Template formatting guide

Use this guide to write email message templates. Make sure to send yourself a message before sending to recipients to ensure formatting looks good.

Titles

To add a title to your message, use the number sign (#) followed by a space. Try to make your title an answer rather than a question. For example:

# This is a title

This is plain paragraph text

This is a title

This is plain paragraph text

Sections

To separate the message into sections, use three underscores (___) to create a horizontal line. This can help recipients take in information at a glance. For example:

Section 1

___

Section 2

Section 1


Section 2

Bulleted lists

To add bullet points, use asterisks (*) followed by a space. Bullet points help recipients identify important information quickly. For example:

* point 1
* point 2
* point 3

  • point 1
  • point 2
  • point 3

Emphasis

To emphasize part of your message like a block quote, use a caret (^) followed by a space in front of the text to add a vertical grey bar beside the text. For example:To emphasize text, use a caret. There will be a grey bar beside the text you want to emphasize:

^ Text to emphasize

Text to emphasize

Links

To include a link, add the full URL (starting with https://) and it will become a clickable hyperlink. For example:

Apply now at https://www.canada.ca/

Apply now at https://www.canada.ca/

To embed a link in your message, use square brackets around descriptive text, followed by round brackets around the URL. Make sure links make sense out of context (avoid “click here”). For example:

[Sign in](https://www.canada.ca/sign-in)

Variables

To add personalised information about the message recipients, use double brackets around the variable name. Recipients are more likely to trust information that’s relevant and clearly meant for them. For example:

Hello ((given name)),

This is a confirmation message for your appointment on ((appointment date))

Hello Anna,

This is a confirmation message for your appointment on December 11, 2020.

When you send your message, you’ll be able to replace the placeholder variables with personalised content. You can do this manually for one recipient or upload a list of contacts with personal details and let GC Notify do it for you.

Conditional text

To add optional conditional text, in double brackets, use two question marks after your condition variable and before the text that appears if the condition is met. For example:

Hello,

We’re happy to announce that you can now enroll in the program.

((under18??Please get your application signed by a parent or guardian.))

Hello,

We’re happy to announce that you can now enroll in the program.

Please get your application signed by a parent or guardian.

When you send your message, you’ll need to indicate ‘yes’ for whether a recipient meets the condition, to show the conditional text. You can do this manually or upload a list of contacts with a column that indicates the condition.