The email designer within SharpSpring lets you create professional emails using drag-and-drop functionality. This article will provide an overview of the email designer.
The following user roles can use the email designer:
- Company Managers
- Marketing Managers
Email features are accessed through the toolbar.
Email Designer: Main Options
To create an email in SharpSpring, you must first start with a template. Email templates in SharpSpring are set, by default, to 720px wide. While SharpSpring does not have any specific image size requirements, consider keeping image file sizes as small as possible to facilitate quick downloads.
The Send Settings menu allows you to edit the email's general settings. The settings are as follows:
The email's subject title.
The name of the person sending the email.
The email address of the person sending the email.
The email address that any replies will be sent to. Uses the From Email address by default.
In addition, the Send Settings menu offers more technical options. These are presented in the form of checkboxes. When checked, these options do the following:
- The Can Send Multiple Times to One Person option allows the email to be sent repeatedly to the same person or list. When left unchecked, duplicate emails are suppressed.
- The Make Available as a Smart Mail in Contact Manager option turns this email into a Smart Mail.
- The Send from Lead Owner When Sending from Automation Engine option will send the email from the user designated owner of the lead.
- The Include View in Browser Link option allows the recipient to view the email in their browser.
Content and Layout
The Content and Layout button allows you to access the drag-and-drop function of the email designer.
Content blocks in the Simple tab are pre-made text or image sections that can be dragged and dropped into layout sections in the email designer. Dragging content blocks into the email designer will populate several individual sections.
Layouts are sections that are used to hold various content blocks. Layouts come prebuilt with some content blocks, but can be customized to display any variation of content.
The Attachments button allows you to add email file attachments to the email. Attached files are limited to those files uploaded to SharpSpring. There is a limit of four attachments per email.
Attachments can be a great supplement to an email. However, they should only be a supplement. Large attachments can intimidate potential leads, so send one or two small attachments. That said, you should never send an email with just an attachment and no content in the body. Those emails will most likely enter the recipient's spam folder.
SharpSpring allows you to upload several different file types as attachments. SharpSpring supports the following file types:
The safest file types to send are .GIF, .JPG, .PDF, and .PNG. While SharpSpring supports their attachment, .ZIP files should never be included as attachments in an email.
The Theme Styles button allows you to modify the various color and text style settings for the email.
The email designer takes any of the styles in the HTML for Email Standard Styles, pulls them into the database, and removes them from the HTML. Do not be alarmed when these styles are removed from the HTML in the View Code mode.
The email designer will look at the first
<style> element in the
<head> of the HTML and find the CSS for the relevant classes. If the styles are transparent, that means the color is not in the database. It is either in the email’s standard styles or in the head of the email. If that happens, the color will be set in the database. Though it no longer shows in the head, it will appear.
Use these styles to ensure that your desired global styles are brought in by the email designer. If you make a template outside the SharpSpring application and import it, you will need to put styles in the head.
The RSS Subscription button allows you to set up periodic emails. These emails will be sent out with a certain frequency, based on new publications on your site.
When sending RSS emails, you will need to determine the following:
- The RSS feed URL
- A frequency level for how often to send new content emails
- The list to send to
- The number of posts to display
Like the Content and Layout features, you can drag-and-drop the RSS layout widget into emails.
Shopping Cart Abandonment
The Shopping Cart Abandonment button allows you to send out emails containing information on shopping cart transactions that were never completed. This feature is available only after you have integrated the shopping cart on the site to be used for abandonment emails. Like the Content and Layout features, the abandonment can be dragged-and-dropped into emails.
Plain Text Settings
The Plain Text Settings button allows you to modify the displayed content of an email when it is sent as plain text. The available modifiable options are for the email's name and description.
The Preview button allows you to preview your email across different platforms. You can preview how the email looks on a desktop monitor, on a tablet, and on a smartphone.
Dynamic Content Rules
The Dynamic Content Rules button allows you to set a persona and dynamic rules to an email. Personas and dynamic content allow you to personalize emails, which result in drastically higher transaction rates.
Email Designer: Content Editor Options
The + Insert Menu
The + Insert menu allows you to insert different features, information, and objects into an email.
This menu is located at the top of the designer window.
The available + Insert menu options are as follows:
Media Center trackable links. When inserting media files, you can set the file to display a preview image or display a link for popular social media platforms.
Popular image formats are .JPG, .GIF, .PNG, and .TIF. When inserting image files, you can modify the description that appears when hovering over the image, the image's dimensions, spacing around the image, and the image's borders.
Available images from the vast Shutterstock library. When inserting Shutterstock images, be aware of pricing.
Adds a clickable link to text, images, or media.
Adds a clickable button to the email. The button can be customized by using the button editor that appears. Available customization options include the button's text, dimensions, colors, link destination, font size, and border radius.
|Formats||Offers options to format text.|
Adds a special ASCII character to the email. These characters include Greek letters, mathematical symbols, and certain shapes.
