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Division of Student Affairs

HTML Content & Guidelines for Advised RSOs

An HTML email is an email that is formatted like a web page, using colors, graphics, and links. Imagine any newsletter or advertisement you find in your inbox. HTML email design and sending are managed by University Communications. Your Student Affairs Marketing staff contact (kevin.townsend@wsu.edu) can help you design your HTML concept and content as well as assist with determining the best time to send. 

STEP 1: Planning 

Create an effective HTML email by answering the questions below.

  • What is the goal or call to action?
  • Who is the audience?
  • What is my budget?

Price list

  • Mailman lists – 1 send to 1 list or multiple lists: $99
  • Custom list – 1 send to 1 list: $99
  • Mailman and custom lists – 1 send to each: $99 each
  • Resend (no change to email content): $33 each
  • Resend going to both Mailman and custom lists: $33 each

Time frame

Plan for 10 business days for design, proofing, and testing. There are a limited number of sends per day, so if requests come in with short deadlines, it is possible we cannot send on your requested dates. Ask yourself the following questions before ordering:

  • When does this email send and does it resend on a later date?
  • Do I need a custom design or can I use a template?
  • Does the email need to match an existing campaign or a specific brand?

STEP 2: Preparing content and images

Save time and money by providing complete content that is ready for design.

  • Choose a template or request a custom HTML email created by our designers*.
  • Submit text in a Word document with links included.
  • Provide images and logos as separate files (tif, jpg, gif etc.). Please note in the Word document where you want them in relation to the text.

Design Cost

HTML design costs are covered by Student Affairs Marketing. Marketing does not proof your content closely or provide recommendations unless you ask us to. We are happy to do it but often will submit it to design as quickly as possible.

STEP 3: Submit a request

Contact Kevin Townsend at kevin.townsend@wsu.edu with the following information:

  • Budget # - Budget number
  • From—Whoever will be listed in the from line of the HTML email (name).
  • Reply email—If a recipient replies, which email address do you want those replies to go to?
  • Subject—The content you would like in the subject line of the HTML email (50 characters/spaces maximum).
  • Value statement—Typically a 3 to 5 word call to action that displays at the very top of the email.
  • Send date—Which day you wish your HTML email to go out.
  • Send list—Who do want to receive this email? Choose a WSU Mailman list(s), submit a custom list as an Excel file, or do a combination of both.
  • Opt-out email address (custom lists only).—Who the list member will need to email in order to unsubscribe
  • Content: The actual text and information you want to include in the email, including hyperlinks, images, etc..
  • Images – Images should contain very little content (words). Any words or information that is embedded in the image, will have to be repeated in the text below.
  • Links – if you want to track how people are using your emails, consider using trackable links. For accessibility, use description links “Reserve your seat” not ‘click here’ or ‘use this link’. This helps screen readers. Do not repeat link text or URLs.

Reviewing HTML proofs

  • When reviewing HTML email proofs, don’t forget to review on your mobile phone to make sure images and buttons are mobile-friendly.
  • Double-check all links included in your HTML email to ensure they work correctly.
  • Some Outlook settings require the user to click a button to load the photos within an HTML email. If possible, include plain text design elements so these render as readable without depending on photos.