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Getting Started with Group Email (Emma)

Number of views : 154
Article Number : KB0017558
Published on : 2020-10-30
Last modified : 2020-10-30 18:34:46
Knowledge Base : IT Public Self Help

University Group Email and Alternatives 


University Group Email using Emma is only one of a number of tools used on campus currently, all of which have advantages and disadvantages for particular types of usage.  Consider the email you are planning to send.  Does it correlate with one of the following profiles most closely?   






Group Email using Emma 


Other products: (for example, MailChimp)

  • other medium-weight marketing tools for ad hoc subscription-list use 
  • Departments often use free versions to send out mailings and updates. 


Both Eloqua and Group Email/Emma (GEM) are designed to be updated to reflect current properties of University members, GEM expressly so.  As with most mass notification and marketing services, GEM is designed to be announcement only. 


The following documentation is to help you learn about (and remember) the basics of GEM and attempt to reflect both the Emma product and customizations made by the GEM stewards in accordance with principles established by University Communications.  Though this documentation is offered as an attempt to provide convenient answers, please always also feel free to ask the GEM stewards at if you have any questions. 



Getting Authorized


Please note:  You will be unable to log in to Emma until you are authorized in Emma as either an Author or a Manager.  That’s why this information precedes the “Log in” information. 


The easiest way to request authorization is to fill out some information about yourself, the population you wish to contact, and a summary of your intended usage or message using the Request Group Email Sender Access request form in ServiceNow.  The GEM stewards will pass on your request to the Managers who have responsibility for the population you are interested in contacting, request permission, and if granted add you to the Emma Users if you are not already authorized and to the “Subaccount” under those Managers.  There is also a test Subaccount we can add you to if you are interested in exploring the possibilities. 


We have two forms, the Request Group Email Sender Access discussed about with guiding questions about your intended usage of GEM and a Contact Group Email Teamrequest form to be used for more open questions as well as other requests.  Please use the one that you prefer.  


Some questions to keep in mind as you request access to GEM: 

  • Identification and affiliation:  Your EID & name, department name 
  • Topic of first email message 
  • Your intended audience 
  • Duration of time you’ll want to communicate with this audience 
  • Is the content official or operational in nature? 
  • Is the content commercial or promotional in nature? 
  • Do you have the list of recipients already or does this need to be provided for you? 
  • Does the message need to be shared with folks outside of UT Austin? 
  • Can you use a recipient pool that regularly updates/refreshes or do the contacts need to be kept stable? 


Log in to Emma 


We recommend that you use Emma with Firefox, Chrome, or Safari browsers (and feel free to let us know of other browsers you are successful with).  Internet Explorer may not provide access to dynamic content or lower parts of pages due to missing scrolling. 



  1. Browse to 
  2. Log in with UT EID and EID password 
  3. You’ll be taken to (to if you are an Author).  The distinction will be explained below in “Emma Home Pages”. 



  • If you try to gain access to without going through this authentication process (as with pasting in the URL to the address bar of a browser), you’ll be taken to an authentication page that UT Austin does not use. 
  • There are several different authentication errors you can receive, some from the authentication and some from Emma, so if you have trouble signing in, please send the GEM stewards the exact message you received.  (Most of these are occasional, but some can be tied to people who try to login who do not have the correct UT role or have not been added as a User to Emma.) 
  • You can log out of Emma under the User-named drop down menu.  Unfortunately, attempting to log out lands the user on This screen is not used by UT Austin members to log in to Emma.  There will be no indication of an error and the effect is that you are still logged in.  Also, after a period of no activity, Emma will revert back to the aforementioned login screen.  If you are at an unusual login screen or you are unable to navigate in Emma, please return to to log back in; you'll note that sometimes log in will not be needed.  We are attempting to get these login issues addressed by Emma but it may take a while.
  • Sometimes a User account can be corrupted for reasons we are still trying to understand.  If you receive an error message "ERR_TOO_MANY_REDIRECTS" and you have tried 2 of 3 of: using an alternative browser and/or clearing cache and/or logging in using incognito/private mode, please contact the Group Email stewards and we will recreate your User account, which should fix the problem.
  • If you can no longer log in to Group Email using a bookmark, please check to see if the bookmark you are using is something other than .  If this is not the bookmark value, please change it.  (The Group Email stewards recently updated our authorization protocol as of early 2020 to remain consistent with the rest of the community, so this is not your fault.)


