Creating emails with the new drag and drop editor

In this article we will cover the following topics: 

Getting started

The editor is divided into two main areas: the main message editing section on the left, and the properties panel on the right. In general, you will be dragging and dropping content elements onto the stage and then editing their properties.

Properties Panel

The properties panel is divided into 3 sections: 

1. CONTENT

The Content tab allows you to choose a new content element and add it to your message. Just drag and drop a content element (a button, an image, a text block, a transparent or solid divider, social media sharing, etc.) in the message area on the left.

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2. ROWS

The Rows panel includes different types of structural elements for your message. They allow you to create different sections of the message.

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Selecting a row will switch the properties panel to the row and column settings. The editor provides great flexibility and customisation at both the row and column level.

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3. SETTINGS

From this tab you can modify general settings that apply to the entire message:

  • Content area width: this is the width of the area where content blocks are dropped. According to email marketing best practices, it should typically be set to 600px or less. Please note that this is the maximum width that will be used on larger devices. When the device’s screen is smaller, the message will adjust automatically to it.

  • Background color: it is the background color for the message. This setting is effective only for rows (and columns) where a color has not been specified. Otherwise, the background color specified for that content structure will be used.

  • Content area background color: it is the background color for the content area. This setting is effective only for rows and columns where a color has not been specified.

  • Default font: it's the default font that will be used when another font family has not been specified. This setting affects all text set to use the global font.

  • Link color: it's the link color. As above, this setting affects all text links set to use the default color.

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Content blocks

Text block

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If you click inside a text content block, the text editor toolbar will appear directly on the editing stage. It gives you access to a number of text editing tools: font family, font size, basic formatting, text alignment, numbered and non-numbered bullets, font color, links, etc.

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Note - If you set the font family to Global Font, it will inherit the font family selected under the SETTINGS tab. This allows you to change the font family for multiple elements at once just by changing that property in the SETTINGS tab.

Adding links

Links can be added by selecting the text and clicking on the Insert/edit option: 

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The 'Insert link' pop up is displayed which allows the user to give the link details:

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Adding personalised links

Personalised links can be added using More >> Links. This will open a pop-up where the user can access and select from a list of personalised attributes (User profile attributes and Event attributes)

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Image block

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How do I insert an image?

Images can be inserted using the File manager:

The file manager

The editor includes a built-in file manager. The file manager is the component that you will use to browse, search, and select the images and documents that you wish to use in your email message. With the handy file manager you can:

  • Browse, search, and sort existing files
  • Switch between list and grid view
  • Import new files
  • Create new folders
  • Preview and insert images into your message

How it looks

The file manager will open over the editor, covering the entire working area. This allows you to browse your files without worrying about your screen size or resolution. 

You will find a top section with actions and navigation helpers, with most of the space used to list your files and the information you need to work with them. By default, folders and images are shown in Grid view. If you switch to List view, it will be used next time you open the File Manager. Here is a visual example of images within a folder, in Grid view:

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And here is the same folder, in List view.

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How you access it

The file manager will load in several scenarios.

a. When you click on the Browse button in an image placeholder, which is displayed when you drag and drop an image content block into a message.

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 b. When you click the Change image button in the image properties panel:

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c. When you click on Link file when working with images and buttons:

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How to upload files

The quickest way to upload a file into the file manager is to drag it from your computer to the file manager window, dropping it anywhere on the page.

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You can also

  • Browse and upload from your computer using the Upload
  • Import from an external application using the Import button (see more below), if this feature has been enabled.
  • Search and import free stock photos using the Search free photos button, if this feature has been enabled.

Note that the maximum allowed file size that can be uploaded is 5MB 

 How to import files from other applications

The Import feature allows you to connect external applications like DropBox, Google Drive, Instagram and more, and import your files. 

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How to browse or search files

To locate your desired image or document, browse your folders and order their content by name, datesize or type by clicking on the sort labels on top of the list.

An arrow icon next to this labels means that this is the current filter, and its orientation will tell you the order, ascending or descending.

Too many files in the selected folder? Click on the lens icon to run a search. Results will be filtered on the fly. Mind that this search is performed only in the current folder, and not in your entire repository.

 How to use files

When you move your cursor over a file or folder, that row will be highlighted and the available action icons will be shown on the right side:

  • Preview for files
  • Delete for both files and folders

If an action is momentary not available, you will be notified by the tooltip text of the icon, such as when you try to delete a folder that contains files, because only empty folders can be deleted.

If you want to delete multiple files or folders, use the check-boxes to select them, the delete action will be shown on top of the list. Only elements that can be deleted will have a selectable check-box.

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How to organise folders

You can create the folder structure you prefer to organise your files. To add new folders, use the Add folder icon.

For your folder names you can use letters (upper and lower case), numbers, spaces, periods (.), hyphens (-), or underscores (_).

To navigate to the parent folder, use the top breadcrumb. Clicking the home icon will take you to your root folder.

How does the image editor work?

Editing images

The email editor includes an image editor that allows you to easily crop, rotate, resize, apply filters/frames, add stickers... and much more - to any image, without leaving the editor.

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 Accessing the image editor

When you select an image in the editor an "Apply effects & more" button is shown. Click on it to have access to a tool that allows you to edit the image in a variety of ways.

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The editor has a lot of cool features, from filters to resizing & cropping tools.

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 You can quickly and easily change the image size.

