HomeArctic Reservations v2EmailsCreating an Email Design

17.4. Creating an Email Design

Arctic gives you the ability to create email designs to personalize the look and feel of your emails. You can either create an email design in your email client and send it to a special Arctic address, or you if you are comfortable with HTML coding, you can input the design directly into Arctic using the advanced design creator. In this section, we will look at the simplest way of creating an email design and importing it into Arcitc. To do this you will create an email design, which can be used throughout your installation. Once the design has been added to your installation, you can use it for any of your email templates. By following these directions, you will be able to send out professional, graphically branded emails to your customers (regardless if you are sending an invoice, a marketing email or something else).

Part 1: Create Your Design

This part varies greatly depending on what program you intend to use when creating your e-mail design. You can use widely available programs, like Microsoft Outlook, or you can also do the same thing on web based email programs, like Gmail or Constant Contact. Finally, another alternative is to allow your website design person or company to complete this step. The sample below uses Gmail. Please consult the instructions that came with your software for help using its features. 

1. Create the basic design in the program you are using.  

As you can see in the picture above, I have created a very simple design with a logo at the top of the page and a customized signature tag. You can get as creative as you want with the design. It can be just text, or it can text and images, or even tables. You must specify where you want editable content in your design. To specify an editable area, just type {ARCTIC-BODY}. If you are using a design with multiple content areas then you can use {ARCTIC-INTRO}, {ARCTIC-FOOTER}, {ARCTIC-BODY-1} or {ARCTIC-BODY-2}. Each content area must have its own unique name (following the word ARCTIC and a dash), and you must have at least one content area.

Note: The content area placeholders are listed on the "Import Design" page. To access this page, go to the "Email" menu and choose "Designs"; on the "Browse Designs" page, click the green "+ Import Design" button. This will take you to the "Import Design" page where the content area placeholders are listed. 

When specifying the content areas for your email design, if you want the text in this area to be bold you will make the content area bold. If you want it to be a specific color you will apply this color to the content area code. For example, {ARCTIC-BODY} will render the text of your email template in bold and {ARCTIC-BODY} will render the content of your email in bold red text

A few tips (some of these might be more advanced or apply only to certain programs; if they don’t make sense, ignore them):

1. If you are using small images (a logo or few simple things like bullets), embed them into the email design. This makes them open faster and most modern email programs hide images that are not embedded in the email by default. Arctic will preserve your exact formatting when delivering the message.

2. Make sure there are no hidden HTML characters inside the content area strings, as it will cause them not to be recognized.

3. Be sure to have the same number of content areas in both the HTML and text version of your e-mail. It is highly recommended that you create your design as a multipart-mime message, with an alternative text view, so that people with older email programs can still read the content of your email, if not see the pictures. Most modern email clients provide this functionality automatically.

2. When you are done, send your message to your Arctic Reservations email address. If you go to http://raft.arcticres.com/ to access your installation, then your design email address will be design@raft.arcticres.com. This email address is also displayed on the "Import Email Design" page. 

Part 2: Importing the Design into Arctic Reservations

Now you must move the design into Arctic Reservations, where it can be easily reused to send HTML emails with a nice appearance.

1. Login into Arctic Reservations and choose "Designs" from the "Email" menu on the left of the screen.

2. On the "Browse Email Designs" page, click the green “+ Import Design” button at the bottom of the page.

 3. Select the design you sent in by clicking the green “Select” button next to the email as shown here:

 4. On the next page, you will be able to preview your design to be sure it imported well. If you are comfortable with HTML, you can also edit the HTML and text versions of the email design from this page also.

Once you are happy with the design, you can assign it to a business group and give it a name for Arctic to save it as. All set! You now have a reusable design template that you can easily use to create new templates with a nice graphic appearance.

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