This summer, the Sailthru Product team introduced a Visual Email Composer product. This means that we can now create beautiful email templates on the fly without needing the dev team to code a new template.

 

There are so many options here, that I cannot list them all. Here is enough info to get you started building and sending your own templates.

NOTE: Allegedly, there is a way to integrate dynamic feed content, but how to do it is not obvious to me. I have submitted a request for more info from our account rep.

Once you are signed into Sailthru, go to Communications > Templates > New Template.

You’ll see that the choices here have changed to now include a “visual email” option.

Name your template (not front-facing) select “visual email” and click “Create Template.”

At the top of the tool, you’ll see the following items:

– Template Name (already filled in via the last step)

– Subject Line and Preview Text (when you click this area, an overlay appears which allows you to input a Subject Line and Preview Text)

– From (field is a friendly name – you do not have to use your site’s domain)

You can fill these options in now, or wait until your final save.

Your template comes “pre-loaded” with one row. You can drag any Content type from the right pane over to a row.

You will have to add more rows before you can add more content types. Drag a row combination from the Row tab and drop once you see the blue “Structure” / “Drag It Here” bar display.

For images, Sailthru has some art available for our use. Drag a row and and then an Image Content block over to your template.

After you drop it, you’ll get a browse option. Here, you can either drag or upload an image from your desktop or choose from images in the Sailthru library.

DO NOT use the import option unless you are using image urls for LEGAL images hosted on our sites.

UPDATE: Per legal team, while the info below is true, we cannot be sure that the people in the images have given THEIR permission to use the image, so it is best to AVOID using these images – please upload and use iOne licensed images only, which have been cleared for the actual purpose in the newsletter (editorial vs. commercial).

The free images are all published under the Creative Commons Zero license. It is stated here that the person who associated a work with this deed has dedicated the work to the public domain.

“You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.”

I searched for “music” and got results like these – there were several others available, this is just a screenshot of a few: (type in your query and then click the magnifying glass to search)

 

Click on the photo you want to use which will bring you to this screen – once you click the “Insert” button, that will add the photo to your template.

 

Once an image is in your template, you can make adjustments to size, padding and add a clickthrough URL via the right-side panel. You will need to toggle off the Auto width setting before you can change the size. This is the blue toggle option next to “Auto width.” There are all kinds of settings to play with in here, effects, etc.

There are several content types to add, including Social, which lets you add your social channels with icons, Dividers, which puts a bar between sections in your newsletter, Buttons and Video. Right now, the only video options are Youtube and Vimeo. (I tried putting in an Anvato url and it wouldn’t save.) Also, the video doesn’t play within the newsletter, it clicks out to Youtube and Vimeo.

VERY IMPORTANT!

Every item that goes out should have our legal footer included, so please make sure that at the bottom of your email you use the HTML content type via a full row and include the following code:

 

Please send a request to Goldsupport for a copy of the code. It will be the same code for everyone, as the custom site options are pulled in via Zephyr. The blue above also should not display as it is outside of the borders of the actual email. You will need to reuse this code for all visual templates you create.

Once you are satisfied with your template, you can Preview (mobile or desktop) Test Send or Save As via this interface by rolling over the Save button in the top righthand portion of the tool. It is strongly recommended that you Test Send before actually sending as the Preview tool may miss a few issues.

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