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 There are also a number of predefined filters that can help you very quickly change the look of the image.

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 Dynamic content block

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The dynamic content block can be used to add a personalised image:

1. Select the dynamic block and click on Add Option

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2. Enter the details of the personalised image in 'Personalised Content' pop-up.

The personalised attribute should be entered in the Image Source URL and the target link has to be entered in the Target URL field. 

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HTML block

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The HTML block allows you to add your own HTML code to an email message that you are designing with the editor. 

How do I add my HTML code?

To add your code just drag an HTML content element into your message. It can be positioned alone, with other HTML content items, or mixed with other types of content

The newly inserted content block will show some default placeholder text. Click on it and the right-side property panel will display the HTML code editing pane. You will find some placeholder code inside the editing area:

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Paste your own HTML code or write it directly in the editing area. The system will highlight your syntax and indent your code to make it more readable.

Note: Using your own code may affect how the message is rendered in email clients, preventing it from adjusting to the screen size (i.e. the "responsiveness" of the message). Make sure to use HTML that is email compliant and responsive.

Which HTML tags are allowed?

The HTML content will automatically correct some issues like HTML tags that are left open, and strip out code that cannot be used, such as script tags or iframe tags (this code tags are not allowed by the major part of email clients, can cause deliverability problems or security risks).

Allowed tags list

a, abbr, acronym, address, area, b, bdo, big, blockquote, button, caption, center, cite, code, colgroup, dd, del, dfn, dir, div, dl, dt, em, fieldset, font, form, h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6, i, ins, kbd, label, legend, li, map, menu, ol, optgroup, option, p, pre, q, s, samp, select, small, span, strike, strong, sub, sup, table, tbody, td, textarea, tfoot, th, thead, u, tr, tt, u, ul, var

Allowed attributes list

general attributes: style, id, class, data-*, title

a: href, name, target

img: align, alt, border height, hspace, src, vspace, width, usemap

table: align, bgcolor, border, cellpadding, cellspacing, width

tbody: align, valign

td: align, bgcolor, colspan, height, rowspan, valign, width

tr: align, bgcolor, valign

tfoot: align, valign

th: align, bicolor, colspan, height, rowspan, valign, width

thead: align, valign

li: type

map: name

area: alt, coords, href, shape, target

Video block

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The video content block allows you to share your video content easily in your emails. You only need to copy and paste the URL of your video from YouTube or Vimeo, and the editor will do the rest: it will automatically grab the cover image for the video, overlay a Play icon on top of it, and link it to the video content.

The "Content properties" section will ask you to provide a video URL from YouTube or Vimeo, the popular video hosting services that we currently support. Once you insert a valid URL, the content block in the editing panel will display the cover image for the video with a Play icon overlaid on top of it. You can edit the type, color, and size of the Play icon to change the way it looks. Note that the editor can't access password-protected videos to get the cover image.

Additional Notes about embedding video in email:

  • This feature does not embed the actual video in the email, but rather links to it in a smart way.
  • The reason why the actual video content is not embedded into the message is that, unfortunately, it doesn't work very well. Many email clients do not support it.
  • Additionally, many emails are opened on mobile devices and viewing videos on a mobile device can cause substantial data usage in addition to a poor user experience due to the quality of the data connection.

Saving a row

This option allows you to save a row and re-use it in other templates. This option can be very handy while handling repetitive content like template headers or footers

Here are the steps to be followed to save a row:

  1. Select the row that you want to save and click on the save button
  2. Enter the row name and select from one of the pre-defined categories
  3. The saved rows can be found under ROWS in the respective category

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Product set based personalisation

This option allows you to create rows with product blocks. A product block is a group of product attributes such as product image, product price etc.

Here are the steps:

1. Click on the Product Sets under ROWS to start the product set row wizard:

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2. Select the product set that you want to use and the enter the number of product blocks that you want to add in the template

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3. The next step is to define the row layout i.e. the number of product blocks each row should have

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4. Next select the product block layout from the three types of pre-defined layout options.

Note - Currently this wizard supports only the following components in a product block - 1 image, 2 text boxes and 1 button

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5. The last step is to map the product block components to the product attributes. These product attributes are fetched from the product set.

For example -

  • Product image which is an image block can be the 'image link' attribute of the product
  • Property 1 which is a text block can be the 'title' attribute of the product
  • Property 2 which is a text block can be the 'description' attribute of the product
  • CTA button which is a button can have the 'link' attribute along with the button label - 'Buy Now'

Note - You can also set a fallback option to 'Do not send email' if one of the product attributes are not found

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6. The product set rows are then created and saved under the ROWS section in the corresponding product set category. You can now drag-drop these product block rows into your message

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Note - Prerequisite for this feature is to have a Product set created. Refer this link for more information

Undo widget

When enabled, the UNDO feature allows you to rewind and fast-forward to any point in your recent edit history. When changes are detected, a compact Undo widget displays in the bottom left corner of the stage (see annotation below):

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Timeline widget

The timeline allows you to browse through the most recent changes. The widget displays:

  • An icon to identify the content element type (an image, text, etc.)
  • A description of what changed, giving the new property value (if any)
  • The exact time it happened

These details help determine what modification was applied, and allows the user to reset to earlier version of the message.

The Undo widget currently displays the last 15 edits in the timeline, but you can always rewind to the Message Opened state to undo all changes since the message was initially opened in the editor.

 

 

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