NOTE: This article references "informz" -- a previous name of the Higher Logic Communications Professional product.
The Template Editor is where you build and modify the templates that provide the underlying design elements (style, layout, fonts, etc.) for your mailings. Building templates is a multi-step process, but doing so is worth the time and effort in the long run.
Why use templates?
Templates are a good way to ensure that your mailings have a consistent, properly-branded look and that your messages render well on different email programs and devices. Additionally, because a template is reusable, each template will greatly improve your efficiency when creating new mailings.
In this article, we'll walk you through the template-creation process.
TIP: After you have created a template, you can copy it and make minor changes that are suited to specific message types — while retaining a uniform look in all your messages.
Create a template
To create a template:
- Navigate to Mailings > Templates > View.
- Click Create.
- In the pop-up, click the dropdown to select a template type, and then click Create:
- Standard (one Content Area)
- Advanced (one or several Content Areas)
NOTE: Advanced templates are recommended because they provide greater design flexibility. Creation of an Advanced template is demonstrated in this example.
You'll now complete four steps to configure your template:
Step 1 - Add Template Group
- In the Template Editor, enter a name for the template. Note that this name will not be shown to readers, it is for categorization purposes only.
- Click the Folder dropdown to select a folder where the template will reside.
- Enter any additional Email Information (these fields will default to the system settings for Friendly From and Reply-To Address).
- Click Next to continue to Step 2.
Step 2 - Setup HTML Template
The Setup Advanced HTML Template step has an HTML editor with several features that help you build consistency into your template. There are several options at the top of the window.
- HTML DOCTYPE - Specify the document type as either No DOCTYPE or HTML5 (for responsive design).
- HTML Head Tags - Set the head tags for the HTML. Note that some email clients will remove this information from a template, so it is best to include inline code styles!
- HTML Body Tag Parameters - Specify basic parameters for the body tag.
- Use Standard Footer?- Check this to include the standard, required unsubscribe and subscription modify links from Communications Professional. Note that the standard footer will not match the template’s styles. Uncheck the box to remove the standard footer (so that you can design your own).
The Template section allows you to work directly with the code to design your template. Additionally, by default, each template includes one or more Location Codes (indicated by dual percent signs on either side of the code). Here is an example:
%%LOC(INFORMZ CONTENT HERE)%%
Location codes let you populate your template (and subsequent mailings) with your content.
Remember, designing a template with HTML requires a bit of technical know-how. Feel free to create a case with any questions about template design.
When you have finished with your HTML design, click Next.
Step 3 - Setup Text Template
The Setup Advanced Text Template is an editor that allows you to design your template. This section is limited to text content and the standard footer. However, you will still include location codes in the text editor.
When you have finished with your text design, click Next.
Step 4 - Setup Template Locations
The Setup Template Locations section allows you to designate style sheets for your content and Table of Contents order.
- Click the Style dropdown to select a style sheet for a content location.
- If you're using a Table of Contents, click the Order dropdown next to each content piece to select where the content will be in the Table of Contents. This defaults to 1.
- Click Update to finish.
The template is now available in the designated folder.
TIP: Navigate to the folder to confirm this.
Copy a template
The benefit of copying a template is that the "grunt work" (steps 1–4 above) has been done so the foundation is in place.
By copying a template, you've got a second (or third or fourth) template that has the same design elements as the original but which can now be tailored for separate audiences or distinct messages by making a few customizations.
To copy a template:
- Navigate to Mailings > Templates > View.
- Hover over the menu icon to the left of a template and select Copy.
- In the pop-up, give your copy a name.
- Click Copy.
Your new, copied template is now available in your list of templates.
- When you've "perfected" your primary template, keep it as a master copy.
- When you need a new template, copy the master and customize it.
- Modify the master copy only if you want permanent, static changes to the template, such as a new logo or some form of rebranding.
NOTE: If you modify the master copy, all subsequent copies will inherit those modifications, but existing copies will retain whatever properties they had inherited from the master used to create them.