Design template using Visual Editor

With the Visual Editor, you can drag-drop HTML components as visual components into the design panel and design the template according to your requirements. The Visual editor provides a lot of advanced features to create a compelling template that you can use in your campaigns and send engaging messages to your customers.

When you create a template using the Visual Editor, you can select from a gallery of pre-created templates that Blueshift provides and then customize those templates to suit your needs.

Note: It is recommended that you keep the overall email file size under 102Kb and compress images before you add them to the email template.

Important

We recommend that you explicitly define any CSS classes that you use to design the content of an HTML block or a Shared Asset that you use in the Visual Editor to ensure that the styles are rendered correctly in the emails.

Designing your template using the Visual Editor includes the following tasks:

The Visual Editor

The left panel in the Visual Editor has 3 tabs: Content, Rows, and Settings. This panel provides the components that you can drag-drop into the design panel to create the template.

The design panel is where you design your template, add text and images, add personalization, and so on.

You can also use the toggle layouts option to view the template for desktops and mobile devices.

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The left panel in the template has 3 tabs that you can use to design the structure of the template.

Rows

Using the different types of rows, you can define the layout of your template.

A single row defines the horizontal layout of that particular area of the template. You can add multiple rows to define the entire layout of the template.

A row can include up to four columns, and it can either be empty or you can add content.

Content

Drag and drop the various content components into the rows that you have added to the template.

When you drag a content component into the required section of the template, it will auto-adjust to the column width.

Whenever you select a content component, the properties for that element are displayed in the Content tab.

Settings

Specify the global style settings for the template.

For example, you can specify the general width of the template, global font, background color, content alignment, and so on.

Plain text editor

Since spam filters watch for both HTML and plain text versions of a message, utilizing plain text alternatives is a great way to lower spam score. To provide customized content for the plain text version of the message, you can use the Plain Text tab section of the Visual editor. 

The Blueshift platform automatically generates a plain-text version for every email template that you create on our platform. The default plain text content generated by Blueshift is also displayed in the Plain Text tab. You can edit this content or add your own content. To override the system generated content with this custom content, select the Use the content below to replace the system generated plain text content option.

The preview section shows how the plain text version looks in an email. To see how the plain text message looks, send a test email to a plain text only client.

visualeditor_plaintext.png

Specify the email subject and preheader 

All templates have the following fields.

  • Subject: This is the subject of the email. You can override this when you select the template in a campaign trigger by providing an alternate subject.
  • Preheader: This is the content that shows up in email previews.

You can use shared assets in your templates and include personalization using Liquid template language. To include personalization in the subject and preheader, use {{}} to insert liquid merge tags.

Design the template structure

Design the structure or skeleton of your email by dragging rows into the design panel. Each row represents a horizontal area of your email template. Stack up rows to design the entire structure. Using a row with more than one column allows you to put different content elements side by side. You can add all the structural elements you need at any time, regardless of the template you selected when you started. 

For example, in the following image you can see 3 rows added to the template. The middle row has 3 columns.

visualeditor_drag_rows.png

You can set various properties for the rows and the content areas within the rows.

Row background color Set the background color for the row.
Row background image Add a background image for the row.
Content area background color Set the background color for the content in the row.
Vertical alignment Control the vertical alignment of items within the row. Set the alignment as top aligned, center aligned, or bottom aligned.
Content area rounded corners Add rounded corners for the content area.
Content area borders Add a border for the content area.

Mobile optimization options

  • Do not stack on mobile
  • Reverse stack order on mobile
  • Hide on
Use the row properties to view and control how the template renders on a mobile device. 
For more information, see Responsive design for mobile devices .
Display Condition Define a custom condition for a row so that the row is displayed only to users who meet the specified criteria. In this way, you can use a single template to target multiple audiences.
Customize Columns Add or delete the columns in a row. You can also adjust the size of the existing columns in a row by dragging the divider. 

Column settings

  • Background color
  • Padding
  • Border
Change the background color, add padding, or add a border for a column in the row.

visualstudio_row_july2022.png

Add components

The Content tab has various components that you can drag and drop into the rows and columns that you have added to your template. After you add a component, when you select the component in the design panel, the properties for that component are displayed in the Content tab. Some components also have an editor toolbar that you can use to edit the component.

The following components are available for you to use in your templates.

Title

Use the title component to add a heading in your template.

You can have H1, H2, and H3 heading levels in the template.

Paragraph

Add the paragraph component to add a rich text to your template.

The paragraph block gives you more control over the text format. You can change the font family, font size, font weight, text alignment, text direction, paragraph spacing, and so on from the content properties settings in the Content tab.

Additional settings are available in the text editor toolbar.

You can also use Liquid merge tags in the text.

List

Add the list component to include ordered and unordered lists in your template.

The list block is similar to a paragraph block and additionally supports numbered and bulleted lists.

Image

Add the image component to add images to your template.

You can upload images from your computer, import images from a public location on the web (such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and more) or search for free images online.

Use the content properties in the Content tab to edit the image, add a URL, apply effects, and so on.

Button

Add the button component if you want your customers to complete an action. A button in your template adds a call to action (CTA) to it.

You can modify the button label, padding, border, radius, color, and so on.

For example, a button click can launch a web-page or an in-app page.

Divider

Add a divider component if you want a horizontal line break between the components of your template.

The divider can be a solid, slashed, or dotted line, or a transparent spacer.

Spacer

Add a spacer component if you want to add some vertical space between two components in your template.

