Many institutions wish to include their institutional branding when sending email communications to a population. Rather than recreating your branding from scratch every time a new email is created, you may elect to create an email template containing a header, footer, or other formatting elements. This is also a good time to ensure that marketing emails comply with the CAN-SPAM Act.
Create a Template
After saving, the following screen will display a modified version of the Deliver without the send or recipient list options.
Start by making one basic institutional template. Once you are familiar with creating templates, start strategizing the development of additional email templates (e.g., marketing templates versus transactional templates).
The template can be built by first clicking the Edit Message button. From the editing window, institutional branding may be added. Resources for designing the template can be accessed within the toolbar:
- Images - add images by clicking Image in the WYSIWYG editor
- Tables - add a table to your message by clicking Table
- HTML - Edit or create the HTML for your email template by clicking Source
- Merge Fields - There are no merge fields available for use in a template because no recipients are associated with this mailing. Do not manually add merge fields to an email template. Merge fields should be added to the individual emails to ensure that the export fields match.
- Recipients / Send Button - These settings are unavailable within a template. This is expected, as templates do not use a recipients list. Therefore, a message can never be sent from this screen. Action item options are not available in this interface.
Other than the Sender, it is recommended that no additional information be added to the other settings. Remember, this is an email template, so the details provided here will automatically populate whenever this format is selected.
Saved email templates will be available from the template menu. Access the template menu in the Edit Message toolbar when building form communications, event communications, or Deliver campaigns. The template menu will display all items saved in the Templates folder.
All details from that template will then automatically populate in the message window. Once complete, proceed with adding merge fields and other message details.
If an email already has content and an email template is added at a later date, a previous message can be preserved by un-checking "Replace actual contents."