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Download or print a copy of the Finance and Operations iContact Guide.

iContact is a webmail platform used by Finance and Operations for newsletter distribution. Please do not send mass emails using Outlook or campus listservs.

Getting Started

Visit icontact.com/login and enter your username and password. Once you’re logged in, select ‘Email’ in the left-hand navigation of the iContact dashboard. Contact SCE Web Services (foweb@unc.edu) if you have trouble logging in or do not have a username and password.

iContact login screen

To create a new version of an existing newsletter, navigate to the Sent page using the top navigation and select ‘Copy and Reuse’ from the drop-down list on an existing newsletter. After copying, navigate to the Drafts page using the top navigation and click on the newly created newsletter copy to begin editing.

Copy and Reuse option

To create a newsletter from scratch, click on the ‘Create Message’ button in the left navigation menu and select your template from the list under ‘Saved Templates’.Once you have selected your template and opened the newsletter editor, please ensure that the correct ‘Sender’, ‘Subject’ and ‘Internal Message’ name are set in the upper left. Do not use special characters or emojis in the subject line.

If this is your first newsletter and you do not have an existing template, please refer to the iContact documentation or contact SCE Web Services (foweb@unc.edu) for assistance.

Create message button

Content Blocks vs. Rows

iContact provides a drag and drop interface where you can place ‘Content Blocks’ and ‘Rows’ to build your newsletter on an ‘Email Canvas’.

  • ‘Rows’ provide layout options and act as a container for content blocks. ‘Rows’ must be added to the email canvas first.
  • ‘Content blocks’ are the visual elements you can use to build your newsletter that include image, text and video options.
  • The ‘email canvas’ is the workspace where you place your ‘content blocks’ and ‘rows’.

Newsletter settings such as spacing, text size and background color are part of the newsletter template. If you need assistance with your newsletter layout or template, contact SCE Web Services (foweb@unc.edu).

Content block options

Adding or Editing Content Boxes

Text Boxes

To create a new text box, first create a new ‘row’ on the ‘email canvas’ to house the text ‘content block’. Once the ‘row’ has been created, drag and drop the text ‘content block’ into the ‘row’.Creating a text box

To edit an existing text box, select the text box you would like to edit in the ‘email canvas’. Use the text editing tools in the upper section of the ‘email canvas’ to customize your text.

Editing text

If you have copied and pasted content from Word or another program, some unwanted formatting may be included. If you would like to remove this formatting, highlight the text you’d like to edit and select ‘Remove Formatting’.

Removing formatting

Do not use header sizes to adjust the size of text in your newsletter. Header sizes are needed for screen reading accessibility tools and using them in an unintended manner makes your newsletter illegible to people with visual impairments. For assistance with newsletter accessibility, contact SCE Web Services (foweb@unc.edu).

Image Boxes

To add a new image box to your newsletter, create a new ‘row’ on the ‘email canvas’ to house the image box ‘content block’. Once the row has been created, drag and drop the image ‘content block’ into the row.

Adding an image

To add or change an image in your newsletter, select the image ‘content block’ in the ‘email canvas’ to open a menu on the right called ‘Image Properties’. Use that menu to either upload a new image or select an existing image from the library via the ‘choose’ or ‘change’ option.

Setting image properties

Once the image has been updated and is displaying correctly in the ‘email canvas’, use the Image Properties menu to add a link (optional) and alt text, a text description of an image that screen readers use for people with vision impairment. Alt text is an accessibility requirement for images.

Adding alternate text to an image

Section Dividers

Section dividers can help clarify the start and end of each section or add visual appeal to the newsletter. To add a divider, drag and drop a ‘divider content block’ after the text and image ‘content blocks’ in a ‘row’. Style your divider using the ‘divider properties’ menu on the right.

Adding dividers between sections

Preview and Test Copies

To ensure there are no hidden issues in your newsletter, you will need to perform a spam check and preview your newsletter on both desktop and mobile views.

To perform a spam check, select ‘Tools’ in the upper right and choose ‘Spam Check’ from the drop down menu. If you get an error, fix the stated issue and run the ‘Spam Check’ again. Perform this process until the ‘Spam Check’ gives you the all clear. If you need assistance with the spam check process, contact SCE Web Services (foweb@unc.edu).

Running a spam check

Once the ‘Spam Check’ has cleared. Select ‘Preview’ in the upper right to view your newsletter in both ‘Desktop’ and ‘Mobile’ views. If your newsletter looks as expected in both views, you are ready to send. If your newsletter has unexpected styling, close the preview window and use the ‘clear formatting’ tool to remove unintended text styling. If you need assistance, contact SCE Web Services (foweb@unc.edu).

Sending or Scheduling Your Newsletter

  • Once you are ready to send your newsletter, select “Prepare to send” in the upper right.
  • Select the audience for your newsletter from the provided options.
  • Select the date and time you would like to send your newsletter or select Send Immediately.

Once you have scheduled or sent your newsletter, it will be added to an automated content check queue. This process takes about 15 minutes. If your newsletter gives you an error during this process, contact SCE Web Services (foweb@unc.edu).