4 Tips to Conquer Mailing Creation

Chris Weaver

So, you have just finished your Informz Training or you have taken over the responsibilities of building your organization’s mailings. What’s next? My guess is that something on your screen is staring right back at you and that certain something looks like this:
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Alas! The Informz Editor! A blank canvas full of endless opportunities and equipped with tools to craft your messages for your subscribers.

When I joined the Informz team in 2015, this was one of the first areas of Informz I was exposed to, not knowing what experiences and knowledge would stem from it. As with any new task, there is that feeling of fear and anxiety; however, you won’t master something unless you set aside some time to jump right in and try it for yourself! Working with the editor and HTML is actually a lot easier than you think and was my gateway to learning other features in the system.

Here is how I planned my attack to conquer the Mailing Designer in Informz:

1) Practice (and Training) Makes Perfect

Yes! We’re talking about practice! My first recommendation to you would be to seize any opportunity to practice, or in this case, explore the ins and outs of the editor and how you can use it to build stories for your mailings. Whether it’s setting aside some time every week to practice on your own or attending one of our Informz Training sessions, I found that a combination of both methods were great ways to learn how different tools work when using the Mailing Designer. When I first started out, I attended some training sessions and then created my own test mailing to try out all of the different features the editor had to offer!

2) Learn the Basics

When I first saw the editor pop up, all I wanted to do was start typing. I learned very quickly that without the proper structure, my emails were destined to fail unless I used tables.

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Make sure that all content, text and images are contained within a table, so that you are following the best practices for Email HTML and to avoid any alignment or rendering issues.
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I also learned to apply my changes to tables, rows and cells (or table, tr and td – as you’ll see at the bottom of the editor) by using the CSS button. I found this tool to be very useful for making changes to font styles and aligning text.

3) Jump into the Code

After I explored exactly what the editor allowed me to do, I began to look at the actual HTML source code to take a peek behind the curtain.
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I’ve got to admit, it looked like a scene out of The Matrix to me at first, but this is really where all the magic was happening. Tables, font sizes, background colors, alignment. A lot of what I did in the editor was showing in HTML form on the other side.

After I began to make more and more edits, I saw how it affected the code and started to learn the HTML terminology. By making changes in the editor and immediately looking at the source code, I was able to see exactly what the editor was doing. As time progressed, I became comfortable enough to make edits in the source code myself after experimenting and familiarizing myself with the language.

4) Testing… 1, 2, 3.

Last, but not least – testing. Different email clients process HTML code in different ways. The only way to truly succeed in designing and coding your mailings is by testing them to an inbox and see how your creation comes to life. We have an awesome feature in Informz called Virtual Inbox that will run your email through dozens of email clients to see how it renders. I also found that testing hyperlinks and personalization are also great checks before hitting send as well.

Each mailing you create will be a different experience, but having a plan of action can definitely go a long way when it comes to working with the editor. Of course if you ever run into any roadblocks or challenges, don’t be afraid to ask your Informz advisor for their assistance. You are not in this journey alone! We are always here to help.

About the Author
Chris Weaver

As an Advisor at Informz, Chris enjoys working with clients to make sure they get the most out of Informz email marketing. Outside of work, Chris can be found enjoying all that Saratoga has to offer, including the Saratoga Race Course.