It’s not too late to send a colourful and personal Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays or Happy New Year email. Here’s a quick design you can do in Outlook from the resources and settings you already have.
As usual with Office-Watch.com, we’ll explain our choices so you can adapt them to your preferences. Keep in mind that emails can look different to recipients so simplicity, compatibility and good contrasts are better.
Christmas Cheer Emails ready to go
Our ebook Christmas Cheer with Microsoft Office includes 19 different email designs ready to use. See the chapter ‘Email’ from page 68 in the current edition plus the attachments to the ebook.
Xmas Email Background
Choose a light colored background so the text is clearly visible.
A simple and effective background is at Options | Page Color | Fill Effects | Pattern.
We’ve chosen a light pattern such as Dotted: 20% and changed the foreground color from the default black to a light pink.
Text and Font
Choose a widely compatible font, not something specially installed on your computer. Custom fonts may be substituted on receiving devices and the replacement font might not look good.
We’ve chosen Lucida Calligraphy with a dark red font color.
Add more text as suits you either with the same font or a complementary font.
Add an image
Add a personal photo, maybe a family photo or something from your travels in 2019.
Or some Christmas themed clipart from Insert | Online Pictures or your own web search.
Outlook – Picture Format | Quick Styles change a boring rectangle photo into something nicer like ‘Soft Edge Oval’.
Picture Format | Color can boost or reduce the colors in a photo. Here we’ve made a slightly washed out photo stand out more with a Color Saturation option.
Reduce image file size
Images can greatly increase the size of an email and there’s a risk the email will be too large for some receivers mailboxes.
Reduce that risk by choosing Picture Format | Adjust | Compress Pictures.
Apply only to this picture – UNcheck so the compression applies to all images in the email.
Resolution: choose E-mail or Web.
There are three ways to send an email to a group. The quick and fast option, the slower, more personal option or the mail merge choice.
TO and BCC
The quick sending option is a generic ‘all comers’ email using the TO and BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) fields.
BCC is especially useful because it hides email addresses from other receivers (unlike TO and CC). This protects their privacy and reduces the risk of emails being harvested by hackers.
One trick is to put all recipients in the Bcc field then add yourself in the To box.
Strictly speaking the To field could be blank however some email systems don’t like an empty ‘To’ so it’s prudent to put something in that box.
Sending individually with Resend
Emailing individual messages lets you change the text in each message and make it more personal.
A shortcut to do this is the little known but very useful option: Resend.
Resend opens a previously sent message in the Outlook editor. From there you can edit the message (change the receiver, add some personal text etc) then send off. Repeat for each person. See Peter’s Favorite (Hidden) Outlook feature
Open a Sent message then Message | Move | Resend this Message.
Personalize the message to suit.
Mail Merge with the personal touch
For really long lists of recipients, use Word’s Mail Merge to email will send the same message to each recipient.
It is possible to personalize individual mail merge emails. Before running the mail merge to email, disconnect Outlook from sending messages (Send/Receive | Work Offline). Then do the mail merge so the emails accumulate in the Outbox but unsent.
Those unsent messages can be opened and edited individually. Once you’re personalized all messages you want, turn Outlook online so the emails will be sent.