Aug 14, 2009

New HTML Email Template language in MailChimp v4.3

thm_code-custom-templatesThis weekend, we’re launching MailChimp v4.3. There will be lots of hidden awesomeness, but the major new feature that our customers will notice right away is the ability to upload your own HTML email code, then save it as an editable template inside our app. This is a great feature for web designers who want to upload a template for a client, and create editable (even repeatable) sections within the content area (without letting clients uglify the rest of your design).

We’ll post more details and documentation after everything is live this Monday (August 17), but here’s a sneak peek…

The "code your custom template" screen looks like this:

custom-template-builder1

In the code pane in the bottom half of the screen, you’ll notice a little markup where I changed the "tab" (@tab) to be called "Booya" instead of the default "Page" (you can name the tabs anything you want), and I also changed the "tip text" (@tip) to my liking.

changing-tab-code

I can also do a bunch of other cool stuff, like change all the default fonts, background colors — basically anything I want. If you’re designing an e-commerce style template with a product matrix or grid, you can set it up with placeholders for graphics and text, then make the entire section repeatable:

repeatable-ecomm-template

When you (or your client) uses this template, they just fill in the blanks by adding pics and text. They’d click the green (+) icon to add another row.

Simple Markup

The cool thing about all this is, you can modify the MailChimp template design interface by simply adding a few comments to your HTML source. Add tabs, modify tabs, or remove tabs altogether.

We’ll go over all that stuff in a later post. And by "we" I mean someone who actually knows how to do all that stuff. I’m just a talking head. Anyway, I save the template as "Ben’s Template2" and it’ll appear as an option for future campaigns:

benstemplate2

So if you’re a designer building out some templates for one of your clients, you could create several options for them, and name them newsletter, holiday_sale, birthday_autoresponder, and so on.

Anyway, after I select "Ben’s Template2," it takes me to the campaign builder. And as you can see, the first tab at the top is "Booya" and the tip text is new:

custom-template-builder2

I’m barely scratching the surface of what you can do here. Stay tuned to the blog for more examples coming soon (after we launch).

If you want, you can take a look at some of the documentation here (caveat: it’s a work in progress, so don’t complain or ask about anything until Monday, when it’s officially live)

Finally, if you’re a web designer, here are two more new-ish features you may find useful:

Manage multiple MailChimp accounts with Keychains

Re-brandable email campaign reports