Design and Workflow Blog

Why visual email builders are bad at email design

They have more options than you need, yet still have design and workflow limitations.

Visual editors can make building emails easier, but traditional editors based on building emails from scratch within their toolset have some serious flaws. If you've ever used them, these may sound familiar:

They don’t allow for enforcing brand guidelines

They have a lot of color options, a lot of font and formatting options, but no options to limit any of those options to brand colors, specific font formatting, or other brand guidelines.

They are overwhelming for non-designers to use

With so many options for design fine tuning, a designer may still need to be involved to figure out how to properly use all the settings for getting design elements right. And keeping the design consistent.

Design is still limited

Despite all the options, there is still a rigid structure the editor works within that ends up not allowing for certain visual design patterns and trends. This is because they depend too heavily on table-based design.

They generate bloated code

Relying on table-based design, they create unnecessary nesting of tables which outputs a lot of additional, unnecessary code. This leads to potential unintended issues that come from the complexities of the code.

They miss design details

Things like proper spacing between design elements and content are either difficult to adjust, hard to keep consistent across the design, or just not possible to get right.

They have rendering issues

With all the options available and the amount of code that's generated, there tends to be potential formatting issues that can break the design, or look bad on mobile devices. This in turn increases amount of QA needed.

There is no way to integrate with other tools

You are not able to host images on your own, locking you in to their servers. Email providers usually have an editor specifically designed to lock you into their platform.

No options to collaborate with your team

Because email providers tack on their email editors with just basic functionality, they are often limited when it comes to workflows for collaborating with your team on content review.

All these flaws add up to a broken overall process. It creates frustration in trying to get your design to look good, and undue stress for your team updating content while worrying about messing something up.

Blocks Edit is a visual editor that works similar to a web CMS, letting you add only the editing options you need around your own coded design. This gives you complete control over how your team uses the design to produce emails, and makes it easy for them to do so!

Photo of Ovi Demetrian Jr Ovi Demetrian Jr