Read time: 8 minutes | Everything you need to start emailing from Gecko.

Jonny Richardson avatar
Written by Jonny Richardson
Updated over a week ago

There is no limit to the number of emails you can send from Gecko, and emailing is totally free.

This article will give you all the information you need to start sending emails from Gecko.


Before you can send emails from Gecko, you'll need to do two things: follow our email-sending requirements guide and create an email template.

Templates represent the content you'll email to students and can be created, edited, or deleted by going to Settings > Email & SMS Templates. Gecko boasts three unique editors (Basic, Drag & Drop, and HTML Import) that can be used to craft your templates expertly.

Gecko supports Liquid, a powerful email templating language that can be used across any email template type.

Basic Editor

You can start building your first basic email within Gecko by navigating to Settings > Email & SMS Templates and clicking + New Template in the top-right corner. Select the message type as email and the Basic Editor.

Be sure to give your template an internal Name and a Subject line that will grab your audience's attention. These can be edited at any time. Templates can also be ascribed to specific consent reasons (e.g., "marketing email" or "event emails", etc.) or added to categories to help create groupings for your templates.

The basic editor provides a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) interface, similar to what you see when you compose an email with your personal or work email client. It supports images, hyperlinking, HTML importing, tables, template tags, and Liquid.

When you're happy with your template, click Save changes. Clicking the Actions button will allow you to send a test email to yourself - note that no template tags will work in your test email!


  • βœ… Easy to use

  • βœ… You can import pre-made HTML into the template Source code

  • βœ… Templates can be made personable with mail merge tags


  • ❌ Email images must be hosted elsewhere

  • ❌ Tricky to create professional-looking emails without knowledge of HTML

Drag & Drop Editor

πŸ’‘ Note: the drag & drop editor is only available to clients with Gecko Promote. Interested in learning more? Contact your Sales or Account Manager here.

The drag & drop editor allows you to quickly create incredible-looking emails without needing HTML skills.

The drag & drop builder can be found by going to Settings > Email & SMS Templates > + New Template and choosing the drag & drop editor.

Templates are made up of Rows and Content. Rows let you quickly pick the structure of your email. Find your desired row and drag it to position on your template. Clicking any row lets you define properties such as background color, columns, content radius, padding, borders, etc.

A screenshot showing a row being dragged to the template body.

Content can be dragged into any row on your template. There are ten unique content types. Drag your content to your block of choice and click it to edit the unique content properties. Here are some of the most popular content types:

  • Text - Fully supports rich text editing. Handy tip: template tags can be inserted into text blocks by pressing the "@" symbol or clicking the Merge tags button visible when editing any text block. Liquid code can be added directly to your text block, or via an HTML block.

  • Image - Upload and save your images directly into your file manager. Images can be edited. The image content gives you a stock image library of over half a million pictures.

  • Button - The quintessential call to action. Pick what happens when a student clicks your button (open a webpage, make a call, send a text, send an email, etc.)

  • Video - Link to an uploaded video. Sadly, it is impossible to embed your video in your email. Still, a preview image and "play" button will be generated upon sending.

  • Social - Supports nineteen social media channel icons and the ability to upload custom icons β€” a great way to boost your social presence.

When you're happy with your template, click Save changes. Clicking Preview > Preview Mode will show how your template will appear on desktop and mobile devices. You can send yourself a test email, clone the template or even download your HTML for use elsewhere by clicking the Actions button.


  • βœ… Create beautiful, professional-looking emails without needing to know HTML

  • βœ… Upload images and files directly to Gecko for use across multiple templates

  • βœ… Supports the use of mail merge tags

  • βœ… Preview Mode lets you view your template on email and mobile screens in-app

Import HTML Editor

The Import HTML editor is a practical option for clients who have a pre-existing library of HTML email templates they'd like to begin using in Gecko quickly.

To use the Import HTML editor, click Settings > Email & SMS Templates > + New Template in the top-right corner. Select the message type as email and the editor type as Import HTML.

To import your email, paste your HTML into the template body, click Save changes, and you're done.

Unlike pasting your HTML into the basic editor (click the < > source code button) or the drag & drop editor (add an HTML content block), the Import HTML editor will not render your email in the template viewer. Rest assured that it will render when sent to students!

Like all other templates, we strongly recommend making your templates more personal by adding mail merge tags.


  • βœ… Easily re-use pre-made templates from elsewhere

  • βœ… Mail merge tags can be inserted into your template


  • ❌ Your HTML will not render inside the email template (so send a test email to make it looks how you remembered!)

  • ❌ Requires HTML skills to make significant changes to your template

Sending emails

🚨 Owing to regulatory changes in Feb 2024, mass emails sent from Gecko Engage require additional setup to succeed. Be sure to read our email-sending requirements guide.

Ready to start sending emails? Great! Before you go any further, ensure your account has at least one verified sender set up and that you've built the template you'd like to send.

Contacts can be emailed in a large number of ways through Gecko:

A screenshot showing the option to email an individual student from the Contacts page.
  • Manual (1 - 50 students at a time) - students can be messaged from the Contacts page. Click the checkbox to the left of the student's name and pick Actions on selected > Email contact(s). Contacts can also be emailed from within the contact record. Remember, only {{Contact}} mail merge tags will render when using this option!

  • Automated - Workflows can automate sending the right template at the right time. Email workflows can be set on forms, events, broadcasts, call scripts, and call campaigns. Broadcasts can also be configured to run as campaigns which will pull in and email your template when contacts meet certain conditions.