More help from Emma:   


Emma Home Pages 


First, a quick differentiation of Emma roles:   

  • Managers can write, edit, and approve messages and can also remove Authors from the Subaccount.   
  • Authors can only write and edit messages and choose recipients but messages need to be approved by a Manager.   


The page you first see when you login will depend on whether you are an Author or a Manager (and you cannot be both even in different subaccounts). 



Emma Manager landing page 


Managers:  Your landing page is the HQ menu Home page.  “Account Activity: Last 30 Days” is at the top of the content part.  There is a grey nav bar with a Subaccount search on the left and a hamburger drop down menu on the right.  This hamburger menu is known as the “HQ menu”.  In addition, there is a “User” burnt orange nav bar with UT branding.  This is otherwise blank when entering Emma but once a subaccount is chosen, details will show up, including another User drop down menu.  You will have a grey top nav bar, but only the Subaccount search will be there; the HQ menu will be unavailable to you.  The burnt orange nav bar with UT branding will display its categories once you either choose a subaccount or a mailing to view. 


Managers will have all the tabs as Authors, plus an additional Audience tab between Home and Campaigns, but only once a Subaccount is chosen:


If no Subaccount is chosen, a Manager's burnt orange nav bar will contain no tabs (as on the landing page).



Emma Author landing page 


Authors:  Your landing page is the User nav bar Home page.  Your burnt orange “User” nav bar with UT branding will be populated by categories, and you will see the User drop down menu and a Help link.  Please note that Managers have this page as well, but not vice versa. 


If you are Author for only one Subaccount, you may be missing the top gray nav bar altogether, since you will not need to switch between Subaccounts. 


In the burnt orange Users nav bar, Authors will have only the tabs in the illustration above; there is no access to an Audience tab.


More help from Emma: 


Compose a Message 


In Emma, messages are composed before sender/recipients are chosen. Messages are always based on a template.



  1. Click on Campaigns tab in burnt orange nav bar. 
    • You’ll be on Emails page, Drafts subtab;  click on “Create New Campaign” button.   
  2. If you are a manager, there will be a popup; let Regular Mail remain highlighted, add name of your new Campaign, and press Continue. 
    • You’ll be on the “Start with great design” page, which will have all your options for a template base for your new email.  You have a choice of all the templates in “My Templates”, which are all templates composed for use at UT Austin, from simple to elaborate.  Choose one and please let us know if you don’t find one that meets your needs. 
  3. Use the drag-and-drop editor to create an email.  Emma has lots of good help on using this. 
  4. All roles can now update or add the name of the Campaign.  
  5. You can SAVE the email as a draft and/or PREVIEW the mailing and/or send yourself (or yourself and a group of co-workers) a draft. 


Instructions then diverge depending on whether you are an Author or Manager. 


