Editing templates

I feel really stupid writing this but I know I'll get the answers I need so I'll risk sounding stupid.

I did learn HTML a long time ago so it's not completely alien to me, however, I just cannot work out how to edit the CM templates. I thought when I downloaded them, they would open up and I could delete their text and put mine in, delete their images and put mine in, change colours etc. I thought the template would appear as an actually template - like painting by numbers style. I know I should be able to do this but I can't even work out in what programme I should be doing this in.  I'm using a mac, and I've already read on here that iweb isn't a suitable editor, so can someone tell me what other free text editors I could use. Also, if someone could do a quick idiots guide for me i.e 1) open text editor 2) copy codes you want - seriously I'm not joking! Much appreciated to all kind enough top answer.

Stig Stig, 9 years ago

Hi Natasha!
The templates use template tags to allow you to add content to the different parts of the email after you upload the template. The template system is explained here.

You can make changes to the template, but you have to keep the template tags intact to be able to use it properly.

I don't use a Mac, but Coda, TextMate and TextWrangler (free) seem to get mentioned a lot.

Also, don't worry about stupid questions :)


The Campaign Monitor Blog – HTML email smarts to go with your good looks.
emjlongcape, 8 years ago

Is there any place on the Campaign Monitor website that explains step by step, exactly how to setup and install an email template.

I would imagine like many of your users, I'm looking to get a standard email template in place and operational without any bells and whistles, but get stopped in my tracks each time I attempt because the tutorials don't show step by step how to use a template.

I've read through the entire site, including what was referenced above, but just can't figure out what to do. I feel like all the instruction, tips and advice is for people who know exactly what to do technically, but that there's nothing for someone looking for step by step instructions. I'm pretty good at figuring tis stuff out but am at a loss here.

The type of instruction that would be super helpful would read something like:
1 download the templates, you'll see 5 folders,

2 in folder X you'll see a file that does this or that.

3 Open that file in this kind of application, do this and that, save but be sure you don't do this or that

4 go to the image folder and open, adjsut image but make sure you don't do this technical thing or that technical thing

5 through the entire process, with tips on each minute step that could trip up the whole process

6 make sure you now have your custom files in X folders and in the Campaign Monitor page that reads X, upload this, download that, maybe install this over there, and you're good to go.

7 You'll know there's an error if this or that happens.

I think you get the idea. The frustrating part is that every pixel of the Camapaign Monitor website and execution is so clear and well thought out, except that part that allows someone with less than an advanced level of coding knowledge to use the tools. Maybe a video tutorial?

Jeni, 8 years ago

This would be very handy and I've noticed it is missing too.

Each main system is different and needs to be properly understood. A step-by-step guide would be very valuable!

Although I'd rather have screen shots than a video personally.


julievetter, 8 years ago

I have the same request for a video or screenshot or text How-To.

How to Customize a Template in 12 steps -- IF you know how to edit html and images. Here are the steps for the simplest customizing of a free template to add your own header and upload the template to your account so you can use it. (If you don't know how to edit html and preview your page, see: http://help.campaignmonitor.com/topic.aspx?t=115)

1. Download a template you like from the gallery. If you don't want a table of contents column choose a single column template.

2. Unzip the folder locally.

3. Inside the unzip there is a folder called  "campaign-monitor-editor". Try with this one first.

4. Make a copy of the folder and contents and rename it "mytemplate" or whatever.
Inside you will see some images (jpg and gif). One is a header.

5.Save your own header image with the same name and same dimensions over it.
Do this with any other images if you want, only the header is required in Template 6, the one I used.

6.Open the index.html page from your "mytemplate" folder in an html editor.

7. Correct the text in the header and footer to your web site, business name, address, etc. and save the file.
Note: I was told you have to have a business address listed on your email by law.
Tip: If you add a new image for a footer, for example, be sure the link is simply "footer.jpg" and not ".../myfiles/footer.jpg" or anything other than just the image name.

8. If you want, preview your page, take a screenshot and save it over the screenshot in the folder (same size).

9. You should now have a header with your logo and an index.html page with your business information in the "mytemplate" folder.  Don't change anything on the page other than the header and business information if you want it to simply work.  For example, don't change this html: <unsubscribe>Unsubscribe Instantly</unsubscribe> and don't change anything in the body.
If you can get this attempt to work then you can make another copy and play around with layout, or try making a copy of the other folder, although I don't see any explanation of how the non-WYSIWYG 'tags' version works.

10. Zip your new image(s) into a zip file (right-click and "send to" compressed folder on Windows) and name it  images.zip   (delete the old zip folder if there is already one in your "mytemplates" fodler)

11. In your account, go to the Templates tab and "add new template".  Fill out the fields.  Upload the html file from your "mytemplates" folder. Upload the zip file with your new logo. Upload the screenshot if you made one, or the original.

12. Now you should see your template screenshot or template name and be able to choose it when you create a campaign, and be able to add content to it during the creation process.

roshodgekiss roshodgekiss, 8 years ago

Hi folks, just to update this thread, we've formalised the instructions above in a recent blog post. Many thanks for all your input on this topic, it's been very valuable in ensuring that our content is relevant to all users of Campaign Monitor.

Get in touch with us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/campaignmonitor
We're also on Facebook: http://facebook.com/campaignmonitor

See why 200,000 companies worldwide love Campaign Monitor.

From Australia to Zimbabwe, and everywhere in between, companies count on Campaign Monitor for email campaigns that boost the bottom line.

Get started for free