What You’ll Learn

  • What templates are and how to use them
  • How to create and customize a new template
  • How to edit and manage existing templates'

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What Templates Are and How to Use Them

Templates are structured layouts that you can fully customize to create designs for your emails. They help you have a consistent look and feel across individual campaigns, as well reinforce your brand across multiple campaigns.

Templates also help you save time. For example, if you are planning a student search series, you would create a template for the campaign. Then, when you go to build the individual emails for the series, you would simply select the template you created and enter the email’s text. You would likely want to change images, the text, and links for call-to-action buttons, too, depending on the message.

Templates are completely editable — when you first create one, and when you use it for an email.

Create a Template

1. In the Campaigns menu on the left, click on Templates. If members of your team have already created templates, you’ll see a list of them. If not, you’ll be prompted to create your school’s first template.

2. Click the + in the top right, or, if this is your school’s first template, click the Create Template button. A form will open asking for a template title.

3. Give your new template a descriptive title and click Create.

4. Click Choose Template on the screen where you’ll build your template.

5. In the template picker that opens, choose a template to work with.

Basic Templates
These give you a head start by organizing content areas by columns and rows where you’ll add text, images, and other elements. You’ll also be able to adjust the background and other colors.

Keep in mind: Templates do not lock you into their original format. For example, if you pick a 1 column template, you can add another column and rows below it later.  

Saved Templates
These are templates that a team member has already created. They’re a great base to start from if you want to refresh a previous campaign.

6. Customize your template. Below are details about what and how to create your template.

Keep in mind:

  • Your changes will be automatically saved, but you also have the option to click the Save button at any time.
  • There are many options to help you create designs that match your vision. It may seem like a lot at first, but each of the elements described below are customized in a similar way. You’ll soon become familiar with how things work.
  • The best way to learn how to use templates is by creating a few, using this guide if you have questions.

Template Background

Just below the template tile, click the Background Settings button. A form will open from the right where you can adjust the background for your template.

Here’s an overview of the options for background settings:

Image
To use an image in your background, click Select File. You can choose one that’s already been uploaded to the media manager, or upload a new one.

Alignment
How the image is aligned in the message.

Repeat
If the image doesn’t fill the entire background, you can choose if and how it repeats:

  • Repeat: Repeats the image through the entire background.
  • Repeat-x: Repeats the image from left to right.
  • Repeat-y: Repeats the image top to bottom.
  • No Repeat: Leaves only the original image in the background.

Size
Options for resizing the image:

  • Auto: Leaves the image unchanged.
  • Cover: Matches the width of the image to the size of the screen.
  • Contain: Matches the height of the image to the content and repeats to cover the width.

Background Color
To select a background color that will fill any space that the image does not, uncheck the Transparent box.

Rows

Your template is broken into rows and columns. Rows contain a set number of columns, which can contain multiple elements. Elements are things like text, images, and buttons. (More on elements below.)

You can think of elements as columns in a row. For example, if you choose a 3-column row, you would have 3 element boxes side by side.

Add a Row

Click the Add Row button and select how many columns it should have. Again, think of the columns as elements. So, if you want 3 text boxes, choose a 3-column row. For 1 text box and a button, choose 2 columns, 1 for the text and one for the button.

Edit a Row

Click outside the row's elements, but still in the row. A menu will appear to the right with a few options.

DuplicateCopies the entire row, including the columns and content.

CustomizeOpens the Row settings where you can adjust the styling of the row and its elements.

  • Container - Yes, No: This allows you to have a container around the row of elements that you can adjust. If set to Yes you will see two tabs in the editor. One for the container and one for the row.
  • Padding: Sets the padding inside the row or container element.
  • Margins (Row Only): Sets the margins around the row.
  • File: Select a background image for the row itself. Alignment, repeat, and size options are the same as when adjusting a background image in the full template.

Transparent: To choose a color to fill in where the image does not, uncheck this box.

Edit ColumnsLets you changes the number and layout of elements in the row.

Delete ContentRemoves all content from the elements in the row. The row and its settings (e.g. background and padding) will remain.

Delete RowRemoves the entire row, its elements, and their content.

Elements

Elements are content: text, image, button, ruler.

Add Content Elements

  • Click the Add Element button where you want to add content.
  • Select the type of content you want to insert. Note that you can add as many elements as you want in the column of a row.

Below is an overview of each type of content:

TextThis is a text area that you can leave blank for the person entering content into the email, or double click to enter actual or placeholder text.

The text editor contains basic formatting options. You can also use tokens to personalize messages with a recipient’s first name, for example. Learn more about tokens in Create an Email or SMS.

Image

When you add an Image element, you will be able to select an image that has already been uploaded to the media manager or upload a new image.

To adjust the settings of the image, e.g. make it clickable or change alignment, click on the image and then on the blue circle menu that appears. Select Customize.

The Image settings menu will appear where you can make your adjustments. You can also change an image by putting your cursor over the image and clicking Remove File. The image will be removed and you can then click Select File to choose a new one.

Button

When you add a Button, a default version will first appear. Double click it to customize it for your template.

You can change the text, add the URL where it should link to, adjust the shape and size, along with other adjustments.

Note: “Fit” refers to how the text fits in relationship to the button, and the button to the element container it’s in.

  • Regular fits the button to the length of the text.
  • Expanded fits the button to the size of the element.

Ruler

Use this to create space and separate parts of your message. After adding the ruler, double click it to customize:

  • Color
  • Width
  • Margins

Adjust and Manage Content Elements

To customize, duplicate, or delete an element:

  • Click the element.
  • Click the blue circle that appears.
  • Select the menu item you want.

Duplicate and delete icons are also available in the settings menu for each type of content.

7. To preview your template, click on the eye icon to the left of the save button. Your template will open in a new tab.

Once you have your templates set up as you want, head over to Create an Email to start using it.

Editing and Managing Templates

1. Open the Campaigns menu, and click on Templates. All of your templates will be listed. You can search for particular ones.

2. Each template includes information about when it was created and last edited. Use the icons on the right of a template row to:

  • Preview. Click the eye icon to open a preview of the template in a new tab.
  • Edit. Click the pencil icon to open the template so you can make updates.
  • Duplicate. Open the “…” menu and click Duplicate to make a copy of the template that you can then edit, if you’d like.
  • Delete. Open the “…” menu and click Delete to remove the template from the system.

Now you've built a template to your specifications, learn how to use it in a email or SMS message.

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