Gotchas and additional information 

  • The name of your Campaign does not need to be unique. 
  • Your Campaign name should be specific, especially in subaccounts shared among a number of areas.
  • For both Campaign names and templates, we recommend that  these names contain first an abbreviation for the area saving and then a rather specific description of the contents, such as "COLA - Mayday celebration 2019".  This level of detail may not be needed if subaccount is not shared among several areas.
  • The “blank templates” aren’t really blank.  They contain suggestions for content additions as well as sample/replaceable content. 
  • University Communications created templates for pan-UT Austin use and are shared to “My Templates”.  These are the templates that cannot be deleted.
  • If you make a mistake, you can use the “Revert to” button to revert to an earlier state of the message you are preparing, which are identified by date/time saved.  
  • Messages are always multipart and sent in HTML and plaintext.  You can see both versions, but only one at a time. 
  • Saving your message results in a new Draft; please save regularly to avoid losing work. Work is auto-saved but it is unclear whether you can revert to anything but a hand-saved state.
  • Use the Preview button at any time to check on the condition of your email so far. 
  • Use the Back to Editor button to return to the message editing window. (This button is found in both the Preview window and the Send/Receive details window.)
  • Emma proofs your email whenever you Save or Send or complete work in the editing window. But only certain features are checked - do not expect Emma to spellcheck your work or to check to be sure message images are not empty.
  • You can use the “Campaigns” tab whenever you need to continue work on your own message or a message that was started by a colleague. You'll generally find the latest version in the Drafts subtab.
  • Emma disallows attachments.  Instead, the procedure is to insert the document you would wish to attach in the Documents folder, then link to it in your message.  (See "Create links in your mailing" article below for details.)  Emma will not prompt you to add the document; you will need to have already uploaded it to Campaigns > Documents.  Upload via Emma's button there ("Upload Document" for first document; "Upload" thereafter).


More help from Emma: 



Choose the Audience for your message 


Steps for Managers: 

  1. Once having completed the message, click the Review & Send button at top right. 
  2. Enter information on sending form 
  3. If needing to update message text, use Back to Editor 
  4. When sending form is complete, either click the Send Now button or the Schedule for Later link 
  5. If you schedule, fill out schedule, fill out email addresses to notify, then click Schedule It! button 
  6. If you press Send Now, the message will go out right away (no need for a separate approval)   


Steps for Authors: 

  1. Once having completed the message, click the Next button at top right. 
  2. Enter information on sending form 
  3. If needing to update message text, use Back to Editor 
  4. When sending form is complete, click the “Schedule & Submit” button 
  5. Fill out schedule and click Submit 
  6. You’ll find yourself on Emails page, Scheduled subtab, and see that your email is Pending Approval.  You’ll also find another “Create New Campaign” button on this page if you need to create another mailing now. 


Gotchas and more details:   

  • Whether you are an Author or a Manager, you can only choose Segments and Groups which are available in the Subaccount that you are sending the message from. 
  • Use the "Add Groups, Segments, or Subscriptions" button at the end of the Choose Recipients box to select recipients.  You can also type in individual (or other) addresses you want the message to go to. 
  • If you add individuals or groups to a message, such specifications may be removed from the message by the following day. These additions work by temporarily adding groups and individuals to the subaccount.  However, if these email addresses do not belong in the subaccount when nightly updates take place, these email addresses are removed and message recipients will be adjusted.
  • Segments and Groups all have a number in parentheses following indicating number of contacts.  The number may not always be accurate.  To be sure this number is correct, Managers can go to Audience (tab) > Segments (page). Click on name of segment and find the Refresh link on the individual Segment page.  The number will update immediately.  Authors, if you need assistance with assuring the number of contacts, you will need to contact either a Manager or the Group Email stewards. 
  • Red color for “Pending Approval” in Emails means that the mailing will need to be rescheduled to go out, while yellow color means there is still time.   
  • Fields available on sending form include choose recipients(!) (segments, groups, individuals), exclude segment, subject line(!), switch to split test (for managers only), preheader text, sender name(!), sender email address(!), reply-to email address – (!) indicates not optional. 
  • If you send to an individual, please always use the Institutional Identifier (IID) <eid> rather than the official email.  If you include an official email address as a recipient, it may be added to a one of the segments you send to as a duplicate. 
  • Please note that Authors and Managers are not automatically sent the email if not on the contact list.  You can add one or more individuals as recipients along with the segments or groups – but please remember to use IIDs for this (<eid>   
  • You can send to an email list in another service such as utlists, but each will be counted and treated analytically as a single contact. Just as with individuals, if the utlist is not identified as a contact in the subaccount, it can be removed by the nightly sweeps.
  • If you schedule a message, please realize that the message will use the population of the segment(s)/ group(s) at the time the message is distributed, NOT at the time the message is scheduled.  
  • The subject line does not need to be identical to the name of your Campaign.
  • Some characters in Emma subject lines may not appear in all mail clients, but emojis seem to not interfere with delivery. 
  • Preheaders are teasers displayed in certain standard 3-line mail client displays such as Office 365.   
  • Emma requires that the sender and reply-to addresses be valid, but it does not provide an error message if either is not valid, so please do doublecheck them yourself. 
  • You can use do-not-reply addresses institution-internally but do not need to. 
  • You can add Google Analytics, but this is optional.  There are some Emma success tools already and you can decide whether these are sufficient. 
  • Red color for “Pending Approval” in Emails means that the mailing will need to be rescheduled to go out, while yellow color means there is still time.   
  • Note that you can change your default send name/send address while sending a message or go to your profile (see Emma article below) 



