You will definitely need to get your server up and running with PHP before you will be able to use Universal Email. You will also need to ensure that you have a SMTP server running to send the emails out.
We have some resources to help you get your testing server setup and defined, here are some links:
Setting up the testing server
Defining a dynamic site in DW
Once you have these things in order and have your SMTP running you will be able to make use of Universal Email to send email messages.