Design Studio Overview
The Design Studio contains all of the messages that have been previously created using any of the six message creation methods available on e-shot™.
Five of them will be explored here, with Drag & Drop being covered in its own section, as it's the only detailed, graphical email creation method that doesn't need prerequisite in-depth technical knowledge at some point in the message creation process.
These message creation methods consist of:
Each message creation method is focused at users of different technical abilities, and the level of complexity or creative input required to produce a message.
The Design Studio also allows access to email testing, and bolt-on packages such as Forensics.
As a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) platform, the HTML Editor requires far more creative input from the user in order to create a finished message. It is primarily focused at users somewhere in between the technical understanding of the Template Wizard and the HTML Upload methods.
With a toolbar comprising of various different tools and features, such as standard font controls, an Image Manager, hyperlinking and tables, the HTML Editor is an incredibly comprehensive tool for creating, editing and designing messages.
As suggested above, the HTML Editor can utilise a template that has been installed by the support team during account creation (depending on the terms of the account), or additional templates purchased during the lifetime of the e-shot account. Once the Initial Settings and main HTML Editor steps have been completed, very similarly to the Drag & Drop design method, the HTML Editor does require the user to complete several other steps in order to flag their message as ready to be sent.
These include a link validation process, giving feedback to the user of any broken links (miss-spelt URLs, landing pages that aren’t currently live etc.), as well as a plain text screen, where the system automatically generates a plain text counterpart directly from the contents entered into the editor.
These steps are useful for pre-send testing, and ensures that users on older devices/plain text only setups receive a legible version of your message.
The user is required to have a pre-written HTML document that’s effectively regarded as a ready-to-send final product, therefore the HTML Upload method is the most technically demanding message creation method available on the system. It is primarily focused at clients who are of a marketing or technical background, or those that have been supplied their HTML file, or URL, by a third party.
After uploading their HTML document, the user will be shown a list of all the links present in the email and whether each responds appropriately. The user is given the opportunity of adding friendly names to these links, in order to make their reporting of the campaign more efficient, by easily identifiable links.
Following this stage, the user is then able to amend their plain text alternative message, which is sent out in tandem as a fall back, in the event of the recipient not being able to view HTML emails.
The simplest of the message creation methods, Plain Text allows the user to enter their content into a text field on the user interface. No tables, fonts, colours or images offered in the HTML Editor are available, as the end outputted email comprises of no HTML code. Although the most lightweight and easily sent/received message type, that's readable by all, it is only possible to identify a Plain Text campaign display, in tandem with a click, so the clicks and displays statics for Plain Text messages in Analytics will always be the same.
Dynamic HTML Upload
This uses fundamentally the same creation process as a traditional HTML Upload, with enhanced functionality suited for regular or automated mailings.
By supplying a static URL, housing an HTML coded page (complying with HTML for Email guidelines) which is updated regularly with content from varying sources, the user can utilise the Scheduler service combined with this creation method to produce newsletters at set intervals that require little or no user input to maintain.
This service differs in two ways from traditional HTML upload.
A typical example of this would be a daily set of news articles, or weekly deals that change regularly.
2. When combined with our scheduler, e-shot™ will pull content from this URL 20 minutes before the scheduled time/date frequency. Thus creating an automated, ever changing series of emails to a chosen subscriber list.
The SMS message type offers a fairly simplistic text editor used exclusively with SMS campaigns. The size and cost of the message are governed by the number of characters used and the region it is being sent to. SMS messages are divided into blocks by mobile networks, with the initial block being up to 160 characters long. The end of the second block is reached at 306 characters, while the end of the third block is 459 characters. The maximum number of characters an SMS message can contain is 612 characters, which is 4 blocks. The maximum number of characters to a US number is capped at 160.
In simplistic terms, 1 credit is charged for each block sent to a UK number, while any messages sent to outside the UK are charged at 2 credits per block. The message editor displays a character count and estimated credits figure that dynamically updates as the message is created.
In addition, URL links entered can be shortened and monitored, displaying a bespoke link with your custom link shortening domain to personalise your message.
This tool can be found either from within the Design Studio utilities drop down or through the expanded Designs menu tree. Images can be added or edited from here, ready to be placed into any messages that support images. Right clicking an image and selecting 'Edit in Image Editor' will open Image Editor, as long as the tab/new window is not blocked, where you can resize, crop or otherwise edit your image. Please be advised: Image Editor will only save an image as long as it has no spaces in its filename, and will place the saved image as a duplicate file (will leave the original file untainted) in the same folder as the original, with the name image_dateStamptimeStamp.fileExtension.
Warning: do not delete, move, rename or change any images just after you have sent a live campaign. This will cause the images to disappear or distort from your customers' inboxes, as they're drawn in from where they're stored on the Image Manager, as opposed to being embedded in the message.
Message Testing & Inbox Review
Find out more about our Forensics testing service, where you can review how your message renders across the most popular email clients (both mobile and desktop), all before you hit send.
We are confident that we can help you, which is why we offer a free healthcheck to identify potential issues with your current programme and free advice on things that could be done to improve it.