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Emails: Create and manage email templates

In this article

Email templates are pre-made designs that you can apply to your email campaigns when creating them. Templates make it easy to create email campaigns with a consistent design and layout. 

The template builder gives you total control over the design and layout of the emails you'll be sending. Using the drag and drop editor, you can customize the content of your emails -- adding expertly formatted text, images, videos, links to your social media accounts, and more. You also have control over the layout, allowing you to add multiple rows with a variety of columns. For example, you could make the first row two columns split between an image and some introductory text, the second row set with 4 columns highlighting book cover images, and a third row showing an embedded video.

You can create the following types of templates:

  • Marketing: designs that can be used for marketing emails.
  • Operational: designs that can be used for operational emails.
  • Row: individual content rows that can be combined inside of other templates.
    • You can create templates for header rows, footer rows, and general content rows.

To help you get up and running with your email campaigns quickly, LibConnect comes preloaded with some sample templates that you can customize and use!

Create a template

Getting there

  1. Log into LibConnect and go to Emails > Distribution Lists.
  2. Click on the + List button.
The New Template button

Additionally, as you're designing an email campaign, if you decide that the email you're crafting is worthy of being used as a template, you can choose to save your design as a new template.

Marketing template

LibConnect comes pre-loaded with 8 marketing templates for topics ranging from a library newsletter to event announcements that can be used in any of your marketing email campaigns. And if you want to create new marketing email templates of your own, you can opt to create templates from scratch.

  1. After clicking the + Templates button, on the New Template modal, set the Name of the template.
  2. Select Marketing from the Type dropdown.
  3. Click Next to launch the template builder.
creating a new marketing template

Operational template

LibConnect comes pre-loaded with 4 operational templates for topics ranging from maintenance announcements to a letter from the director that can be used in any of your operational email campaigns. And if you want to create new operational email templates of your own, you can opt to create templates from scratch.

  1. After clicking the + Templates button, on the New Template modal, set the Name of the template.
  2. Select Operational from the Type dropdown.
  3. Click Next to launch the template builder.
creating a new operational template

Row template

LibConnect comes pre-loaded with an Email Compliance footer row (that is automatically added to any marketing templates) that will provide your patrons with the necessary links for managing their email preferences and subscription. Apart from this row template, you can create additional row templates for content that will be used frequently in your emails. For example, you might create standard header and footer row templates with your library branding, social media links, and contact info. Then, reuse those in marketing templates for your newsletter, event announcements, etc.

  1. After clicking the + Templates button, on the New Template modal, set the Name of the template.
  2. Select Rows from the Type dropdown.
  3. Choose the Row Type, selecting from HeaderContent, or Footer.
    • These types are used to organize the row templates when adding a row to a template.
  4. Click Next to launch the row template builder.
creating a new row template

In addition to creating row templates from scratch, any row of content in a marketing or operational template can be saved as a row template. To save a row as a template for future use, click on the row, then click on the Save icon.

saving a template's row as a row template

Basics of template creation

Add content to the template

To add content to a marketing or operational template, select it from the Content tab on the right-hand side, then drag and drop it into place in the template.

dragging content into the template

Edit content

For content that has been added to the template, clicking on the content item will provide you with additional Content Properties that you can adjust. (Text and Title content will also include additional text editing options below the item in the template.)

editing content in a template
Adding images

When adding images you can choose to upload images from your computer, search free photos (LibConnect is integrated with Pexels, Unsplash, and Pixabay giving you access to over 500,000 Creative Commons Zero licensed images), or link to an image from LibApps' Image Manager.

  1. Use the Browse or Change image button to upload an image from your computer or to search for free photos to use.
    • You can also drag and drop images from your computer directly onto the image content item within the template.
  2. To use an Image Manager image, grab the image's URL and add it to the URL field in the Content Properties.
adding an image to a template

Move, copy, or delete content

  1. To move a content item to another location, click on the content item in the editor, then click on the Move icon to drag and drop the content into a new position.
  2. To move an entire row, use the Move icon for the row to drag and drop it into a new position.
  3. Click the Delete icon to remove the content from the template.
  4. Use the Copy icon to duplicate the content item in the template.
moving, deleting, and copying a content item

Add and manage rows

Rows are structural units that define the horizontal composition of a section of the template by using columns. A row can include one to six columns -- using more than one column allows you to put different content elements side by side.

New rows can be added to a template or you can reuse row templates that have been created to quickly load in a row's worth of content.

Add a new row

To add a new row, click on the Rows tab on the right-hand side of the editor, find the row type that you want to add, then drag and drop the row into your template, after the row(s) have been added you can add your content to the columns within the row(s).

dragging rows into the template
Reuse a row template

To use an existing row template in your template:

  1. Select the row type from the dropdown of the Rows tab -- choosing from Header, Content, or a Footer row.
    • These row types are set when creating a row template,
  2. Find the row to reuse in the available row templates.
  3. Drag and drop the row template into the editor.
reusing a row template
Edit, move, or delete a row

After adding a row to a template, you have additional settings available to you to tweak the properties for the full row and individual columns (colors, display, etc.), move the row, save it as a template, and copy or delete the row. 

Note: the Rows tab of the editor is not available when creating a Row template.

To adjust the settings/position for a row, click on the row in the editor. While the row is selected you can:

  1. Use the Row Properties to adjust the colors and stacking of the row.
  2. Use the Customize Columns section to tweak the number of columns in the row and make specific adjustments to the properties of individual columns within the row.
    • Background color, padding, borders, etc. can be adjusted for each column.
  3. Use the Move icon for the row to drag and drop it into a new position.
  4. Use the SaveCopy, and Delete icons to save the row as a template, make a copy within the editor, or delete it from the editor.
managing a row's properties

Template settings

The Settings tab of a template allows you to adjust general settings for the entire template. They are inherited by Row and Content blocks. For example, the font family set in the message settings is then used everywhere in your message, except where you use a custom setting.

Settings that can be adjusted include: setting the content area width and alignment, background colors, fonts, and link colors.

The Settings tab for a template

Manage templates

On the Emails > Templates page, you can view, edit, and delete your templates (along with creating new templates). If you need to adjust a template to add additional content, adjust the logos used for your header and footer row templates, etc., you can do so from here.

To manage your templates:

  1. If needed, use the filters at the top of the page to locate the list you want to view.
  2. Click on the MarketingOperational, and Rows links to toggle between viewing the templates for each type.
  3. Use the Display icons to toggle between displaying the templates in a list view or as thumbnails.
  4. Click on the View link or the template's name in the Template Name column to view a preview of the template.
    • While viewing a template, you can jump into editing mode as well.
  5. Click the Edit link to adjust the template as needed.
  6. Click the Rename link to adjust the template's name.
    • The name of the template is displayed when selecting a template to be used in an email campaign.
  7. Click the Delete icon to remove a template from LibConnect.
    • Warning: it is possible to delete the pre-loaded templates, so please use caution when deleting!
managing your templates