Email

Overview

Email is one of the most common channels for marketing and communications at UCLA. Here, you’ll find pre-designed templates along with best practices and guides to help you send more effective email campaigns.

Templates

Whether you’re sending an event invite, newsletter or one-time announcement, UCLA has pre-made templates optimized for current content and design best practices. For detailed instructions on how to use each template, refer to the User Guide PDF included with each template download.

Email templates
Event standard
The event standard template works for a variety of event marketing communications: invitations, reminders, surveys and thank-you emails. It contains basic building blocks (header, title, copy) as well as additional, optional content blocks (hero image, speakers, add-to-calendars, sponsors and related info). Use or remove any sections marked “optional” to suit your needs. There are five template variations included with the download.
Event Lite
Use this simple event template to create save-the-date and invitation emails that require minimal copy, including lectures, panels, discussions and performances. There are two template variations included with the download.
Announcement
The announcement template works for general, non-event, non-periodical communications such as letters, announcements, reports, donor communications and calls for volunteers. There are three template variations included with the download.
Newsletter Standard
Designed for monthly and quarterly newsletters, this template is a stack of content blocks including top story, features stories, short copy and long copy. There are four template variations included with the download.
Newsletter Lite
The newsletter B is a simpler stack of non-hierarchical content blocks, designed to accommodate emails with one or two types of content. There are three template variations included with the download.

Download

Each download comes with multiple HTML files, image files and the companion User Guide PDF. You also have the option of downloading all email templates and user guides in one file.


Download

Salesforce Marketing Cloud Help Guide

For instructions on how to use the new UCLA brand templates with Salesforce Marketing Cloud software, download the technology help guide below. Follow this guide to create emails that employ the best coding practices and render across major email clients, web browsers and user devices.

The guide assumes basic knowledge on usage and terminology of Salesforce Marketing Cloud. For more information, please refer to the Salesforce Marketing Cloud Training Manual provided by UCLA External Affairs, Advancement Services | Application Development. If you have any questions on the help guide or want to request training, contact: EAAppsServiceDesk@support.ucla.edu

Download Help Guide (PDF 1 MB)

Email Best Practices

This guide is intended to help you create more effective and stylistically consistent email campaigns. While it covers best practices for common email attributes, it’s not an exhaustive list of UCLA style and design guidelines. For a more thorough list, refer to the Identity sections of these guidelines.

There are seven sections to this guide. You may click on any section to jump ahead.

Subject Lines

Good subject lines grab the attention of your subscribers and give them a reason to check out your content. Be direct and descriptive, and avoid misleading and overly clever subject lines.

Here are a few tips:

  • Limit subject lines to 32 characters – mobile users see only 30-35 characters.
  • Use sentence case. All caps may trigger spam filters, and title case seems less friendly.
  • Start with verbs and important keywords. Example: Dine with Bruin legend Bill Walton vs. Local Westwood sports legend meal

Preheaders

An email preheader is an additional line of preview text that displays in the inbox after the subject line. The preheader gives the recipient a better idea of what the email is about, and whether they should open it.

Here are a few tips:

  • Limit to 40-75 characters.
  • Lead with important keywords.
  • Add additional detail to support your subject line.
Example subject line:
Save up to 30% on school textbooks
Example preheader:
Offer expires Saturday

Copy

Email attention spans are short. Be concise with your copy and use email as a gateway to a landing page, where conversations and longer interactions happen.

Here are a few tips:

  • Keep language positive and friendly.
  • Use action words like save, get, watch and join.
  • Avoid negative words like don’t, never, cancelled and miss out.
  • Avoid overly enthusiastic adjectives like perfect, wonderful and amazing.
  • Use the second person voice – avoid future tense, whenever possible.
  • Proofread your message before sending.

AP Style is the preferred style for UCLA email communications. For more on copy and tone, see the UCLA Copy and Editorial section of Brand Guidelines.

Call to Action

A CTA (call-to-action) links readers to external content or asks them to do something. It is one of the most important pieces of content in an email.

