Email 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.

To tailor messages to each recipient, see the personalisation guide.

Titles

To add a title to your message, use the number sign (#) followed by a space. To add a subtitle, use two number signs (##) followed by a space. For example:

# This is a title

## This is a subtitle

This is plain paragraph text

This is a title

This is a subtitle

This is plain paragraph text

Bold and italic

To add bold, use two asterisks (**) on each side of your text. To add italic, use underscores (_) on each side of your text. For example:

This is a paragraph with **bold** and _italic_.

This is a paragraph with bold and italic.

Sections

To separate the message into sections, use three underscores (___) to create a horizontal line. 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:

^ 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)

To include a personalised link in your message, use double round brackets around the personalised link, as you would for a variable. To embed a personalised link, use square brackets around the descriptive text, followed by triple round brackets around the variable link.

Apply now at ((link))

[Your personalised link](((link)))

Language attribute tags

Language tags help make bilingual emails more accessible by indicating how content should be read by a screenreader. Use [[en]] on the line before English text and [[/en]] on the line following English text. Use [[fr]] on the line before French text and [[/fr]] after on the line following French text.

[[en]]
# English title

English text
[[/en]]

[[fr]]
# Titre français

Texte en français
[[/fr]]

English title

English text

Titre français

Texte en français