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Creating Email Templates in Salesforce Lightning Experience- Everything You Need To Know!

Want to create pixel-perfect and engaging templates with Salesforce Lightning email builder? Read this blog to find out!...

The merit of your email templates is what dictates the success of your email marketing campaigns; that’s no secret. However, visualizing and developing a visually rapturous and technically sound template is easier said than done. Add to that the need for scaling up email production in response to a continuous influx of new subscribers, and things start to become very, very tricky. 

“Well, is there no way to get on top of this situation?”

Glad you asked! There is, actually- using email template editors. These tools help you build pixel-perfect templates from scratch, without demanding any technical know-how from your end. Possessing feature-rich interfaces, they make it extremely convenient for you to breathe life into your ideas, all without consuming bucketloads of time. 

Today, we will dive deep into one such editor- the Salesforce Lightning email builder. Salesforce, as an entity, needs no introduction. From helping marketers to set up elaborate, hyper-personalized email campaigns, to sharing real-time performance insights with them, Salesforce is well-adored and celebrated in the email community. The Lightning email builder is the latest addition to Salesforce’s long and illustrious line of offerings whose focus has always been empowering their users’ professional endeavors while promising them the most bang for their buck.

How Can You Create Templates In Salesforce Lightning Email Builder?

With Salesforce email template builder, you can develop email templates in two ways:

1. Using HTML code (custom-coded email templates)

2. Using Drag & Drop (building templates with the help of ready-to-use/skeletal modules from Lightning builder)

Let us dive deeper into both methods.

Using HTML Code

In this approach, you can add the HTML source code of an email template directly to your Lightning Experience. However, if you are taking this route, you are required to be familiar with the basics of HTML and coding. 

Many developers prefer creating their templates using HTML and CSS code for it allows them to:

  • Update the text, images, and links within the Rich Text editor.
  • Update the font, font size, font styles, font color, add bullet points, and define the alignment of the text.

Keep in mind, though, that while updating the font, you are only allowed to choose from the default fonts provided by the ESP. If you wish to use anything beyond that, you will have to update the HTML source code accordingly.

Next, let us take a look at the steps involved in creating an email template using HTML and CSS code in SFMC Lightning Experience.

1. Log in to your SFMC account.

2. Navigate to “App Launcher”.

3. Type “email templates” in the search bar.

4. Select the “email templates” item. A new tab will open.

5. Now, click on “New email template.”

6. Specify the requisite details such as email template name, description, and subject line.

7. Choose a folder. By default, Salesforce Lightning email templates are in Private folder.

8. Upon entering all the details, click on “Save.” The template will be created.

9. To add the HTML source code, click on the Edit button.

10. Enter your code in the “HTML Value” field. Click on Save.

Using Drag & Drop

This method is suitable for those who are not fluent in coding. The Lightning Editor is equipped with an in-built email builder, which contains an array of ready-to-use modules that can be utilized by users. Select the blocks from the inbuilt library, and use a simple drag-and-drop maneuver to build the email template of your choice. 

Remember, to create Salesforce email templates using this builder, you need to secure account access beforehand, as the template will be created directly into the account. 

However, there are a certain set of limitations associated with this approach:

  • Not every section of your template might be actualized in the manner you envisioned for it to be.
  • There will be a certain degree of discrepancy between your original vision and the eventual outcome.
  • Occasionally, you might have to contend with extra padding and misalignments between the two sections of your email.
  • You will have to relinquish control over mobile view settings as the ESP automatically sets the Mobile view as per the Desktop view. As a result, any changes you reflect in the Desktop view will reflect in the mobile version and vice versa. 
  • Post-delivery, there might be certain uncontrollable and unresolvable rendering errors.
  • You can only make use of default fonts present in the SFMC Lightning in-built editor.
  • While there’s no restriction on using background images, changing them is a hassle- you can only do so by changing the source code. 
  • The 2 column sections will scale automatically as per the design. You can’t configure them as per your requirements.
  • Email templates created using this method don’t support dark mode.

Listed below are the steps you need to follow to create an email template using Lightning Editor’s in-built email builder.

1. Log in to your account.

2. Navigate to “App Launcher”.

3. Type “email templates” in the search bar.

4. Select the “email templates” item. A new tab will open.

5. Now, click on “New email template”

6. Specify the requisite details such as email template name, description, and subject line.

7. Choose a folder. 

8. Upon entering all the details, click on “Save”. The template will be created.

9. Next, click on the “Edit in builder” button. This will allow you to add the modules or blocks. 

10. Keep on adding the components you need to finish building your template.

Best Practices To Keep In Mind

Here are some tips and tricks that will help you create impactful Lightning email templates.

  • Keep the standard width of the email templates between 600px-800px (average desktop width). This will ensure that they behave as desired within the preview-pane size provided by most of the email clients. 
  • For the responsiveness /mobile width, add the media queries starting from 320px, as most of the readers are in this range.
  • To ensure readability, keep the title font size at 22px or more. For the body copy, stick to the range of 12-14px- this will be ideal for both desktop and mobile. Keep line spacing around 1.5 times the font size.
  • Ideally, the height of your email template should be between the range of 1500px-3000px. This will help you steer clear of clipping issues and adding weightage to your templates.
  • Stick to a single-column layout. Apart from making your templates mobile-friendly, this will also help you avoid rendering issues such as overlapping columns, overflowing text, and shifting images. Additionally, avoid using complicated elements as much as possible in your email templates.
  • Use fewer images because usually, images take time to load in the email clients. And a high load time can greatly hamper your subscribers’ user experience. Additionally, always write descriptive alt-texts for the images used.
  • Make use of simple, cross-platform fonts such as Arial, Verdana, Georgia, and Times New Roman. 
  • Avoid elements that would require JavaScript for very few email clients support it. If you want to include an animated element in your email, consider using a GIF file.
  • Always test the email templates before broadcasting them.
  • Make sure your CTA button is prominent. A minimum size of 44×44 pixels is considered to be ideal. As far as the font size for your CTA button is concerned, a good rule of thumb is to use 16 px or more.
  • Content placed above the fold (approximately the first 350px length of your email) gets more attention than the content placed below it. Hence, make certain that your above-the-fold content really packs a punch, and can effectively hook in your readers. 
  • Leave ample whitespace around elements so that your template doesn’t appear cluttered. Additionally, white space helps you successfully draw attention to the most important parts of your email. 
  • Always include links to your social media handles on your template.
  • Always add an unsubscribe link.

Wrapping It Up

Getting used to Salesforce’s Lightning Builder’s extensive suite of features might take a while, but once you get the hang of it, nothing can get in the way of you crafting engaging and appealing email campaigns for your brand. We hope the insights shared above will help smoothen your learning curve. 

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Shweta Jagdale

Shweta is a project coordinator in Email Uplers. An absolute busy bee, her deep fascination with the technical side of things drives her to constantly explore and unravel new things related to her field. When not working, she can be found flipping through novels, wielding her paintbrush, or letting her thoughts run wild on paper.

Rohan Kar

Rohan Kar works as a Content Writer at Email Uplers, An engineering graduate, he was quick to realize that his calling lied in other pastures. When not writing, he can be found participating in elaborate movie marathons or aggressive book circle discussions.

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