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.

Want to check out some code demos?

Check out code samples written in JavaScript, React, Node, and more

Demo 1
Defining Reusable Column Extends with SCSS

Quick Note: The atSmall type mixins are just basic media queries. Since these kinds of layouts are common, they also need to be overwritable if I want to change the spacing. Generally, the ‘default’ spacing is defined in the extend/mixins. Example Use Cases To get the layout working, you only need a container class and […]

Demo 2
Discord Bot: Reddit API Ask Feature

The Purpose Some Discord bots have a feature where you can “chat” with the bot(i.e: Cleverbot integrations). I decided to take a spin on this concept and utilize the Reddit API to answer common questions. A user from the server asks a question using the b!ask command, then the bot gives a random answer from […]

Demo 3
React.js Modal Using The Hooks API

Modals are a classic piece of application functionality, made even easier with libraries like React. You could go with a library, but you can often make your own with less than 100 lines of code. Using the hooks API, you don’t even need a class based approach. This example is going full functional! Defining The […]

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