Our passion at Campaign Monitor has always been about making a designer’s job easier. This happens in a variety of ways, from our research and advocacy right through to the features we add to our software. While these efforts have come in handy for a lot of you, the truth is, building a great looking and rock-solid email is still incredibly hard. Limited CSS support combined with such a broad range of email clients means that designing an email campaign for a client can actually be an order of magnitude harder than building them a simple web site.
We think that sucks. So we did something about it.
Today, we’re excited to unveil a new and super-fast way to roll out simple, beautiful and most importantly, reliable email templates for you and your clients. Here’s a quick video tour to show you some of the key features.
Music by Voltaire Twins, Animalia (if you dig it, you can grab a free copy for a limited time).
Choose a layout
Whenever you add a new template to your account, you’ll now have the option to import your own custom template (like we’ve always supported), or use our new template builder. If you go for the template builder option, we’ll present you with four simple template layouts to choose from.
Pick a color scheme
After choosing a layout, you’ll be able to customize your design and see a live preview as you do it. To give you a head start, we’ve provided a range of simple color schemes so you can match the template with your (or your client’s) brand.
Customize with your own colours and images
You can easily tweak the color of any element in your email, customize the footer, add social sharing links and even upload your own header image to suit.
Save and it’s ready to use
When you’e done building, save the template and it will be available for you and your client’s to use in our new editor. You can also jump back in and make further design tweaks whenever you like.
In a few quick minutes you’ll end up with a great looking email design that will display reliably in every email client out there.
Not available for your clients
It’s important to mention that the new template builder will only be available to admin account holders, and won’t be available to any of your clients. We built this tool for designers who want a quick way to build a basic template for their clients. It’s a nice compliment to the total flexibility of building your own templates, but will never be a replacement for it.
We also see this feature as a perfect way for getting clients who don’t have big template design budgets up and running quickly. In a few minutes you can grant them client access, build them some simple templates and they’ll be ready to start sending.
Export for further tweaking
We also consider the template builder an awesome starting point for more complex email designs. We’ve worked hard and poured everything we know about email coding into these templates to make them as bulletproof as possible.
Because of this, you can create a basic design in minutes, then export the design as a fully-coded template with all our know-how built right in. Open it in your favourite editor and customize away before importing as a new and improved template.
No matter how you customize these designs, the saved template will be heavily optimized for mobile email clients without any extra work. Columns are resized, text-sizes are tweaked and image dimensions changed so the email looks great on every device. We’ve got plans to make it easier for you to see how the template will look on a mobile device in an upcoming update, but feel free to test it out and see for yourself.
Update: Our mobile preview feature was just released. You can read all the details here.
With the template builder out the door, there’s an important point we wanted to make loud and clear. We keep track of every single feature request we get at Campaign Monitor and we literally have thousands of these ideas that heavily influence the direction we take. The ability for a designer to quickly build a reliable template has been at the top of this list for a long, long time now.
We’re lucky to have tens of thousands of incredible designers as customers, and we know that a lot of you are comfortable diving into nested tables and inline CSS. At the same time, there are also many thousands of you that know the web well, but have been lucky enough to never see a
table tag in your life. That’s who we built this for, and we hope you love it.