Email Designer Overview

 This article refers to the Email Designer launched in 2022.

ActiveCampaign’s new and improved Email Designer makes it easier than ever to create branded, high-performing emails within the platform. With an emphasis on reliability and an easy-to-navigate UI, this email designer will give you the best possible experience to create optimal campaigns and engage your customers. 

Take Note

  • The Email Designer will be available via the standard campaign workflow in both the Campaigns and Automations sections. This means creating an email from scratch by selecting "Standard" or "Automated" for your campaign type after clicking on "Create a Campaign" from the Campaigns section. You can also access the new designer by creating an Automation and adding an email
  • If you start with the new designer, you are not able to switch to the legacy designer within that campaign. Instead, you would need to create a new campaign with the legacy designer
  • We will be releasing features over the coming months until we reach parity with the existing email editor. You can expect to see saved blocks and link actions soon with conditional content and the ecommerce block coming shortly after

ActiveCampaign email creation process

To create a campaign in ActiveCampaign, the Campaign Builder takes you through 5 steps, including the Email Designer: 

  1. Type. Select the type of campaign you want to create.
  2. List. Select which list of contacts you want to receive the campaign.
  3. Design. This is where you customize the campaign with your preferred elements using the Email Designer.
  4. Summary. Review all of the campaign elements before sending.
  5. Send. The email goes out to your specified list.

This overview article aims to answer your common questions and teach you how to use the Email Designer to create beautiful, effective campaigns with ease. 

Using the Email Designer

To create campaigns with the Email Designer, you use what are known as Structures and Blocks. These design tools are found in 2 divided menu parts in the main side menu: 

  1. Content. 
  2. Appearance.  

The Email Designer Content Menu Options

The Content tab in the Email Designer helps you build the structure of a campaign. This includes 

  • Structures (with Containers)
  • Blocks

A Structure is a drag and drop element that you can use to create different types of content blocks in your campaign. You can drag and drop as many Structures as you need for your design.

Each Structure has a certain number of Containers. You can pick a Structure that contains 1, 2, 3, or 4 Containers. These Containers allow you to use multiple campaign functions in one content block. For example, you can place a Structure with 2 Containers into your campaign and use one Container for a text box and another for an image file. 

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You can configure the sizing and general appearance of individual containers within a structure by clicking on “To Structure” option near the top of the side menu:

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When you click that option, you will see a new menu appear:

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Here you can edit things like indentation and padding for each container. If you click on “To Container” in the same top of the side menu location, it will take you to menu options for the campaign as a whole. 

Once you place your desired Structures in your campaign, you can begin to fill them with specific blocks.

NOTE: If you would like to add another container to a structure, you can click the plus sign in the top right. Once that container is added, you can easily adjust it to the size of the other containers by clicking the equal (=) button.

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A Block is the specific type of content you want to include in your campaign. The following are the types of blocks you can use to design your campaign:

  • Image
  • Text
  • Button
  • Spacer
  • Video
  • Social
  • Banner
  • Timer
  • Menu
  • HTML for custom code

To learn more about the newest Block options – Banner, Timer, and Menu – please visit Email Designer Blocks Explained.

Once in place, you can click on each of these elements to customize them with colors, font sizes, links, and more. To use any of them, you need to drag and drop it to your template and then edit.

The Email Designer Appearance Menu Options

In the Appearance tab, you can edit your structure elements. You will find the following editing sections under the Appearance tab:

  • General Settings 
  • Sections
  • Headings
  • Button 
  • Mobile Formatting

Each of these sections further customizes the style of your campaign. 

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General Settings

Under General Settings, you can adjust things like message width and font. Here’s a complete list of possibilities:

Message width. The default width is set as 600px, but you can set any size between 320 and 900px.

Default padding. This will be used by default for all new structures added to email from the Content tab.

Background color and image. Set your preferred background color and image based on your email content. 

Font. Use your preferred font.

Line and paragraph spacing. Set your own spacing preferences between text lines and paragraphs.

Underline links. Choose whether you’d like your links to appear underlined or not. 

Responsive design. Enabling this function may help to improve the mobile version of your campaign. However, results may vary on different devices. If this function is turned off, the mobile version of your campaign will mirror the desktop version.

Right-to-left (RTL) text direction tab. If this control is activated then text direction will automatically go from right to left.

Sections

The Sections menu controls your Header, Content, Footer, and Info rows. Within each of these sub-sections, you can customize the Text Size, Font Size, and Link Color.

Headings

Here you can set default font style, size, color, bold, and italics fonts for H1, H2, H3 headings.

Button

The Button menu allows you to set some parameters that will be used for all buttons in the email by default

You can customize button settings like color, font, border, and more. Note that configuring the settings under this section may prompt additional menu options.

Mobile Formatting 

To create a mobile-friendly version of your campaign, make sure to use the mobile formatting options. These settings will only work in the mobile version of the campaign.

For mobile viewing, you can configure:

  • H1, H2, and H3 sizing
  • Button text size
  • Button width 
  • Content margin

More resources

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