This section explains conceptual, scenario, and procedural information for creating and modifying templates within the ExactTarget application. Creating a template is one of the first steps you take in creating an email for a send. 

What Is a Template

A template controls the banner, background color, borders, and layout of an email. You can use the same template as the basis of multiple emails. It contains your brand and the layout of information.

All templates are stored under the Content tab in the My Templates folder.

Note: All templates that you create in your Enterprise administrator account are available to your Lock & Publish channel members in their Global Templates folder. If you do not want a template to be available to members, you'll need to create your own Lock & Publish channel member account and create the template there instead.
Note:  If you're using a Lock and Publish account, you'll see a Global Templates folder. You cannot create templates in the Global Templates folder and its subfolders.  That is where the templates created by your Enterprise administrator are stored. 

Standard Template Editor

The standard template editor provides you with seven predefined layout options and includes the following required information:

The content of an email based on a standard template is built in the content boxes, which are easy for nontechnical users to use and also allow the template administrator control over how the email is laid out.

You can also create and modify headers and footers for your email. See the Content-Building Wizard topic.

After you build an email based on a template, you can change the template and apply those changes to the email. See How to View or Modify a Template.

HTML Paste

Another option is to create templates by pasting in your HTML code. If you're experienced with HTML, you can create templates by pasting in HTML code that you've built outside the application.

Only HTML code between the body tag (not including the body tag) should be pasted into HTML paste templates. ExactTarget adds the header and body tags to paste HTML landing page templates.

If you want the power of HTML code but still want to give your nontechnical users the ease of building content through a graphical user interface, working with your own HTML gives you the flexibility of including content boxes.

Save Email as Template

If you create an email and you'd like to use that email in the future as a template, you can save that email as a template for future use. You can define which regions are editable and which should remain static.

The email you save as a template must be based on a template. HTML Paste emails cannot be saved as templates unless you built an HTML Paste template and then created an email.

Why Use a Template

Use a template when you want to create a customized look and feel for your emails that you can use in multiple email sends. A template:

  • allows you to have the same look and feel in multiple related emails
  • contains your brand and the layout of the information in an email
  • allows an email to be built using content boxes, which are easy for nontechnical users to use
  • allows you to have a template administrator create the template while someone else creates the content
  • allows an email to be mobile aware

Scenario

Northern Trail Outfitters wants to create a template for the Christmas season to send out four times, each with different content. Northern Trail Outfitters would create the template in the My Templates folder under the Content tab. After clicking Create on the tool bar, they see a screen similar to this:

File:010_ExactTarget/020_Content/Templates/CreateNewTemplate.png

Northern Trail Outfitters names its template and then selects either the Use template editor, which allows them to create a template using existing layouts, or Paste HTML, which lets them create a template using HTML coding.

They choose Use template editor. After they create their template, they're faced with a blank template page:

To add images or content to their template, they click the buttons on the Tool Bar to customize the look and feel.

File:010_ExactTarget/020_Content/Templates/templateheader.png

Northern Trail Outfitters adds a banner and does nothing else to the template. The template appears like this:

File:010_ExactTarget/020_Content/Templates/Northern_Trails_Template.png

Northern Trails is now free to use this template and add customized content for each email send. If they wanted to add color, borders, or any other element, they could use the tool bar to customize their template.

The template is saved in the application, and they are free to move on to creating their email.

How to Create Templates Using the Template Editor

If you choose to create a template using the standard template editor, you can choose from several standard layouts and define your own background color and border style. These design options are applied to all emails created from this template. The user creating the email will not be able to change the banner content or layout or the overall background and border design. However, the user can choose the background and border design for each individual content box.

Follow these steps to create a template using the standard template editor:

