Emma Tutorial

What's Emma?

Emma is the email marketing software that Institutional Marketing has chosen to assist departments/offices with the creation and sending of email campaigns. It has a drag-and-drop interface similar to CMS 4, manages subscriber lists, and provides reports to measure the effectiveness of a campaign. While departments are free to use any email newsletter service they want, we only provide support for Emma. GVSU-branded (and mobile friendly!) email templates are available for university use and we can help with basic troubleshooting. Departments are responsible for content and recipient lists.

Want access?

Contact Kelley Rogers (rogerkel@gvsu.edu) in Institutional Marketing. One account will be created per department/office, and access will only be given to faculty and staff. Set-up time is generally 1-2 weeks. 

Getting Started

After logging in, the first screen you'll see is the account summary. Click "Campaigns" in the top navigation bar.


If you're starting a new email, click the "Create a new mailing" button in the right side of the blue bar (indicated by the green arrow).

If you want to edit an existing email, click the email's title or click the down arrow icon on the right side of the row (indicated by the pink arrow), then choose "Edit this mailing".


First, you'll want to name your email from the default "Untitled Mailing". Click the pencil icon in the upper left corner. (Located in the pink rectangle.)

To view your template options, click "Show templates" and thumbnail images will appear. Template options are dependent on your office/department. To change your template, click any of the thumbnails.

An email open for editing

Adding and Editing Content

The left column is where your content options are - images, text, buttons, social media icons, etc. Any of these can be dragged and dropped onto your email. See more information about what each option can do.

When dragging a content block in, you'll see yellow "Drop" arrows along the left side, showing where your content can be placed. The yellow arrow will turn into a blue bar when hovering over an available location. 


Content Types

Content drop indicators

Text formatting and adding links is done via the toolbar that appears after clicking on text.

Hint: The "paragraph" drop down includes options to make formatting headings and sub-headings easier! 

Text editing options

Clicking the yellow bar's gear icon will bring up any styles and settings for that content block. You can adjust things like image quantity and alignment, margin and padding around your image and/or text. 

You can also rearrange content blocks by clicking and dragging the 4-way arrow.  

Article settings/styles

To add an image, click any of the gray placeholder images. You'll have the option to upload an image from your computer, find one in your image library, use a shared image, or even add one from Facebook after linking your profile.

If you're creating your own header image, it will have to be 640 px wide to fit correctly. 

Adding images

What about a 2 column email?

If you previously used CreateSend, you may have had a 2 column email template. Emma does things a bit differently - instead of us setting up 2 separate templates, you now have the flexibility to create columns as necessary. 

Click "Columns" under the email name/template name area. You'll see options for a right column, a left column, 2 equal columns, or even 3 columns. 

Adding a second column to your email

If you choose a multi-column layout, options will appear to let you add rows (if desired) and set basic formatting for each column.

Click any of the column-specific options to set a background color or border(s). 

Column formatting options

In the Styles menu (the yellow gear icon), you may want to adjust the margin and/or padding a bit if you'll be adding any sort of background color. If you think of your column or article as a box, the margin is the space around the outside of the box and the padding would be the space just inside the box. 

Note: You will not be able to get a background color all the way to the edges. There is a white border around the content area. 

Styles options

Full Width Image

To create a full width header image on the "GVSU 2017" template, there are a few steps you'll want to take: 

First, drag an "Image" chunk onto your email and either upload a new image or select one from your photo album. (Hint: images need to be at least 640px wide to span the full width of an email.) Before saving the image, click the gear button next to the padding text box and adjust all 4 values to 0. Now you can click "SAVE".

Emma's "Add Image" screen

Second, click the gear option in the yellow hover toolbar. You'll want to make sure the "Margin" slider is all the way to the left. (The default is to include a small margin on each side.) Now the sides of your image should line up with the blue header bar and the gray footer. 

If you need assistance, feel free to email Kelley (rogerkel@gvsu.edu).

Emma toolbar

Duplicating an Email

Once an email has been built, you may find it easiest to make a copy of it for future use. You can duplicate your email before or after it's been sent.

Before Sending:

From the "Emails" screen, click the down arrow button to the right of your email, Click "Duplicate".

After Sending: 

Click the "Sent" tab under the "Emails" page title. You'll see a list of all the emails you've sent. Click the down arrow button to the right of your email, then click "Duplicate". 


A very useful feature in Emma is the ability to preview your email in desktop, mobile, and tablet views before sending. Click the "Preview" button in the toolbar and you'll be able to toggle between desktop, mobile and tablet views.

However, be aware that not all mobile mail apps correctly display the mobile-formatted email! 


Preview - Desktop

An email preview at desktop resolution

Preview - tablet resolution

An email preview at tablet resolution

While in mobile view, please scroll through your entire email and ensure that everything is visible. In other words, that nothing overhangs into the margins on the left or right sides, indicated by the arrows. 

Preview - mobile resolution


To add recipients, click the "Audience" button in the top toolbar. 

To create a new audience group, click "Groups" (indicated by a green arrow) then click the "Create a new group" button on the page that appears . 

If your audience group already exists, click "Imports" (indicated by a pink arrow), then the "Import contacts" button on the next screen. Contact lists are added by uploading an Excel spreadsheet or .csv file. 

Importing contacts

Only need to add a few recipients to a group? There's an easy way to add them - and you don't need to create and upload a file. 

From the Contacts screen, click the blue "Add Contact" button on the right side of the screen.

At the top of the next screen, right under the header is where you enter the email address. (See the area noted by the pink rectangle... it's very easy to miss!) Once you enter the email address, the "SAVE" button will be active. Before clicking "SAVE", you may want to select what group(s) the email address should be included; those can be found on the right side of the screen. 

Add a single contact


Before sending your email, it's never a bad idea to run a quick test. This can be done by clicking "Send test" and specifying the recipients. A test email can be sent to 10 addresses at once. 

Sending your email

Once you're ready to actually send the email, click "Review & Send". From there, specify your recipient list(s) and subject line, and confirm your sender information. You'll also have the option to send the email immediately or schedule it for later.

Test your campaign

Campaign Results

Want to know how successful your email was? After your email is sent, you'll begin to see reports on the Response section of your account. You'll also receive an email 24 hours later with data. 

Click the name of a mailing to display a summary screen. Basic statistics can be seen here (green block), and to see much more detailed data, click any of the tabs - "Opens", "Clicks", "Shares", etc. (in the pink block).

Campaign response summary screen

Page last modified September 6, 2017