Design and Workflow Blog

Building an email editor in-house

The upsides and downsides to in-house email editors.

An organization typically decides to build its own tool when it feels like there are no available products for their specific use case. Or, as a way to reduce the cost a product may entail. Not just for its price tag, but the labor hours involved in implementing it and learning how to use it across the people in the organization that need to be involved.

And in the case of building out branded email campaigns, that all makes sense when looking at what’s traditionally available for editing: editors that have too many limitations when it comes to design, or editors that have too many unnecessary features which can be overwhelming and costly to implement and use. Or both.

Ways to build your own editor

If you have a very specific design and workflow within your organization for how your team creates and maintains your branded email campaigns, building a tool around it makes sense.

You can build a step-by-step form that collects required information, components, and copy for a campaign instead of having to track those elements down. This helps streamline your process and can be taken as far as outputting a rendered email based on the data collected.

You can also find a fully-working open source editor that you can customize around your team’s needs. This gives you more advanced features that would normally take a lot of resources to build on your own.

The maintenance trap

Either of the above approaches do come with their own costs however. Again, not in terms of a price tag as forms are a built-in browser feature, and open source editor options are usually free. The labor involved is the biggest cost. And it's not just the upfront effort!

Design updates for campaigns will be needed sooner or later. This may affect aspects of the guidelines you’ve set within a form flow. Or require updating a template within an editor.

With an open source editor, you’ll have to take into consideration updating it with any needed fixes, upgrades, or plug-in functionality, and maintain the system it runs on. Theses editors also tend to have too many features that can be lot of extra work to setup and learn how to properly use.

Some of the costs can be planned for, but they can also creep up over time and may not be as cost-saving as you initially intended!

Our visual editor, Blocks Edit, is the best of both worlds. It gives you complete control over your design and editing options, and is easy to setup and maintain. Learn how AAA switched from their in-house editor to Blocks Edit.

Photo of Ovi Demetrian Jr Ovi Demetrian Jr