Do you want to send an email with SharePoint news content? Now it’s possible via the new SharePoint News for Email feature. The content is scaled to fit different mail clients and works for mobiles. Let’s go and check what’s inside the feature and how you can use it.
Microsoft released a new feature – News for Email templates. A news post created using those templates is ready to be sent using email messages. The news content (webparts, text, header, etc.) is automatically scaled to the short form ready to send via email.
E-mails are still there and for many people, they are the number 1 communication channel. Not everyone can check an Intranet site or Teams every day. Many frontline workers are not able to do that, but they need to get information as well.
This feature is designed for those situations – sending an email with the important information directly from the SharePoint site. The original info stays on the site so everyone can read it.
Let’s go through the new templates. There are 6 of them:
- Blank news
- Status update
Each one is designed to be sent by email and to look proper to email clients (both mobile and desktop). Each one has a different layout, webparts embedded, and predefined text. You can change every single webpart/text on a template and use it however you want.
In this example, I will use the Newsletter template.
1. Open your SharePoint site, click + New, and select News post. This feature supports only News posts right now!
2. Now you can select templates made for email. Select one and click Create post
3. Edit page – it looks like any other SharePoint page. You can add new text, modify the layout, add webparts, etc. The feature changed a little top bar navigation:
- You can check the preview of the page
- You can Post and send your page in one action (there is no other option)
- Share button gives you options to send it via email or share the page
4. Important note – news for email allows only specific webpart. Only those updated for email messages are available (for example, you can’t use the Power BI webpart).
5. The Preview option renders the page in an email-ready style. It looks like mobile page 😊
6. When you click on the Post and send button, you get an additional window with email details. You must enter the recipient(s) address (1), you can add CC addresses (2), modify an email title (3), and check the content (4).
Important note – you can send emails to any internal people or groups, but you can’t send them to external users.
The email message contains all the information displayed on the page, so recipients don’t need to open a link or search for additional info somewhere else. If you want to send just a summary with a link to the page – use Send as link option (5).
When you’re ready – click the Send button
There are a few things that you should know about email messages:
The internal mechanism sends messages using your email account, so don’t be surprised if you find messages with SharePoint pages in your outbox. You are the sender and recipients can reply to you with questions.
News for email templates are designed to be displayed in email clients – mobile, desktop, or web-based. The entire news content is sent via email – all images, text webparts, and so on. All scaled to e-mail messages.
Check the email sent from New for the email template (left one) and the standard page (right one). The email template is scaled and has all the information inside, while the standard email has only a short description and a link to the full page.
3. When you need to edit the submitted and sent page you will need to send the page again – there is no automatic mechanism to keep recipients up to date. To send the page via email again – click the Share button, select Send to email options, and specify recipients and send it.
4. Using the Send to email option you can send pages in draft mode. It’s good if you want to share a draft with colleagues but you must be aware that it could have typos, errors, and other issues.
5. If you use the approval workflow for news on your site, you won’t be able to send a page via email when it’s submitted – there is only the Submit for approval button which sends it to approvers.
When the page is approved it is published automatically, but you will need to send it via email manually using the Send to email options.
6. An email message sent from a news post for email also counts for views, viewers, and page traffic. It doesn’t matter if users open it in Outlook or any other client. You will get summarized data on the SharePoint Analytics page.
You can change those templates as you wish and save them as your own site templates. The procedure is the same as for standard templates:
1. Create a new News post from a template (as I showed in the previous section). Modify the page layout and webparts
2. Click the arrow next to the Save as draft and select the Save as template option
3. That’s it. If you want to use the new template start creating a news post and select it from the Saved on this site section.
The News post for email features is a powerful addition to existing news features in SharePoint. It covers many scenarios for Frontline workers and other types of employees that require info sent by email. The feature itself is easy to use (no PowerShell configuration, no flows/specific requirements) and now is part of SharePoint sites.
An email message from such news is designed to fit email clients and works fine for desktop and mobile clients. Mobiles are the key here – not every Frontline Worker uses a large screen, but the information must be delivered and easy to read.
The feature works only for News posts, but it should be available on other pages eventually. There is also a way to use this feature using the SharePoint Online API, but I need to test it to find out all the possibilities and limitations.