  • Bulk/Mass - Gecko supports bulk messaging to any number of students. This can be done via an email broadcast or an event (Actions > Email attendees).

Getting an error when you try to send your email? Only users who are of a user group with the Send messages permission will be able to email or text!


Here are some of the more common issues people run into when sending emails:

πŸ”Ž Issue: Why didn't I receive my email?

There could be several reasons your email hasn't come through;

  • The email address you tried to send it to was invalid.

  • The email is in your junk/spam folder - consider setting up a verified domain and/or checking your email for "spamminess" using a free online tool.

One of the best ways of checking why your email failed to send is to click into your contact record (or the record of the contact you tried to email) and navigate to the Messages tab. You'll see a breakdown of all email and text messages sent to this contact, including the status column.

πŸ”Ž Issue: Understanding Message statuses

Messages sent from Gecko can have a range of different statuses:

  • Clicked - the recipient of your email has clicked a link in your message template.

  • Delivered - Gecko has received confirmation from the recipients' email client/ telephone provider that the message has been successfully delivered.

  • Dropped - your email hasn't been sent, as we have dropped it due to the email address having a hard bounce within the last few months.

  • Duplicate - multiple identical messages have been sent to this contact from the same sender in too short a time (24 hours), and Gecko has flagged this message as a duplicate. The recipient will not receive messages with this status. If testing a workflow, this status can be avoided by toggling on Test Mode.

  • Failed - the message has failed to deliver. This may be due to an invalid telephone number, network outages, recipient account suspension, account overflow, etc.

  • Hard Bounce - your email hasn't been delivered and has been permanently rejected by the mail server. This could be due to the mailbox not existing, for example.

  • No Consent - your message has not been sent due to the contact not consenting to receive this message. This status can be avoided in several ways, including toggling to Ignore Consent Reasons when sending your message.

  • Opened - the recipient has opened your email. (note: some email clients send a false-positive status back to Gecko. As a result, a small percentage of messages with this message may not be accurate.)

  • Processing - your email/SMS is being processed by Gecko and will be sent shortly.

  • Sender not verified - your message has failed as the sender (the email address you're using to send your message) is yet to be verified.

  • Sending - your email/SMS message is being processed by AWS/ Twilio and will be sent shortly.

  • Sent - Twilio has had a request for the SMS to be sent by the nearest 'upstream carrier' accepted.

  • Soft Bounce - this is a temporary status. Your email has been rejected for many reasons, e.g., the recipient inbox may be full.

πŸ”Ž Issue: How do I set a preview line?

When a student receives an email from you, the first thing their email inbox will show are the email sender, the subject, and, usually, a small preview line or preheader of the email.

A screenshot showing HTML code being included as the email preview line.

If you've ever encountered issues with the HTML code of your email pulling into the subject line or would like to proactively prevent it, adding the code below will help:

<p style="display: none !important; visibility: hidden; opacity: 0; color: transparent; height: 0; width: 0; font-size: 0px; mso-hide: all; max-height: 0; line-height: 0;"><span>YOUR PREVIEW LINE GOES HERE</span></p>

Take the above and switch out the YOUR PREVIEW LINE GOES HERE text for whatever you want your preview line to read.

Drag & drop users must add an HTML content block to the top of their email template and enter the code before saving.

Basic or Import HTML users need only add the code immediately below the opening <body> tag:

An example of the preview line being set below the  tags.


Before you can send emails from Gecko, you'll first need to create an email channel. There is no limit to the number of email channels you can create.

Chat manages incoming emails in the same way as your actual inbox - by threading together emails with the same subject line in an email chain.

Email Channel


To create an email channel, head to Settings > Channels and click + Add New. Find the Email card and click Add New Channel. Configure the following fields:

  • Channe Title: The internal name of your email channel. This is not visible to students.

  • Sending email address: The email address you want it to look as though your email is coming from. This can be an actual email address or a fictitious one.

  • Sender name: Who do you want it to look like the email is coming from? This could be an individual's name or the name of your team.

  • Reply to option: Optional. If a student clicks 'reply' to your email, which email address should their message be sent to? By default, this will be the Sending email address.

Click Save. This will create your channel and reveal your GeckoChat email address. This can be used to set up forwarding rules for existing inboxes or entered into the Reply to option field so that any student replies come back into the Chat platform.

Congratulations! You're now able to start sending emails from Gecko.

Sending emails

To start sending emails from Chat, ensure you have at least one email channel set up.

When emailing from Chat, you'll enjoy the exact features you'd expect from your email client: email signatures, email threading, forwarding, attachments, and CC and BCC capabilities.

Contacts can be emailed in several ways:

A screenshot showing the channel selector.
  • From a conversation (1 student) - Open a conversation with the student you'd like to email. Click the channel selector and pick the email channel you'd like to use to message the student. Note: Email channels will only be visible on the channel selector if the contact has a valid email address.

    A screenshot showing the Forward Conversation option.

  • Contacts (1 student) - Navigate to Contacts and find the student you'd like to email. Click into their contact record and click Compose.

  • New Conversation (1 - 20 students) - Head to the Conversations view and click New Conversation in the top-right corner. Enter up to 20 email addresses (comma separated) that you'd like to email in bulk, compose your message and click send!

  • Forwarding - Conversations can be forwarded to any email address at a moment's notice. Open the conversation you'd like to forward, click the Forward Conversation icon and enter the email address(es) you'd like to forward the conversation to.

Any questions? Start a live chat with our support team, or feel free to explore the rest of our Academy. Spotted an error or want to suggest a future article for the Academy? Let us know here.

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