UT Foundation Policies
10.1.4 Creating an Email
EFFECTIVE: 10/26/2018 · REVISED: 5/18/2022
Audience: Email Author, Communications Admin
The Encompass email marketing platform is a web-based application used only to distribute emails with a primary advancement message to audiences comprised of mostly alumni and donors. This guide will teach you how to create standardized emails using best practices in Encompass. If you have questions, contact [email protected].
Jump ahead to any section—
|Create New EmailSelect TemplateBuild from HTML||Edit ContentCreate a VersionEditor Buttons, Shortcuts & Tips||Send PreviewSet Schedule|
Log into Encompass at your site below. If you’re unsure of the email address associated with your login, email [email protected].
Hover over Email on the top menu and select Email Home.
Create New Email
- Click the Create Email Campaign button and select Campaign Type:
- General Campaign – Create a single message campaign
- Segmented Campaign – Create a grouping of emails under a single campaign with multiple audiences
- A/B Testing Campaign – Test variables of a given email to find the best result (Step-by-step instructions for A/B Testing Campaigns)
- Enter Campaign Name using the email naming convention: CampusType YYMM Descriptor Detail (appeal/source)* builder
- Click Start Campaign
- Enter the Email Details and click Save.
- Name – Same as campaign name.
- Subject – The subject line of your email. Limited to 70 characters.
- Pre-header –Think of the pre-header as an extension of your subject line. This is seen on the inbox screen of some email clients, like Gmail and Outlook.
- Description – Include a short description about the distribution list.
- Notification Email Addresses – Add up to 20 email addresses to receive notifications when emails have completed sending or failed to send within the community.
- Sender – Select a Sender Identity from the dropdown menu. The from name, from email and contact information found in the email footer correspond to the Sender Identity. If you need a new sender identity, submit a request via https://services.utfi.org/sender
- Reply Handling Address – This defaults to the sender email address; however, it can be overwritten.
- From Name – This defaults to what is set in the Sender Identity; however, it can be overwritten once a Sender has been selected. This is helpful if you have an instance of needing a different From Name with the same footer information.
- Subscription Category - Select an appropriate email category. Alumni can unsubscribe from an email category.
- Click build from Template on the Draft card.
- Choose a template from the dropdown menu. Your branded templates will be listed at the top and start with a date i.e. 2018 UTAA General Template.
- Once a template has been selected, use View Template to make sure it is the template you want.
- Click Next to use the template and move to the Edit Content step. Click Exit to leave this screen without saving your selection.
Note: Once you click Next, you will be locked into the chosen template and you won’t be able to pick a different one.
Build from HTML
Note: This option will only be available to Advanced HTML Email Author admins.
- Click HTML on the Draft card.
- Copy and paste the HTML in the HTML area.
- Enter a plain text version of the HTML below. Mailchimp offers a free HTML to Text Email Converter: https://templates.mailchimp.com/resources/html-to-text/
- Include the required sender tokens and unsubscribe token in the HTML and plain text versions.
Note: These required tokens will be carried over if you Clone HTML from an iModules template, and no further action is needed.
Required Sender Tokens
Required Unsubscribe Tokens
Option 1: ##Unsubscribe##
##Unsubscribe## will be replaced with the word “Unsubscribe” and hyperlinked with a unique URL for each recipient.
Option 2: Use ##Unsubscribe_URL## in an hyperlinked element to control the wording.
<a style=”color: #f2f2f0 !important; text-decoration: underline !important;” href=”##Unsubscribe_URL##”> Manage your email subscription preferences</a>
Note: Do not place ##Unsubscribe_URL## it in a href tag for the plain text version.
Manage your email subscription preferences (##Unsubscribe_URL#)
Your template contains default text and images that provide guidelines and best practices for building an email. To edit the template’s various content areas, follow the instructions below. Questions? Contact [email protected].
Note: The recommended dimensions are at least 600 px wide for our responsive templates.
- Double-click the placeholder image to open the Image Manager.
- Find/upload the desired image to the appropriate folder and click Insert. The new image will now show on the template.
- With the new image selected (indicated by a dotted line), use the Image Settings menu on the right to update the alt text and URL. You must complete this step for every image on the template.
Edit Text (Headlines, Body Text, Event Details, Spotlights, etc.)
- Double-click the text to activate the text area. A toolbar will appear indicating that you can make text edits.
- Delete the default text.
- Type or right click to paste your text.
- Use the toolbar to bold or italicize text. Do not change any default settings (alignment, font size, line height, text color, etc). You may adjust the alignment and heading if the formatting is stripped.
- To add a link, highlight the desired text and click the hyperlink icon. Insert your URL in the pop-up window. If linking to an email address, select Email from the Link Type dropdown and enter the address. Click OK.
- Double-click the button text to activate the text area. A toolbar will appear indicating that you can make text edits.
- Edit text as necessary.
- With the button selected (indicated by a dotted line and shadow), use the Style menu on the right to update the URL. You must complete this step for every button on the template.
Delete or Duplicate a Content Area
To remove or duplicate a content area from the template, follow these steps—
- Click anywhere in the content area you want to delete or duplicate.
- Looking at the template breadcrumb below the main toolbar, click through the steps until the desired area is selected, as indicated by a dotted line. Depending on the template, this could require selecting a box, multicolumn or full width element.
- Click Delete or Duplicate.
- To undo, click the undo icon.
Document Manager (Link to PDF)
- Place your cursor in the text where you would like to insert the link. Do not highlight text.