Approve a Message  


Only Managers can approve someone else’s message.  <NOTE:  Notification must be set up in Admin Menu > Profile.  If you need to receive notifications from Authors, please slide the "Send notification emails when email is submitted for approval" indicator to the right.  You will need to do this for each Subaccount in which you approve messages for others.>



  1. Login or Go to Emma HQ Home Page 
  2. Change subtab from Sent to Upcoming to find messages to approve 
  3. Click on Review button for a message 
  4. Edit message content if needed (this is allowed but better done in cooperation with Author)  
  5. Edit Sending parameters if needed, including schedule date/time (this is allowed, too) 
  6. Either Deny or Approve mailing 
  7. Whether you Deny or Approve mailing, please check the “Notify <author> by email” box unless you’ve arranged otherwise.  When you do you will be able to comment, which is especially important if the message was Denied. 
  8. You’ll be back on the Emma HQ Home Page under “Upcoming” and if you approved the message it should show as “Scheduled”. 
  9. When an approved message is sent it will be found under the “Sent” subtab of the Emma HQ Home Page. 



  • If there are any messages to approve or deny in the "Upcoming" subtab, there will be a red asterisk that you can see on the HQ home page.
  • You must edit the schedule for the mailing to go out if the current time is later than the Send at time. The time will be in red and the Approve button will be greyed out and inactive.
  • You may add a comment in your notification of the Author whether you are denying or approving the email. 
  • If an email is Denied, Authors should go to Campaigns (tab) > Emails (heading) > Drafts (subtab).  The last updated date/time will reflect when the manager denied.  At that time the email will have been placed at the top of the Drafts listing.  Click on the email name to edit and follow the instructions above to resubmit for approval.  
  • Approval/denial messages from managers to authors are now working.  Yay!
  • When you work from emailed notifications and click on “Review Mailing” to do so, it will look like you are able to approve messages that have already been approved and edit messages that have already been denied.  When doing so you will receive an error informing you that you cannot perform the action that you are trying to take, but there will be no indication that the reason is that the message is no longer in a state from which you can approve/deny.   Managers can avoid this problem to an extent by logging in to Emma and initiating any approve/deny actions from the Account Activity screen (please recall pending messages will be under the Upcoming subtab). However, we have verified that messages which have been approved or denied persevere in the Upcoming subtab and may appear to allow a second review.  But this second review will be met with an unspecific error message as well.
  • Please note that the only chance a manager has to identify the person who sent the message for approval is right after a manager has either pressed Deny or Approve but before s/he has completed the action.  The IID is presented, so you'll be able to look up the EID, but only at this time.


More from Emma 



Metrics and more:  Getting information about the message you sent 


Either home page, the one for Managers only or the one for either, will have links to recent mailings (a list on the HQ home page, and tiled illustrations on the personal home page) 


(User Home) - Mouseover tile of a mailing and click on “View Response” button. 


(HQ Home)  – Click on name of a mailing from the list. 


Either action will take you to the response overview page, where you can view  

  • who opened your message (in a trackable way) 
  • who clicked on links in your message 
  • who the message was delivered to (as an export) 
  • and much more 

Getting more basic information about Group Email   


Be sure to view the videos in Emma 101, if you haven’t already: (especially Building Your First Mailing and Preparing To Send) 


And ALL of Emma’s online help is available at . 


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