  1. Click the Content tab.
  2. Click My Templates. If you've created a templates folder under My Templates in which you want to store this template, click that subfolder. Note: If you're using a Lock and Publish account, the Global Templates folder (and its subfolders) that you'll see under My Templates is where the application stores the templates that your Enterprise administrator created.
  3. Click Create.
  4. Complete the Create New Template page that appears.
    • Name: Enter an internal description for the template. Users see this name when choosing a template to create an email.
    • Tag: Enter words that describe the template you're creating. For example, you might tag the template with the month you create it in so you can later view all the templates for a given month. You may not have access to this field. Contact your ExactTarget representative if you have questions.
    • Location: This field shows the folder in which the template is stored. If you want to store the template in a different folder, click the Select Folder button to choose a different folder.
  5. Select Use template editor.
  6. Click Save.
  7. Edit the following fields to achieve your desired template:
    • Layout: Select the drop down arrow and choose the layout radio button you prefer. You can view a preview of the layout before you select it. Emails created from a Mobile Optimized Layouts template will automatically adjust according to the screen size of the device the email is being viewed on and the content areas move or hide for optimal viewing. Use the table below to become familiar with how areas of a Mobile Optimized Template displays in the mobile view:
      Template Mobile View of Template
      A through G Content areas on the right move directly under the content areas next to them on the on the left.
      H The Nav content areas move directly under the Logo content area.
      I The Social, Nav4, Nav 5, and Nav 6 content areas are hidden. Content 5a moves below Image and Content 6a moves below Image 2. Content 7 through 13 move below Content 6b.
      J The Social content area is hidden. Content 5 and 6 move under Image 1, Content 7 and 8 move under Image 2, and Content 9 and 10 move under Image 3.
      K The Banner, Nav 4, Nav 5, Nav 6, ContentArea3, ContentArea6, and ContentArea9 content areas are hidden
      L The Quick Links, Nav 4, Nav 5, and Nav 6 content areas are hidden. Image Area 6 and Content Area 6 move under Content Area 6. Image Area 7 and Content Area 7 move under Content Area 6. Nav 1, Nav 2 and Nav 3 do not change, all other content areas on the right move directly under the content areas next to them on the on the left.
      M The Social, Nav4, Nav 5, and Nav 6 content areas are hidden. All content areas on the right move directly under the content areas next to them on the on the left.
    • Border Width: Select the drop down arrow and choose the desired border width.
    • Border Color: Enter the hexadecimal color number in the first field or select the drop down arrow and select the desired color.
    • Background color: Enter the hexadecimal color number in the first field or select the drop down arrow and select the desired color.
  8. Click Create Banner at the top of the workspace to create a banner. The recommend width and height of a banner is 600x150 pixels. Note: All images should be no larger than 600 pixels wide for to ensure your subscribers are able to view the image without distortion. 
  9. Click Save.
    Your template is now ready for use in building new emails.

Mobile and Desktop Template Preview

  1. Hover over Content.
  2. Click Templates.
  3. Click the name of the template to preview.
  4. Click Mobile View to view how emails will look on mobile devices. When previewing emails on a smaller device, the right content box moves under content box on the left
  5. Click Desktop View to view how emails will look on desktop devices.
  6. When previewing on a smaller device the right contents boxes move under the column on the left.

How to Create Templates Using HTML Paste

For information on HTML Paste emails, see HTML-Paste Emails.

If you're creating a template using HTML Paste, you must manually insert a tracking pixel. The tracking pixel provides you the tracking information related to opens. If you do not include the tracking pixel, the application will not record opens. Step 10 of this procedure explains how to add the tracking pixel.

Follow these steps to create an HTML paste template:

  1. Click the Content tab.
  2. Click the my templates folder.
  3. Note: If you're using a Lock and Publish account, you'll see a Global Templates folder. You cannot create templates in the Global Templates folder and its subfolders because that is where the templates created by your Enterprise administrator are stored.
  4. In the my templates (or whichever templates folder you selected) toolbar, click the Create button.
  5. Complete the Create New Template page that appears.
    • Name: Enter an internal description for the template. Users see this name when choosing a template to create an email.

    • Tag: (You may not have access to this field. Contact your ExactTarget representative if you have questions.) Enter words that describe the template you're creating. For example, you might tag a template with the month you create it in so you can later view all the templates for a given month.
    • Create in Folder: This field shows the folder in which the template is stored. If you want to store the template in a different folder, click the Select Folder button to choose a different folder.
  6. Click the Paste HTML radio button.
  7. Click Save.
  8. Either paste or type your HTML code in the space provided on the next screen that appears.
  9. If you want to insert a content area into your template so that users can add content to the email, place your cursor in the HTML code at the location where you want the content area to appear (between begin and end block level tags), and click the Insert >> Content Area button at the top of the workspace.
  10. To size and format the content box you've created, add formatting tags. Your content area name is limited to 16 characters. Note: A content box can be placed any place a table can be placed. If you're using HTML tables, one content box per tag is allowed. Here's an example of the HTML code:
     <custom type="content" name="Content Area 1"> 
  11. Insert the tracking pixel by clicking Insert > Email Open Tracking. You can insert the tracking pixel anywhere in the email.
  12. Click the Save button when you're done.
  13. Preview your template to ensure that your code is correct by clicking the Preview tab at the top of the workspace.

    Your template is now available for creating emails.

