Making the Most of FeedBlitz: Customizing Your Email Templates

Making the Most of FeedBlitz A “template” is what controls the layout of your blog’s content when it is turned into a mailing or subscriber landing page.

The template is where the graphic design elements of the mailings are determined, beyond what is in an individual post.

Branding, layout, fonts, colors “ all are determined by the template.

FeedBlitz has two distinct template editors, as well as a third way of creating your initial template.

The editors are the “easy” template editor, which simply needs you to upload an image or two and make some choices from a form, and the advanced template editor (ATE), which gives you full control over the HTML used, and enables much more powerful layouts than the easy version.

You can also have FeedBlitz try to generate a template automatically using the auto-template generator.

Easy is Good

Today, we’re going to take a look at the Easy Template Editor. This editor allows for very fast and simple creation of basic email mailing layouts. It lets you define basic colors, underline styles, table of contents positioning, sidebars and more. It also allows one-click monetization if you’re an Escalate Network affiliate.

When you save an easy template, it overwrites any previously saved advanced template. But you can later edit the template created by the easy template editor using the ATE, which means that you can use the easy editor to kick start the development of a more sophisticated template.

Mobile Friendly is Better

Templates generated via the easy editor are mobile-friendly; they are built using responsive design techniques, so scale images, fonts and other layout elements to fit more gracefully on mobile phones and tablets without forcing the user to pinch-zoom all the time.

This alone is a great reason to start any template development by starting the process in the easy editor; all the HTML and CSS you need to achieve a mobile-friendly email is already there.

The easy editor also defines the template for the best possible results across the broadest possible spectrum of email apps. Templates designed here should look OK in gmail and both new and old versions of Outlook, for example. While not every email app will support every nuance of HTML that you specify, using the easy template editor will ensure that the emails are similar enough across the board and legible.

Migrated From FeedBurner?

Important note: If you imported your list from FeedBurner, your FeedBurner look and feel was migrated to FeedBlitz’s easy template equivalent. Unless you them went on to fine tune the template in the advanced editor, your migrated FeedBurner email subscribers are already getting mobile friendly mailings from you as a result of the way our templates work. If you want to change a setting for an imported FeedBurner list, start with the easy editor first.

The easy editor has a small preview image where you can get an idea of the effect your changes will have on the resulting email. At the foot of the editor, though, is a preview button. That will take the easy settings and apply them to the most recent (up to five) posts from your blog so you can see how it lays out using your content. Previewing any changes does not save them; and even if you save the changes and then change your mind, FeedBlitz’s template versioning ensures that you can easily go back and start over.

Next week, we’re going to take a look at, and walk you through, the Advanced Template Editor – which allows complete access to the HTML source of the template.