Social

Add the social component to add social media icons that link to your social media profiles.

Blueshift provides Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn icons by default.

You can add and remove social media icons based on your preference. You can add social media icons of your choice as well. You can provide links to your social media pages in the content tab as you work on the template.

HTML Add the HTML component to add custom HTML in your template. If you are comfortable with writing HTML, drop the HTML component in the template, select it in the design panel, and add your HTML code in the content tab.
Video

Add the video component to add a video in the email template.

Note: You cannot upload a video to Blueshift but you can provide a URL for the video in the content tab. If you provide a YouTube or Vimeo URL, Blueshift automatically generates a video preview.

Icons

Add the icon component if you want to add icons in your template.

Unlike the image component, you can add multiple icons in a single component and choose different icons for different purposes.

For example, you can add your company logo and link it to your company's website and add a star icon that links to the reviews page of your website.

Menu

Add the menu component if you want to provide menu items in your template. You can use this component to add clickable text components in your template.

For example, you can add a menu at the top of the template that links to different pages of your site.

AI+ Items

Add the AI+ Items component to include recommendations in your template.

For more information, see Include recommendations using Visual Studio.

Note: If Recommendations are not enabled for your account, you won’t see this component. Contact your account manager to enable recommendations.

For example, here is the same template in which we previously added 3 rows, but with components added to the rows. The following example also shows the component properties for the image component.

visualstudio_image_july2022.png

Configure template settings

From the Settings tab, you can configure settings that apply to the entire email. These global settings are overridden by settings that you apply to individual components when you edit them.

Content area width

The width for the content area.

Typically is set to 600px which provides enough space to design your email and also works well with most Web & desktop email clients. This width is ignored for smaller devices.

Content area alignment Set the content as left aligned or center aligned.
Background color

This is the default background color for the message.

You can override it at the row, column, and content block level by setting the properties for these components.

Content area background color The default background color for the overall content area, which is the area for which you set the width above.
Default font

The default font family for all the content components.

You can override it at the row, column, and content block level by setting the properties in the editor toolbar.

Link color

The default link color for all the links in the message.

You can override it at the row, column, and content block level by setting the properties for the component in the Content tab.

visualeditor_content_settings.png

Conditional display of rows

The Display Condition feature lets you to define a custom condition for a row so that the row is displayed only to users who meet the specified criteria. In this way, you can use a single template to target multiple audiences.

  • Use Liquid syntax and personalization attributes to define the condition.
  • Add the Liquid expression for the condition in the Before field.
  • Add {% endif %} in the After field.

For example, you can use conditional display of rows to implement localization.

In the following example, in a clothing sales promotion template, two rows are added to the template with gender specific content and a display condition is set such that row 1 is displayed for female users (condition = {% if user.gender == "female" %}) and row 2 is displayed for male users (condition = {% if user.gender == "male" %}).

email_displaycondition.png

Include links

You can include various types of links in the messages. The click activity for users clicking on these links is available in the email template Click heat map report. You can also see these clicks in Campaign activity reports, Campaign performance reports, Insights reports and on the Creatives index screens. Personalized SMS and telephone links are also tracked.

Note: Clicks for mailto: links are not tracked.

email_addlinks.png

Blueshift supports the following links in the message content:

http: For example, http://www.blueshiftreads.com
https: For example, https://www.blueshiftreads.com
mailto:

Launches the user's default email app to send an email to a specified email address.

For example: <a href="mailto:someone@example.com">Send email</a>

tel:

Starts a phone call to a specified number.

For example: <a href=”tel:+1954123555”>Call us</a>.

You can use Liquid syntax to personalize the phone number. For example, add the contact number of a support agent - {{user.customersupport_phone}}.

email_link_tel.png

sms:

Launch the SMS app to send an SMS to a specified number.

For example: <a href="sms://+14035550185">Send an SMS</a>

    • You can use Liquid syntax to personalize the phone number. For example, add the contact number of a support agent - {{user.customersupport_phone}}.
    • You can add precompiled messages for SMS links. When customers click on such links, they do not have to type out a message. Instead, the message is pre-populated and they only have to send the message.

sms_message_0622.png

Deep links Include deep links in the messages. (for mobile customers)

Attributes for links

You can classify a link as web-only or as a deeplink by adding an attribute for the link.

  • To add an attribute to linked text, use the Text Editor toolbar to add or edit the link. Go to the Custom Attributes section to add the attribute.


    visualeditor_text_attribute.png

  • To add an attribute to a linked image or button, select the image or button and click Add New Attribute in the Content pane.


    visualeditor_link_attribute.png

Comments for collaboration

When you select a component or a row, use the Show comments button to view comments that were previously added and to add your comments to the template.

When you click Show comments, all comments are displayed. You can add new comments or resolve existing comments. This can be useful in cases where your team is working on a template and would like to discuss their designs and decisions.

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Edit history

Based on the edits that you make to the email template, the Blueshift platform provides an edit history.

You can undo or redo your changes as you update the template. You can undo or redo up to 15 latest changes. To roll back your template to a point that's older than 15 last changes, click the history timeline button. The history timeline button provides changes that are older than the last 15 ones.

For each event in the timeline you can see the following information:

An icon to identify the type of content that was changed (such as an image or text).

  • A description of the change.
  • The time of the change.
  • When you select an edit in the timeline, the content or row that is tied to the edit is highlighted.

Note: This history is only available while you are editing the template. If you close the template and reopen it, the edit history is empty.

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