ECP: Emails and Email Templates

Emails and Email Templates

Introduction

In the ECP (Email Contact Portal), all the functions and content are focused on the email to be sent. It is not clever to start each email from scratch: instead, it is recommended to create email templates, which make writing emails much faster and make sure that the same style and design apply for each email. The templates usually have e.g. the wanted design (including colours, images and places for text), company logo and contact information already in their right places. You can have several templates for different needs, like newsletters, information notes etc. At its simplest, you only need to change texts and pictures to get an email ready.

The portal provides a traditional text editor and an HTML editor for more advanced needs when creating email templates and emails.

About Landing Pages and HTML Snippets

To support creating emails and email templates, you can also create HTML snippets, landing pages and surveys in the portal. HTML snippets mean small reusable parts of an email: one could be used to make e.g. a section with the company’s contact information. Landing pages are separate web pages whose link you can add to the email.

You can create landing pages and HTML snippets with the help of text and HTML editors, just like with emails and email templates. Therefore the advice in this guide also apply to them.

For more information about surveys, see ECP: Surveys.

Building Email Templates

Building emails and email templates are built the same way – although when a template is carefully prepared, the actual email doesn’t need as much attention. The instructions below deal with the templates, but the same functions also apply to emails.

You can start creating an email template by selecting Content → Email templates in the main menu and by clicking the New Email Template button.

Note! The email template (or emails) is not saved automatically, so remember to save every now and then. You can find the Save button at the bottom of every tab.

Info

The basic information about the email is determined on the Info tab (see the picture below). When an email is created based on the template, the information in these fields will be copied. The information can always be changed to meet the needs of the email.

  • Name – The name of the template is only shown in the portal. You will see this name when you are selecting a template for a new email, for instance.
  • Subject – Shown as the subject for the recipient.
  • Sender Name – Shown as the sender for the recipient. The email address shown as the sender will not be selected until you are creating an actual email.
  • Status – Sets the availability of the template when creating emails: the template must be active so that it can be used.

When the settings are done, the design is created on the HTML tab.

 

HTML

You can create the email template on the HTML tab. The tab shows the text editor by default, but by clicking the Source button you can also edit the HTML code (see the picture below). In most cases it is the most efficient to use both the text and the HTML editor to build the template – the HTML side handles the design while the text editor is faster for text and pictures.

 

The text editor (see the picture below) has a toolbar on the top edge, and it has the most needed tools for creating text and other content: e.g. for text formatting and adding hyperlinks, pictures or tables.

Image Bank

It is always recommended to upload the pictures you use in the template and in emails to the portal’s image bank. This way the portal’s reporting tool can show the opened emails and links as comprehensively as possible. The picture bank also ensures that the pictures work as they should: you can not delete the pictures, which would break the pictures in the emails already sent. In addition to image files, you can also upload other file formats, like PDFs (see a tip about this further below).

You can open the image bank by clicking the icon at the right corner of the toolbar (see the picture below).

There are four tabs in the image bank. The one you see first is the Image Info tab (see the picture below), which you can use to select and add a picture that has already been uploaded. You can browse the uploaded pictures by clicking the Browse Server button and select a picture by clicking on it.

The picture will appear in tab’s the preview and you can finish adding it by clicking OK.

The address shown in the URL field refers to the picture itself. If you wish to make the picture a link to some website, you can add the hyperlink on the Link tab.

You can upload new pictures on the Upload tab (see the picture below). You must first select the picture by clicking the Choose file button and then the Send it to the server button. The size limit for a single file is 5MB.

NOTE: It is highly recommended that you always upload the pictures at the size you plan to use them. Even though it is possible to adjust the dimensions of the picture in ECP, the recipient’s email client might still show the pictures in their original size.

 

Tip: You can not delete pictures from the image bank, so that it is not possible to remove pictures that are already in use. For incorrect or unnecessary uploads you can create a folder named “Trash Bin”.

Tip: In addition to image files, you also can upload other files. If you wish to add a link to a PDF file in the email, you must add the link as a hyperlink. Like all the other links, you should embed the link to a short text. You can create the link by highlighting the word/sentence you want to add the link to, and then click the Link icon  in the toolbar. If the PDF has already been uploaded to the server, you can click the Browse Server button (see the picture below) and select the right file. To first upload the file, use the Upload tab. Finally, complete adding the link with OK button.

 

Tags

Tags mean texts in a certain format, which will be replaced with information when the email is sent – this information could be e.g. a link or information from a field in the CRM. You can for example write the name of the recipient at the beginning of the email with tags:
Hi {{first_name}} {{last_name}}!  →  Hi Erica Example!
With tags, you can also create links to landing pages or surveys created in the portal.

You can find all the available tags in the Add tag picklist in the toolbar.

The most important tag that must be used in every email is the tag for an unsubscription link. You can find the tag in the Add tag picklist with the name Subscriptions (see the picture below).

The tag {{unsubscribe_url}}​​​​​​​ should be embedded to text. The easiest way to do this is to add the tag to email from the picklist, copy it, and then create the link with the Link button in the toolbar. Paste the tag in the URL field and select ja “<other>” in the Protocol field (ks. kuva alla). The text written in the field Display Text will be shown as the link’s text.

Email Templates
List Types in ECP
ECP: Surveys
ECP: Emails and Email Templates
Combined Shape