I think I’ve used about 8 or 9 HTML editors over the life of my HTML writing career. Anybody else remember HotDog? But lately, TextMate has been my editor of choice. I use it for all HTML, even HTML emails. Previously, the easiest way to use your favorite HTML editor with MailChimp has been our Paste in Code option. If you’re comfortable in TextMate, I’ve got some good news for you.
MailChimp TextMate Bundle
Thanks to bundle developer Mitchell Amihod, we’ve got a new TextMate Bundle for working with Templates and Campaigns. The biggest and best feature (in my opinion), is that you never have to leave your editor. The bundle is available on Github for manual installation or through the GetBundles bundle. Install the bundle, grab an API Key from your account, Connect to MailChimp and that’s it. After the bundle is installed and connected to MailChimp, you can pull down a Template to code or create a new one, right inside of TextMate. When you’re done working, there’s a command to send it all back to MailChimp. If you’re ready to jump in, download it from the Connect Directory. Otherwise, here’s a bit about some of the core bundle commands.
Create and Edit Templates
There are two ways you can work with a Template. Create a new one or download the source for a template from My Templates, MailChimp’s Gallery or Start-from-Scratch. You can also “Preview Remote Template”, which is great for taking a look at MailChimp templates before downloading the source.
Edit and Upload Draft Campaigns
Within TextMate you can work with any draft Campaign that has been created using our “Paste in Code” method. If the Campaign is associated with one of our Start-from-Scratch or Gallery Templates, you’ll have to “Change Template” to “Paste in Code”. From there, you can use the bundle to select the Campaign and upload your edited HTML. If you have already done some writing or editing, be sure to copy the HTML and content for the Campaign before switching. After you’re done coding, you can send the finished Campaign back to MailChimp with assets, via "ZIP Campaign and Upload". There’s also a bundle command to send a test Campaign.
Have you been using our CSS inliner tool? It’s in there as a bundle action, along with Inserting Merge Tags (Global or List), HTML to Text-only conversion and a quick link to our Merge Tag Cheat Sheet. For the CSS inliner, open your HTML email and run the “CSS Inliner” action and the rest is magic (it’s actually using the MailChimp API, but it’s still magical).
Some Important Notes
Because the Bundle is using the MailChimp API, there won’t be an undo button. With great power… you get the idea. Be sure to back-up important templates or work with copies.