Mass Email Publication Checklists
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.).
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" (www.umn.edu) is correct while "www.umn.edu" (www.umn.edu) is not, because the link users are taken to after clicking is not www.umn.edu.
Download the mass email checklist (476 K PDF).