HTML email using t4

Please see if you are going to send the email using an email marketing system such as Mailchimp.

Initial setup

If you require an html email newsletter section please email and provide the location of the section so it can be set up.


html email full story page image

The 'story' template in t4 is used for news story items. Typically you'll create a new section called 'News' and fill it with news stories.

The story template includes fields for:

  • Name (required) - this is the name of the you supply for the content item. It's usually best to name it the same as the headline of the story so you can find it easily within t4.
  • Headline (required)
  • Issue date (required)
  • Summary (required)
  • Summary image (optional, but as will be explained later, a summary image is highly recommended)
  • Full-story
  • Quick links
  • Further information
html email - summary page web image

The section containing all the news stories (in this case, the folder called 'News') will automatically generate a summary news feed page that looks something like this. When viewers visit this summary page and click on one of the headlines, they jump to the full-story.

It's important to include summaries and summary images when you enter your news stories using the story template. The summaries should be brief, but still give users enough information to decide whether they want to click through and read the full-story. The summary images add some visual interest and should be 140px by 100px tall.

html email - summary page html channel image

The same news feed summary can also publish out to a format that can be used for html e-mails. It generates special code that can be embedded into Outlook and sent to the postmaster for distribution to other staff. (steps described later)

Note: because the template is meant to work in conjunction with the story template and link to full-stories as described above, it is not intended for sending short blurbs of text that don't link to anything. Also note that there is no way to 'unsubscribe' or maintain mailing lists, so this should only be used for sending news to other University of Glasgow staff.

Adding header or separation bars

html email - header bars imageIf you would like to add a date to your newsletter or separate your list of news stories into logical sections, you can use the ‘HTML e-mail headers’ content type.

This content type simply takes a ‘Name’ field and creates text in a grey bar that will only appear in the HTML e-mail version of your newsletter. (They don’t show up on the web version).

You simply create however many you need and move up or down within your list of news items using the up and down arrows within t4 and pressing ‘Save’ to save the order.

To add a footer with contact details: use the 'HTML e-mail footer' content type. THis allows for some text, such as: 'contact us' or find out more'; and a link to a t4 section (such as you standard 'Contact us' page).

The staging server

Once you Update and Approve all your news stories, the news summary pages (web version and e-mail version) will publish overnight. The website version publishes to the ‘live server’ and the html email version only publishes to what is known as the ‘staging server’. The staging server is only accessible / viewable on campus or while connected to the VPN.

As an example, if your website section is found at:

The html email version will publish out to the staging server at:

Note the ‘https://t4’ at the beginning of the address and the ‘/htmlemail/’ before the name of the news section. You would need to amend the address of your news section similarly to locate the html email version on the staging server. If you’re having trouble locating where your html email news has published or think something has gone wrong, please contact the webteam at

Sending the html newletter

Once your html email publishes out and you want to send it out, you need to visit the page on the staging server (see Staging Server section above).

At the top of the screen you will see the following:

html email image - email field

Enter your email address and click on the submit button to send yourself a copy of the html email.  Once received you can then forward it on to your newsletter recipients.


After you’ve tested sending your e-mail to yourself, if you intend to send your e-mail to all-staff, you should send to the postmaster first at