Reach HTML Emails

Feb 2018 - Mar 2018
Goals
  • Create high performing HTML emails using reusable template HTML
  • Make the templates editable via the MailChimp admin area
  • Render the emails accurately across email clients and screen sizes

Project Overview

Reach NC Voices needed a reusable email template for their multiple campaigns. My job was to create a template from a pre-existing design and some assets. The design was a header, a variable amount of columns, and a footer that linked to their main social accounts.

Process

The process was pretty straightforward development-wise. Get the assets, then build it out with my framework of choice. The main things I had to account for included:

  • Variable amounts of content, including single and multi line content
  • Multiple header columns
  • Changeable social media links

The process for actually editing the content was done initially, but also fine tuned after the delivery.

For any email, most of the time was spent testing it for cross-client compatibility. The hardest one was Outlook, but I also had to test for Yahoo, Gmail, and other major email clients. For the most part, I test my templates after they are completely built out, then fine-tune from there.

Technologies Used

Foundation for Emails
The main technology used for this project was a framework called Inky, or Foundation for Emails. Inky basically takes extremely verbose table markup and turns it into its own intuitive tags. Overall, it’s a lifesaver and I don’t think I’d touch email development without it.

Other Tech
Other tech used for this email template was basic, since not much is allowed in the first place. Inky utilizes SCSS, a gulp/webpack build, and basic knowledge of media queries.

Integrating with MailChimp
Integrating with MailChimp afterwards was fairly straightforward. MailChimp uses its own tags which you specify in the markup. Tags let you duplicate content, set image links, and add colors and styles to paragraphs. It was only a matter of making the necessary parts editable.

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