Adds a horizontal line. The line serves as a de facto line break and is best used as a visual divider between text.
Adds a page anchor to the email. Anchors link to other parts of the email. When clicked, anchors allow viewers to quickly navigate an email.
Inserts a page break at the location. Page breaks force content onto a new printable page area.
Inserts the date and time at the location. Dates are listed in month/day/year and year/day/month format.
Adds a nonbreaking space between characters. When inserted between two words, nonbreaking spaces force the words to remain together. The linked words will appear together at the start of a line.
The Paragraph Menu
The Paragraph menu provides a way to format text. The available formats transform text into a specific sized font with appropriate leading and kerning.
The Font Menu
The Font menu offers a selection of fonts to use in the email. The available fonts are the most common fonts available across the majority of browsers and computers.
The Font Size Menu
The Font Size menu provides a way to quickly change font size. The font sizes are predetermined, and they are set to best display across a variety of browsers and computers.
Legacy Emails: The Table Menu
|In legacy emails, the Table menu allows you to insert tables. Tables are an excellent way of structuring data into an easy-to-read, aesthetically pleasing format. Tables can be somewhat complex, however.||
Important: Tables are not available for use in Simple and Designer emails.
To insert a table into an email, do the following:
The table toolbar contains buttons that modify the table. These buttons perform the most common tasks associated with the menu.
The available buttons on the toolbar are as follows:
|Table Properties||A link to the list of table properties.|
|Delete Table||Deletes the entire table.|
|Insert Row Before||Inserts a row above the currently selected cell.|
|Insert Row After||Inserts a row below the currently selected cell.|
|Delete Row||Deletes the row the currently selected cell is part of.|
|Insert Column Before||Inserts a column to the left of the currently selected cell.|
|Insert Column After||Inserts a column to the right of the currently selected cell.|
|Delete Column||Deletes the column the currently selected cell is part of.|
To edit a table's properties after inserting the table into an email, do the following:
The available properties are as follows:
The overall width of the table (in pixels). Changing this number changes how wide the table is, not how wide individual cells are.
The overall height of the table (in pixels). Changing this number changes how tall the table is, not how tall individual cells are.
The amount of gutter space (in pixels) all cells in the table have.
The amount of space (in pixels) between all cell contents and cell borders.
|Border||The thickness (in pixels) of the table borders.|
|Caption||Adds space for caption text above the table.|
|Alignment||The page alignment for the table as a whole.|
|Style||The overall HTML style of the table.|
The color (in hexadecimal value) of any borders associated with the table.
The color (in hexadecimal value) behind cell contents.
The image behind cell contents. Background images must be uploaded from a computer.
Whether or not the background image will repeat. Backgrounds may repeat across either the X-axis or Y-axis. This feature is best used for smaller images, or for those images that create a pattern when repeated.
The overall size of the background image. Menu options allow the image to cover the entire table, be contained within the table, or be manually adjusted.
|Background Width||The width (in pixels) of the background image.|
|Background Height||The height (in pixels) of the background image.|
The Merge Variable Menu
The Merge Variable menu provides a way to add merge variables to an email. A merge variable can be used to merge information about the each recipient, so you can customize each email to make it look like you are sending a personal email to each person on your list. Like dynamic content, merge variables allow for personalized emails—which leads to higher transaction rates.
The Text Enhancement Toolbar
The Text Enhancement toolbar houses modifiers for text. The features are akin to those that you would find in a word processor. The available enhancements are as follows:
|Text Color||Modifies the selected text to appear as a specified color.|
|Text Background Color||
Modifies the selected text to have a specified color behind the text.
Sets the background of the content block as a specified color. This color appears behind all text, images, and media.
Modifies the formatting of the specified text. The Format menu has the most common formatting styles available, including those for bolded and italicized text.
Sets the justification of the specified content. Justification determines how content appears on a given line. Content can be set to appear on the left, right, or center of a content block. Additionally, text can be set as justified, which spreads it evenly across a given set of lines.
Sets off in a bulleted list a specified set of text or content. Bullet styles are predetermined through the list button. Bullets can be indented by pressing the TAB key on the keyboard.
Sets off in a numbered list a specified set of text or content. Number styles are predetermined through the list button. Numbers can be indented by pressing the TAB key on the keyboard.
Increases the overall indent of a specified set of text or content.
Decreases the overall indent of a specified set of text or content.
Menu lists can be accessed by clicking the Menus icon. Aside from providing menu formatting for certain designer features like the Insert and Table menus, these lists contain menus and features that cannot otherwise be accessed in the designer.
The Edit menu provides basic options to edit text. From this menu, you can do the following in an email:
- Undo or redo changes
- Modify a button
- Select all content
- Find and replace content
The View menu allows you to specify which formatting features are visible or invisible in the email designer, such as formatting characters.
The Widgets menu contains a set list of widget merge variables. These widgets are set for shopping cart variables and can be inserted wherever a cursor is located in the email.