Here are a few tips:

  • Always be direct and straightforward.
  • Design a visually appealing CTA button. Buttons perform better than text links.
  • A CTA button should be located near the top of the email.
  • Link to the appropriate destination page that delivers on the CTA’s promise.
  • Use actionable phrases, e.g. “Reserve your seat”

Design

UCLA templates have been designed to help you create a cohesive look and structure. Download in the email templates section.

Lists and Unsubscribes

Always practice mindful use of mass email to be respectful of your recipients’ time and attention. Emails must display an unsubscribe button or link, which can be found in each UCLA brand email template.

Here are a few tips:

  • Keep email file size under 100KB. Emails over 120KB may trigger spam filters.
  • Be cautious linking to any websites of poor reputation in your email.
  • Place the unsubscribe button or link in an easy-to-find spot near the bottom of the email.
  • Use the word “unsubscribe” instead of ambiguous phrases like opt out, or delete.
  • The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 established requirements and penalties around commercial emails, including content and opt-outs. It’s a good idea to review these rules before creating your email marketing strategy.

Accessibility

Email accessibility is the practice of designing your emails so that people with disabilities or assisted devices can view and interact with the content. UCLA brand templates are designed to help ensure that your emails are compliant.

Here are a few tips:

  • Choose large and readable fonts.
  • Keep content simple.
  • Use color contrast for better viewing – choose one text color and one background color.
  • Make clickable links and CTA prominent.
  • Avoid complicated animations and images.

Tools and Resources

For more in-depth email standards and best practices, take advantage of the resources below:

Subject Lines and Preheaders

Copy

Call to Action

Design

Lists and Unsubscribe

Accessibility

Email Signatures

Your email signature is like a digital business card — it provides contact information and visually connects you with the university.

UCLA email signatures

Standard Email Signature

The standard email signature should be used for all general correspondence, with the exceptions of the Chancellor’s executive communications and communications relating to the Centennial Campaign for UCLA. Follow the instructions below to set up yours.

In Windows Outlook 2007 and 2010:

  1. Open a new message.
  2. On the Message tab, in the Include group, click Signature, and then click Signatures.
  3. On the E-mail Signature tab, click New.
  4. Type a name for the signature, click OK.
  5. In the Edit signature box, paste (Control+V) the signature you copied below.
  6. In the Edit signature box, select the signature text, then select Helvetica 9pt or Arial 9pt* (Helvetica LT is *not* the correct font)

*If the signature looks too small or too large, please feel free to make minor size adjustments (0.5pt size adjustment may often be all you need).

In Mac Outlook 2011:

  1. Go to the Outlook menu and select Preferences.
  2. Select Signatures.
  3. Click the plus icon (+) to add a new signature.
  4. Double click the “Untitled” signature and rename it.
  5. In the Signature box, paste (Control+V) the signature you copied below.
  6. In the Edit signature box, select the signature text, then select Helvetica 12pt or Arial 12pt* (Helvetica LT is *not* the correct font)

*If the signature looks too small or too large, please feel free to make minor size adjustments.

If You Are the Original Sender, Please Use:

First Name Last Name
Title

UCLA Strategic Communications | Department Name
2249 Murphy Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Office (310) xxx-xxxx
Mobile (310) xxx-xxxx

ucla.edu
+ URL of choice like chancellor.ucla.edu or newsroom.ucla.edu or a representative UCLA site.

If You Are Replying to or Forwarding a Message, Please Use:

First Name Last Name
Title

UCLA Strategic Communications | Department Name
Office (310) xxx-xxxx

Boxed Logotype

If you want to include the UCLA logo in the signature, use the “boxed” version because it has greater visual weight than the basic logo.

BruinPost

BruinPost is UCLA’s official mass email service for internal audiences, administered by Mail, Document and Distribution Services (MDDS) and University Strategic Communications.

Approved message types include:

  • University and campus administrative and academic policy matters
  • Senior administrative and executive announcements
  • Compensation, benefits and other employment-related subjects
  • Campus accounting, purchasing and administrative systems procedures
  • Academic program announcements, nominations and appointments
  • Safety and security issues
  • Approved messages to the student body

For more information and to request service, visit the BruinPost website.