Making your first Drag & Drop email
We understand that moving away from a familiar method to something new can be daunting, which is why we have put thousands of hours into designing the Pure360 Drag & Drop Editor, so that it is the simplest and most user friendly email editor on the market today, without any compromise on capability and features.
This blog will guide you through the creation process of your first email. We are confident that once you have made the leap to this new way of working, you will wonder how you ever managed without it.
Table of contents
- Collate your brand assets
- Use a template
- Explore the canvas
- Don’t worry about breaking anything
- What are components?
- Styling components
- Styling text
- Upload your images
- Editing your message content
- Stand back and admire your work
Collate your brand assets
To ensure your email is on-brand and looks top-notch, you will need to collate a few assets before leaping into the Drag & Drop Editor.
You will need:
Brand colours as HEX values (Eg. #ff0000)
Message copy and images
Once you have these assets, you are good to go.
Use a template
Upon entering the Drag & Drop Editor each time you create a new email message, you will be offered one of our pre-built email templates.
There are currently 4 available templates, each of which are skeletal frameworks, so that you can simply apply your own colour values and get going.
If this is your first time using the Drag & Drop Editor we would suggest selecting one of the available templates rather than starting from scratch. By starting with a template it will enable you to get a feel for how the editor works, as this is a good time to simply play and explore.
Explore the canvas
As you explore the canvas, you will notice that there is a blue highlight over different components on the canvas. This blue highlight shows you which components you are able to move at any one time.
Try picking up a selection of single and multiple components, and you will see a ‘ghost’ version of the component(s) that you are currently holding.
As you move the component that you are holding around the canvas you will see a green bar appear, which is affectionately known as the “Lightsaber”.
The Lightsaber shows you where you can place different components on the canvas, regardless of whether they are new components from the Components panel, or you are moving existing components on the canvas, the Lightsaber will guide the way.
Don’t worry about breaking anything
One of the amazing things about the Drag & Drop Editor is that you can pick any component up and move it anywhere. This is really useful as it enables you to reorder and rearrange your message content in a matter of seconds.
The part that is really clever about our Drag & Drop Editor is that if you pick up and move an object elsewhere it will always fit, and it won’t leave a big hole where it was moved from. The content will always reflow to fill the available space.
Try it, move some components around the canvas and see how they always fill the space nicely.
What are components?
Components are the main building blocks for any template that you make. Think of it as the bricks of your house before you’ve added any paint or wallpaper.
There are a number of different types of components that can be used to make a beautiful email, but it all starts with a Panel. There are 4 types of panel, Clear, Coloured, Full Width and Grid. Panels are essentially the visually styling of a group of columns. Try adding each of them to the canvas and see how different they look.
You can use multiple panel types in a single message to create a visually interesting email, or just one if you fancy.
Panels are the largest component, with columns residing inside panels. There can be a maximum of 4 columns in a row, and as many rows of columns within a panel as you require. The column blocks are used to extend any existing panels. Just place one of these blocks inside a panel and the columns will inherit the panel’s style.
Finally, inside columns are Blocks. Blocks make up the content of your email, such as images, text, buttons etc… Any number of blocks can reside within a column.
When viewed on a smartphone, each column in the message will stack into a single column, going from left to right in each row. Ensure that you have grouped your blocks into columns correctly so that they re-arrange correctly on a smartphone.
Component Style is a contextual styling tool. If you open this and then click on any component on the canvas you will see the available options change depending on the component that you have selected. This means that you will only be presented with the options for one component type at a time.
If you have not selected any component this toolbox will be empty and will prompt you to select a component from the canvas to style.
Text style allows you to set up your email’s text styling options all from one place. By setting your text styles upfront, you will have a more consistent and better looking email.
From within here you should set how your body text looks, each of the headers and the style of your text links.
Once you’ve set each of those you can simply apply them to text directly from the canvas. You don’t need to come back here again. Simple.
Message colour and width
Head over to message settings to change the background colour of your message and change the width of your message.
We have set the message width to default at 600px which is a good default width. We would suggest leaving this as it is.
Upload your images
The Drag & Drop Editor contains a really neat image library. From here you can upload and manage any images for your campaigns.
Upload single or multiple images by simply selecting any number of image files from your computer and dragging and dropping them into the right folder. It’s really as simple as that.
Editing your message content
One of the cool things about the Drag & Drop Editor is that once you have built a framework for your content and have styled it, you can just close the toolbox and edit your message content directly from the canvas.
Editing content is a breeze, simply double-click on any image, text or button block to enter into a ‘focus-mode’ for editing. Once in this focus-mode you will be able to write your message copy, apply your message text styling options, crop and edit images, add Instagram-style filters, add links, alt text and more all in a matter of seconds.
Once you’re done editing a particular block, just click elsewhere and you will be out of the focus-mode and free to edit another part of the message. It’s super simple and really fast.
Stand back and admire your work
You’re at the final step. You can now check your handiwork by using ‘Preview message’ to ensure that it looks great on desktop and smartphones.
Click on the device icon in the top right of the browser window to open ‘Preview message’. From here you will see a representation of how the message will look on a smartphone in both portrait and landscape orientation, as well as a desktop. You can also turn the images on and off to ensure that you have applied alt text to each of your images.
Once you’re happy with how it looks, save it.
Just remember, always test your message with the Inbox Inspection tools rather than just the device preview for a more accurate representation of how the message will look in a variety of different inboxes, browsers and devices.
That’s all there is to it. Get playing with the Drag & Drop Editor and see what you can create. You’ll be an expert in no time!