University of Minnesota
University Relations
Our Brand: How to Convey It

Our Brand: How to Convey It.


Mass Email Publication Checklists

Template checklist

Creating a unit template is a process heavy in design, coding, and testing to ensure that the template will render correctly in various email clients.

  • Replace the header with unit images, or use the standard header. Be sure alternative text is set for all images.
  • Save images as web-optimized and in the appropriate file format. In general, avoid PNG images.
  • Standardize the header in the plain text message part.
  • Establish boilerplate for the footer in both the HTML and text parts (unit name, address, opt-out/unsubscribe, etc.).
  • Use tables for layout. CSS may be used for styling elements but never for positioning in HTML email.
  • Don't use full-blown CSS. Use inline styles. Exception: pseudoclasses (see comments in the template source code).
  • Test the template in a variety of email clients, desktop and web (Thunderbird, Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo!, Gophermail, etc.).

Message checklist

Testing individual email messages focuses on the message and its functionality (e.g., links).

  • Copyedit and proofread the message before putting it into email.
  • Be sure the "from" name and address are appropriate.
  • Be sure the subject line is correct.
  • Check that any unsubscribe or opt-out method is working.
  • Test all links in both the HTML and text message parts.
  • Be sure all images load correctly and quickly.
  • If clickthrough or link tracking is enabled, review any linked text in the HTML message part to ensure that the message will not appear as a phishing scam. A link such as "U of M home page" ( is correct while "" ( is not, because the link users are taken to after clicking is not

Download the mass email checklist (476 K PDF).

Download mass email checklist.

download directory

All downloads available on the Our Brand site, all in one convenient location.

Go to downloads.