Here at ClickDimensions, we send out a monthly newsletter that covers all of the great content we've published during the past month. It features blog posts, eBooks, upcoming events, company announcements and more. (If you're not on the mailing list, click here to subscribe!)
In addition to providing compelling content, one of our goals for the newsletter is to highlight the capabilities of our email marketing tools. Our newsletter is built using our Drag and Drop email editor, and in this blog post we're going to share a few of the tips and tricks about how it's built.
First, we start with the Body + 3 Columns layout. The three columns allow us to create the grid effect in the body of the newsletter.
The newsletter header contains our logo, social sharing icons and a masthead. Because we wanted the masthead to be heavily branded with our logo, fonts and background icons, it was created as an image. In the body of the newsletter, however, we try to use text as much as possible.
Each month, there is a topic that we feature at the top of the newsletter. In February, that was our 2016 update to our Marketing with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Idea eBook. For the feature area, we create a body content type of Image on Left or Image on Right.
Much like the feature story, we create content blocks (using the Image on Left or Image on Right options) for each of our pieces of newsletter content. To create visual interest and separate the blocks from each other, we change the background color of each block.
To change the background color of a specific block, click the Style button for that content block (instead of the main Styles button at the very top). This will allow you to set a background color for only that block. Each of the images that we create to accompany the content are saved as transparent PNG files so that the background color will show through.
Columns and Grid
In the middle of our newsletter, we group several stories together in a visual "grid" using the three column layout. Each story has an Image Only content block (which contains the icon) and a Text Only block (which contains the story title). Blocks are stacked on top of each other so that there are two stories per column. Both the icon and the title are linked to the full story on our website.
Here you can see how the blocks are structured:
The background colors of the image and text blocks for each story are set to a matching color, and, like the other content areas, the images are saved as transparent PNG files so that the background color shows through.
IMPORTANT NOTE! In order to get the column blocks to line up in a "grid" fashion, make sure that the pixel height of each of your images is the same, and the lines of text and font size are the same for each row.
The content areas that fall below our grid are technically included in the footer section. However, the setup is the same as the body areas – Image on Left or Image on Right content blocks with background colors for differentiation.
Our footer also includes a link to our subscription management page so that our recipients can unsubscribe or edit their profile information at any time.
Before sending our newsletter, we take a final glance in the Drag and Drop editor Preview window to make sure that the design looks the way we intended and the responsive blocks look great as well.
Have a great email that you built using the ClickDimensions Drag and Drop editor? Share it with us! Send a copy of your email to firstname.lastname@example.org.