Email Best Practices

The University of Alberta sends communications to a wide variety of audiences and stakeholders, both internal and external, including undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, staff, alumni, and others. Many different email tools are used across the organization to communicate with our stakeholders.

These pages were created to provide guidance around email best practices from the beginning to the end of the entire email planning process.

We hope that you find these best practices helpful. If you have any questions about email best practices, please feel free to reach out to the Digital Strategy team at any time at

Submitting an Email Request

If you need help sending an email campaign, or getting access to Campaign Monitor, please submit an official request to the Digital Strategy Team. If you have access to Workfront, please follow the instructions for how to submit your request.

If you do not have access to Workfront, please use the Digital and Creative CoE Intake Form.

Getting Started

  • Set an Objective
  • Know your target audience
    • Segmentation
    • Writing effective messages
  • Is email the best way to deliver your message?
  • What does a good email look like

Email Tools

  • Gmail
  • Mailist
  • Campaign Monitor
  • Groupize
  • Slate
  • Events Page
  • Kudos App


  • Collecting Lists
    • Internal Lists
    • External Lists
  • Maintaining Lists
    • Handling Unsubscribes
    • Mailist
    • Campaign Monitor
  • Storing and Sharing Lists

Privacy Legislation Compliance

  • FOIP (Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy)
  • CASL (Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation)
  • HIA (Health Information Act)


  • Accessibility Considerations
  • Brand Guidelines
  • Personalization
  • Templates
  • Images/GIFs/Videos
  • CTAs and Buttons
  • Layout/Banners/Footer

Subject Lines and Sending Details

  • Subject Lines
  • Sender information and reply info
  • Send Time


  • A/B Testing
  • Sending Checklist


  • Measuring the success of your emails using metrics and reporting
  • Engagement metrics
    • Open Rate (OR)
    • Click Thru Rate (CTR)
  • Delivery Metrics
    • Bounce Rate
    • Unsubscribe Rate
    • Registrations
    • Traffic