your HTML message then needs to be sent via an email server in format that stops mail clients such as Outlook from ignoring your styling and images and converting your message content into plain text.
This format is called Multipart-Alternative MIME format and includes a plain-text version of your message in the same email which gets delivered to any recipient who can't view the HTML version for any reason.
Adding new templates
The first step is to create a design for your template which is them implemented in HTML MIME format. We then add some Wide Area code that will let the CMS 'read' the content blocks within your design that need to be populated.
The Wide Area code is not mandatory, but without it, users will need to add content, image references and links manually.
If you are a developer and have received instruction on adding Wide Area code then you can upload your new template using the Newsletter module on the CMS home page.
Select Create Newsletter, name it and associate it with a website, and then upload your html and text files.
If you do not have access to a developer, or do not have the time, then we can create your templates for you.
Once uploaded, your template should look something like this:
Your template is now ready for users with no HTML skills to create a newsletter via the CMS.
Creating a basic newsletter
Now that your template has been successfully uploaded in the CMS, users with no HTML skills can create and populate a newsletter or marketing email and the mailing will be ready to send.
From the Newsletter Wizard area of the CMS you simply select the template that you want to use and get started. The newsletter name is for your reference only, and will not be published.
Once you click on 'Create' you will be presented with a CMS newsletter article page that looks something like this:
You can see in the image above that the article is structured so that stories can be easily added to the newsletter, but there is no content integration. The article URL and picture location need to be added manually. The easiest way to find toe picture location is to right-click on the relevant image on your website and copy and paste the image location, which will look something like this: http:www.widearea.co.uk/article_images/articledir_242/121398/2_large.png
Creating a newsletter from website content
Comparing the example above to the example below and you can see that each story block now includes a list of article headlines.
All you have to do to populate the newsletter is to select the headline that they want and click Get It!
Each block in the editor represents a slot in your template, which as been 'wired up' to the relevant section in the CMS that stores that article. So, for example, if the first slot in your newsletter is a news story, then block 1 in the editor will contain a drop-down list of all of the articles that are in the news section of the website.
All you need to do is select the story that you want to feature in your email, and the Newsletter Wizard will populate that slot in your newsletter editor with the content of that article, along with the article URL and image location.
Once populated, you can edit the content, giving you total control over your email message.
Once you have completed each block in the email editor, or each 'slot' in your template, your email is ready to send.
Once each story has been populated, your newsletter is ready to send.
Your template should already include an 'unsubscribe' link and have been fully tested to deliver your message via most email clients (Outlook, gmail, Hotmail, Thunderbird, Yahoo...) running out of Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari and most other modern browsers.
Below is an example of a completed newsletter using the template shown above:
As with all CMS content, all of your newsletters are stored and available to edit, preview export or mail.
If you want to use an external bulkmail service then you can use the Export To Custom function where you can cut and paste both the HTML and text versions of your email into an alternative application.
Mailing your newsletter
If you want to send your email via the CMS then you simply select Export To Bulkmail from the Newsletter listing page and begin to set up you mail job.
Download the pdf for Newsletter Builder