- Click Document Manager on the editor toolbar.
- Upload the file you wish to link. The filename will display as the Link Text.
- To customize the Link Text, overwrite the filename with the text you’d like linked in the email. Click Insert.
- To rename the link once it has been inserted, double-click the link and update the Display Text field.
Note: This option will only be available to Advanced HTML Email Author admins.
- When working with the message body, click the Clone HTML button.
- A window will appear to assign a name to the HTML email.
- Click Create HTML.
- You will be moved to the HTML workflow window with HTML populated from the template.
- Copy and paste the HTML into Dreamweaver to update URLs, as needed.
- Copy and paste the finished HTML into the HTML area of the workflow.
- Before saving, you will be required to enter a plain text version of the HTML. Mailchimp offers a free HTML to Text Email Converter: https://templates.mailchimp.com/resources/html-to-text/
- Click Save.
- Two drafts will now appear in the Drafts queue. HTML draft is indicated by parentheses. Delete the non-HTML draft when it’s no longer needed.
Note: Using this option will create a new copy of the message, including email details. A change made in one message will not be reflected in the other message. They are unique messages once the clone takes place. You can edit the template and clone HTML multiple times.
A new option is now available when editing email content called Token Manager. When a text area is activated, the Token Manager is located in the editor toolbar. There will be several iterations of this new feature. Round one will give you access to Token Manager in the Email and Template Editors with the following Email System Tokens.
Look for future enhancements such as availability in the HTML editor, additional tokens and more.
Create a Version
If you created a segmented campaign, you can create versions of an email once you have selected a template and saved the draft.
- On the draft card, click Versions
- Click the box next to the first email you created and click Create Version
- Enter a Name and select how you want to build the version.
- Copy content from an existing version – clone an existing email in the campaign. Select email from dropdown.
- Create from existing template – start from scratch with a template. Select email from dropdown.
- Create an HTML version from scratch
- Click Add Version
- The auto-save feature saves a version of the work in the editor every 2 minutes.
- Click Save to save your work. Click More Options > Save & View to see a preview of your email. Click More Options > Preview to move to the Preview step. Click Exit to leave this screen (you will lose changes from your last save).
- When working in a segmented campaign, click Manage Versions to toggle between different emails.
- Use the undo button to undo the last text edit, including adding a hyperlink. It doesn’t undo an update to an image or button link.
- Use the redo button to redo the last action.
- Common keyboard shortcuts like Ctrl + A and Ctrl + Z work in the text editor.
- Do not copy/paste with keyboard shortcuts directly from Word into a text element. If you do, the formatting won’t be stripped off. To strip the formatting, copy the content and then right click inside of the text element and choose “Paste”. You will then have the option to paste (CTRL + V) the content in a pop-up window.
- A dotted line indicates the area you have selected with one click. At this point, you have not fully clicked into the text editor. It’s not until you double-click and see the editor toolbar that you are able to make edits.
- If you use Firefox to access iModules, we recommend following the instructions here (https://www.askvg.com/how-to-disable-or-customize-backspace-key-in-mozilla-firefox/) to disable the feature that enables the keyboard backspace/delete button to go back to the previous page you visited in your browser.
- Likewise, if you’re prone to accidental swiping on your mouse, you might want to disable the Magic Mouse gesture that allows you to swipe between browser pages with one or two fingers. This is a known problem in Chrome but may apply to other browsers.
You must send at least one preview before scheduling your email. Always send one to yourself and to anyone who needs to approve the email. If you do not have rights to release an email, send a preview to [email protected] for review and release. For newsletters, please submit a release request via https://services.utfi.org/newsletter/
Email Preview Enhancement (1/20/21)
Admins are now able to view and/or send an email preview from the Drafts, Queued, and History tabs as well as from email reporting with our new preview modal. Send Preview in Email Editor will also take on this new look (More Options > Preview).
The Email Preview screen displays the From/Sender Name, Subject, Preheader and preview. Note: This Preview is approximate. Please use Send Preview to view the actual email in the email client(s) of your choice.
Send Preview Screen
- For the reply to, provide your email address so you receive questions or comments.
- To add recipients, enter an email address and press the Enter key or press the Add button. Limited to 20 recipients.
- Populate sender tokens from selected sender identity if not already populated.
- Add comments to recipients. Be specific, note which email/version it is, request feedback/revisions/approval, and include your name so recipients know who is sending the preview.
- Click the Send Preview button to send the preview email. Exit will take you back to Email Home.
Note: Tokens will populate with information on file for the person sending the preview i.e. Your Contact Information
Click Schedule from the Draft card and choose from two options—
- Click the Send Immediately Upon Release radio button.
- Click Save.
The Draft card will show Send Immediately. If you want to adjust the schedule, click on the Send Immediately wording.
Send on Specific Future Date(s)
- Click the Send on Specific Future Date(s) radio button.
- Click Next.
- Set the date, time and time zone.
- If you would like to add another send date, click Add Another Send Date.
- Once all of your dates are set, click Save.
Note: The Draft card shows the first date selected and will indicate if there are additional dates. Hovering over the additional date indicator, a box will appear listing all dates on which the email will be sent. Times will convert on the Draft card to show in the time zone set to your computer.
Schedule – Segmented Campaign
There is a Schedule tile on Segmented Campaign Home. Click Select Schedule to set the Global Schedule. The standard scheduling options will be provided. The schedule can be changed on a per version basis by clicking on the date/time link for a version.