You can make changes to existing templates or remove templates that you no longer need.

For more information on HTML Paste emails, see HTML Paste Emails.

Note: Editing a template doesn't automatically affect emails already created from that template. Likewise, deleting a template doesn't delete the emails created from that template. See How To View or Modify a Template.

How to Save an Email as a Template

TutorialIcon.png

 

In order to save an email as a template, you must first create an email. See How To Create an Email for step-by-step instructions.

After you've created your email and would like to save it as a template, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Content tab.
  2. Click the my emails folder.
  3. Click on the email you wish to save as a template.
  4. Click the Save as Template button on the task bar.
  5. Complete the following fields:
    Name Name the template.
    Tag Enter words that are associated with this template. For example, if your template is for a monthly newsletter, you might enter "newsletter, monthly, updates, offers". This helps you find templates with similar topics.
    Folder Select the folder in which you want to store your template.
  6. Click each content box and define it's Template Conversion as Empty Content, Static Content, or Editable Content.
    Empty Content Empty Content means the content box will always appear empty. This status is only intended for content boxes that contain no content.
    Static Content Static Content means that the content in the content box will remain static and can never be converted into dynamic content or edited later. This status is only intended for content boxes that already contain content.
    Editable Content Editable Content means that the content box will be editable when you use the template in the future. This status is intended for both empty or populated content boxes.
  7. Click Save.

The template is saved in the my templates folder under the Content tab. You can apply that template to future emails. 

How to View or Modify a Template

To view or modify a template, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Content tab.
  2. Click the my templates folder (or whichever folder holds the template you want to modify)
    The workspace in the right window pane now shows all templates in the selected folder, along with the layout used to create each template.
  3. Click the hyperlinked name of the template. That template appears for viewing or modifying.
  4. Make your changes, following the same process as you did when creating the template.
    Note: If the template you're working with was created as an email and saved as a template, you cannot edit the template.
  5. When you're done modifying your template, you can click Save or navigate to another area of the application. (Your design changes are saved as you apply them.)
    Your modified template is now ready for use in building new emails.

How to Rename, Relocate, or Delete a Template

To change a template's name, move the template to another folder, or delete the template altogether, follow these steps:

  1. In the navigation pane, click Content.
  2. Click the My Templates folder (or whichever folder holds the template you want to modify).
    The workspace in the right window pane now shows all templates in the selected folder, along with the layout used to create each template.
  3. Check the box next to the template you want to modify.
  4. In the workspace, click the Properties button.
  5. In the Template Properties dialog box that appears, take the appropriate action:
    • Rename: To rename the template, type the new name in the Name field.
    • Relocate: To move the template to another folder, click the Select button and choose the desired folder.
    • Delete: To remove the template, click the Delete button. Click OK when asked to confirm the deletion.
  6. If you renamed and/or relocated the template, click the Save button in the Template Properties dialog box.
    Your modification takes effect.

How to Update an Email with a Modified Template

If you modify a template that's already applied to an email, you must update that email for the changes to appear.

Follow this procedure to update an email with a modified template:

  1. Click the Content tab.
  2. Click my emails.
  3. Select the check box next to the email you wish to update.
  4. Click Properties.
  5. Click Apply Template Changes. Your new template should display in the right preview pane.
  6. Click Save.

The email displays the changes you made to the template.

How to Change the Extended Background Color of Your Email

If you created a template using the template editor, you can change the extended background color of your email (that's the area surrounding the template). For now there's no option in the template area of the application so this procedure is a workaround.

Follow these steps:

Create a Template

  1. Click the Content tab.
  2. Click my templates.
  3. Create a template or click to open a template you already created.
  4. Click the html tab.
  5. Copy the HTML code of your template.
  6. Click Save.

Create the Template Where You Want to Change the Extended Background Color

  1. Click Create.
  2. Complete the fields, but select the Paste HTML radio button.
  3. Click Save.
  4. Click the Edit drop-down menu and click Paste.
  5. Edit the body background color HTML:

    <body bgcolor="#ffffff" text="#000000">

    Replace the ffffff value (the hexidecimal value for white) in the HTML with the hexidecimal value for the color of your choice.

  6. Click Save.

Create an Email Based on a  HTML Paste Template

  1. Click My Emails.
  2. Click Create.
  3. Select Template Based.
  4. Navigate to the second template you created (by pasting the HTML code) and complete all other fields.
  5. Click Save.
    When the screen refreshes you should see the extended background color you defined surrounding the template. You can now continue creating your email using the content editor.
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Last updated by bhobbs at 20:00, 17 Jan 2014