Design and Workflow Blog

How to: building a template for reuse

The email template design system model in Blocks Edit.

Diagram of the template, email, layout hierarchy in Blocks Edit.

When designing (or looking for) an HTML template to use for your emails, you should keep in mind having a single template file for all the types of modules you plan to have across your emails. Making this “master template” design system editable in Blocks Edit is what will allow you to reuse your template to build all of your emails.

Working with your master template

First, you need to make your template editable, either via importing your HTML and using the visual template editor, or by adding editable tags within your code and then importing it. You can preview the template's full functionality and make updates by clicking on the edit icon next to your template's title.

In the template view, you can see all of your template components and interact with them to see how everything works. As you come up with ways to refine the template’s functionality, you can use the Edit button to make updates with the visual editor, or use the Import new version option to upload updated code.

Save commonly-used layouts

Having tested your template’s functionality, you can create and start building new emails using sections and components. As you start organizing your content, you may decide that there are different “sub-templates” for different categories of emails that you'd like to be able to reuse based on the combination of layout pieces you used.

You can save these sub-templates using the layouts feature which can be accessed in the left sidebar of the editor. Clicking the Save Layout button in the sidebar will prompt you to give your layout a name and it will save a screenshot to go with it as it gets added to the sidebar. Anyone that creates a new email will see the saved layouts to choose from to start out their email with (or just start from scratch). They can also save additional layouts themselves for others to use.

Duplicate emails

If you find that a previous email works as a good starting point for a new one, there is also an option to duplicate a current email from the dashboard.

Over time, the hierarchy of master template, layouts, and an archive of emails turns into a straightforward process for building your emails, where you no longer have to worry about starting from scratch each time a new campaign needs to go out, and can quickly put together an email.

If you have any questions on making your template editable, check out the help docs. Or, send us a message.

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