Become a Message Editor Pro With These FAQs

Laura Sullivan, Digital Designer

Laura Sullivan, Digital Designer

Our intuitive drag-and-drop Message Editor has made it easier than ever to build and deploy responsive emails both easily and effectively. But let’s go beyond the basics and walk through some of the Message Editor questions that we hear most often on the Bronto professional services design team. These tips and tricks will help you take your email templates and email campaigns to the next level.

Message Branding FAQs

What are retina images and why should I care?

Retina images are images designed within a canvas that is 2x the size of your native template width – therefore they have double the amount of pixels:

Retina image comparison

So if you have a 600px-wide email template, design your email creative at 1200px. The primary reason to do this is to account for devices with retina screens – we’re talking about almost all Apple products. And with a large percentage of your customers viewing your emails on an iPhone, you’ll want to be sure those images are crisp, clean and easy to read. Ignoring these users can make your brand come across as careless – and no one wants that!

Note: Keep an eye on file size with retina images! When saving for web, save at a lower percentage (I generally save at between 60 and 70%) to keep that file size down to account for deliverability and loading time.

 Am I limited to using web-safe fonts?

 Not at all! We have a great step-by-step post that walks you through how to implement ANY font into your template. That’s right: Now you can use custom fonts that can be hosted within Bronto or Google fonts. Please note that Bronto cannot guarantee your customers will see the font when they receive the message, since custom fonts aren’t supported by most email clients. You can specify a default font family that these customers will see instead.

How can I apply Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) styling not available natively in the Message Editor?

There are a lot of great native styling features within the Message Editor, but here are a few that the Bronto digital designers get requests for all the time and how to apply them using simple CSS.

Letter Spacing:

Grab the container or element CSS class and copy it.

CSS rules

Then paste that container in Edit CSS (under the Settings tab) with the following CSS style as you need it.
CSS rulesHover Effect:

This effect is particularly effective with buttons, but can be applied however you wish (such as for an alternate view of a product). In this basic example, we are targeting all buttons within the message (.button).

CSS rules

Note: This neat little trick works in Apple Mail, Yahoo!, most versions of Gmail and some versions of Outlook. In all other email clients, you’ll just simply see the original image.

Message Editor Dynamic Content FAQs

How do I add a subscriber’s first name to the subject line?

This is an oldie but a goodie. Personalizing subject lines (or content within the message) using contact field tags is a simple yet effective way to grab your customer’s attention.

Select Make Subject Dynamic in the drop-down menu next to the subject line field in the message editor.

Personalize subject line

Work backward and start by creating a backup subject line for contacts for whom you don’t have first name information. Then insert the first name field into the subject line for all others.

Personalize subject line

Can I apply dynamic rules to content?

Absolutely! You can apply dynamic rules based on segments, lists, fields, RFM metrics or SMS keywords. A great use case for this is a store event. Rather than building message after message based on the customer’s location, you can apply dynamic rules to content to show, or not show, based on the rules you apply.

Message Editor dynamic rules

In this example, we have a local store event in Durham, NC and we only want to show that content to subscribers in Durham. So, we apply a dynamic rule that says if this contact is on the Durham segment (based on GeoIP City data), show them this content.

Message Editor dynamic rules

And for all others, show them nothing. For the All Others section, simply delete the content. You can leave it empty or drop alternative content there.

Dynamic rules

How do I add dynamic content from my Bronto apps to my messages?

If you’re using Recommendations Standard, Recommendations Premium, Browse Recovery or Cart Recovery apps, you can copy the content tag templates available within Bronto (Content > Content Tags > Content Tag Templates) or use them as reference when building your own! Either way, these templates set you up for success:

Content tag templates

For more great ideas on how to get the most out of Bronto’s Message Editor, check out our webinar. If you’ve got a project you’re considering and want to learn how Bronto professional services can help, ask your account manager for more information. We’ll build a dedicated team around your brand and set a roadmap for success in 2018!

2 Responses to “Become a Message Editor Pro With These FAQs”

  1. Greg Thompson

    It’s a shame that %%firstname%% might be LAURA or laura and we don’t have any way to make sure the subject line uses the “proper” form Laura.

    Reply
    • Beth Perry, Bronto Blog Editor

      Hi Greg! Here are a few notes from Laura:

      That’s a great point, and I love that you brought it up because that’s a challenge that a lot of marketers face. I have two points I’d like to make here, and hopefully, one or both will help you out. 🙂

      1. For the subject line personalization, what I’d recommend is exporting your Master list and reformatting your first name field using excel. This can be done with a formula applied to the cell you are trying to format:

      = PROPER() capitalizes the first letter of each word (like Title Case)

      = UPPER() – forces all letters to be UPPER CASE

      = LOWER() – forces all letters to be lower case

      Then, simply re-upload your list to update existing contacts. Obviously, this is manual, but it’s relatively quick!

      Here’s a nice step-by-step article I’ve referenced before:
      https://easykey.uk/excel/excel-changing-capital-letters-to-sentence-case

      2. For dynamic variables anywhere other than the subject line, you can use a simple CSS style to apply the formatting structure you want. (e.g. Hero rich text pulls in first name like with an Order Confirmation or something similar.)

      {container:XXXXXXXXX} text-transform: uppercase;
      {container:XXXXXXXXX} text-transform: lowercase;
      {container:XXXXXXXXX} text-transform: capitalize;

      I hope you find this helpful! And thank you for bringing it up.

      Reply

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