Maybe I’ve lost my mind…
but I really like designing and developing for email. Yes, email. There’s something about the rigid structure of tables and inline CSS that makes me feel nostalgic, and I like being challenged to do something interesting within those confines.
I hadn’t coded an email in quite some time until two weeks ago when I had to relaunch my career and personal brand as a freelancer. For the past two years, I’ve been doing these
plain text music business newsletters while at SoundCloud to keep my colleagues up to date with all the apps I was developing, and I knew I really wanted to port that into my personal work life in the format of HTML.
One Editor to Rule Them All
After shopping around for the right email fulfillment product, I settled on Campaign Monitor. I’ve always been a huge fan of how they shared deep knowledge on the subject of email design and development, and they recently added a flexible template based email construction product that I was dying to try.
After designing the newsletter and coding a basic framework, you can drop in a few of these specific
tags that will turn into editable areas automatically when the template is imported into Campaign Monitor.
- singleline - allows you to modify a single line of text, good for titles
- multiline - allows you to modify a block of text, good for stories
- img editable - allows you to edit the src and alt of an image
But what if I can’t predict how many sections I’m going to have? No worries, there’s a tag for that: repeater. This tag allows you to define a block of content, in my case a section area including icon, title, and story, that can be repeated infinitely as needed. That way you can include a single representation of that section layout in your template and then generate as many as needed on the fly. Pretty fucking rad.
As if that isn’t cool enough, Campaign Monitor also supports the use of RSS in email. This allows me to setup a datarepeater that will generate content using data pulled from an RSS source like this blog, and automatically add it into the email. I’m using it to effortlessly select a blog post to feature within the newsletter every month. It’s witchcraft I tell you!
In addition to all these convenient editor tags, Campaign Monitor also supports important link tags which make adding Forward, Tweet, and Like buttons to your email as simple as:
<forwardtoafriend> <tweet> <fblike>
What I’m trying to say is, next time you’re thinking about crafting an email campaign, be sure to check out Campaign Monitor’s all new template editor.
It fucking rules and honest to god makes developing emails fun.
This is where I trick you into signing up for my email list. So, if you’re a fan of sex, drugs, and/or rock n roll, I’d suggest inputting your email here. I plan on sharing ideas, campaigns, and tools that you and your artists will definitely find interesting. You won’t be sorry.