You can find a more detailed version of this article in our blog - https://stripo.email/blog/how-to-build-an-email-with-stripo-manual-a-to-z/
How to build an email with Stripo
Ways to start building an email
There are three ways to build your first email template with Stripo:
- Editing one of the 300 prepared email templates.
- Coding your own one.
- Starting one from scratch.
To use any of the aforementioned options, in the “Emails” tab, you need to click the “New template” button.
And choose the way that you find the most convenient for yourself :
1. Editing one of the 300+ prepared email templates
This is the easiest and probably the most convenient way of building emails. You only need to choose the template you like, customize it down so that it fits your brand design best, insert your URLs and replace our images with yours. That’s it. Your email is ready!
Works best for email marketers that need to create a number of emails per day.
2. Coding your own one
Stripo offers an open HTML code editor where professional coders can build an email that is totally unique. This option is also useful when you need to import a custom email template into Stripo and adapt it to the editor/make it editable.
Suits the worldly-wise designers best.
3. Starting one from scratch/Empty email
The option means that you will need to drag and drop structures into your template, then fill them in with content blocks or modules.
I decided to create a new email by using this way.
1. General settings
How to make general settings with Stripo:
- in the settings panel, click the “Appearance” tab;
- choose the “General settings” tab;
- set the parameters that you like or the ones that comply with your brand book.
We strongly recommend setting fonts, colors, buttons, paddings prior to starting working on the email. In this case, all these settings will be applied to all elements across your email. Yet, email and content background colors should be set after the email is ready. This way, you see if they really fit in well.
2. Setting headings
How to set styles for Headings in emails with Stripo:
- in the settings panel, click the “Appearance tab”;
- then select the “headings” tab;
- set the font size and color for each heading (H1, H2, H3).
3. Building header
The header element requires two separate rows: one for the logo, and the other one for the menu.
How to add logo to your emails with Stripo:
- pull a 1-column structure in your “empty template”;
- click the “image” icon, or drag and drop the “image” block;
- on the left, in the settings panel, the system will ask you to drop your image of the JPG, PNG, or GIF format. You can also paste an external URL link to your logo;
- insert a hyperlink that takes readers to your website;
- add alt text to the logo;
- set the logo size — my logo’s width is 144 px;
- center alignment is set by default. If you need to change it, click “left” or “right” alignment.
How to add a menu to your emails with Stripo:
- click the “Content” tab in the settings panel;
- drag the 1-column structure and put it below the logo;
- now open the “Blocks” tab;
- pull a menu block and drag it into your template;
- add extra menu items if you like. By default, Stripo offers three of them;
- now in the settings panel, you need to choose whether to use icons, links, or both. “Icons” stand for the images in the menu; while “links” stand for the names of the menu tabs;
- once you select the links type, which I did, you will see that the color and font of your links, that you previously set in the “General settings” section, are already applied to the menu links. I made them bold by clicking the “B” icon in the settings panel;
- now you need to name each menu item;
- insert necessary URL links;
- do the same to all menu items;
- if you want to hide some elements for mobiles, just click the “Hide on mobile” icon;
- done with naming menu items? Take a look at what you’ve received. In my opinion, the menu looked small, so I decided to set a bigger font for it — I set “18”px.
4. Working with text
How to add copy to your emails with Stripo:
- drop the 1-column structure into your HTML email template;
- pull a “Text” block into it, or click the “text” button right in this structure;
- enter your greetings;
- double click the very text;
- set headings where necessary. In our example, for the greetings, I chose headings 2 — and as long as we’ve set parameters for Headings in the “General Settings” tab at the beginning, Stripo automatically used them (Arial, 24px) for our email;
- enter your text in the next line;
- highlight it;
- set alignments;
- add links where necessary.
How to add links to text with Stripo:
If you need to add links to text, but not only to CTA buttons, you need to:
- highlight a necessary word/words;
- in the setting panel, at top, click the “Link” icon;
- then in the settings panel on the left/right, the system will ask you to paste your URL and once again will remind you what word the link is connected with.
You may or may not underline links in emails — do as you like.
5. Personalizing copy
How to add merge-tags in emails with Stripo:
- in the email template you are working with, put the mouse pointer in the necessary place;
- in the settings panel above the template you are working with, you’ll find the “Merge tags” button;
- in the dropdown menu, select the ESP you are working with;
- choose the parameter you want to use.
If done right, it will look like this:
Your ESP will replace this parameter with the first name of each recipient. If the first name (or any other parameter) is not specified, then your ESP will leave this field empty or insert "Valued customer". It depends on the ESP.
6. Adding images
How to add an image in emails with Stripo:
- pull a new structure with a necessary number of columns into your HTML email template;
- in the settings panel, find the basic “Banner”/“Image” block and drop it into the template;
- once you drop the content block in, click on it right in the email;
- in the settings panel, you will be asked to load an image.
If you need to build a banner, please, use the “Banner” block. For other purposes, please use the “image” block.
There are four ways of loading images:
1. Dropping/uploading image
Here, you can really just drag and drop the image you are about to use for your campaign or upload it from your computer by clicking the “arrow” and selecting the necessary image from your computer.
2. Pasting external URL
If you do not have the necessary image saved to your computer, you are welcome to insert links to this image from the web.
In the “External link” field, paste the link to your image.
If you are going to use this image just once, in the dropdown menu, choose the “Leave as external link” option (as shown in the example above) and click the “Check” icon.
If you are going to use this image for other email campaigns, then click the “Project” tab above, then insert the link and choose the “Download to the gallery” option, and click the “Check” icon.
3. Using images from the personal gallery
When you upload images or download them to the gallery as shown in the example above, your images are stored in your personal gallery. You just need to switch to the Email tab to have access to them.
Images here are sorted by the dates, the most recent → the oldest ones.
If the list of images is too long, you may search by the image name.
To use one in your current HTML email template, you need to click on the selected image and it will automatically appear in your email.
4. Using our bank of images
First of all, I want to say that all the images, available with Stripo, are totally free.
Second of all, we offer over 100,000 images.
Click the “Bank” tab, then enter the name or the category of images you are searching for.
Once you’ve selected an image and clicked on it, it will immediately appear in the template you are working with. This way, you may make sure if it fits in your email.
If you like what you see, then click the “use” button.
7. Editing images
In the previous paragraph, we showed how to upload images and store them.
But how can you edit them with Stripo?
In this section, we’re showing how to edit images that you use for product cards, for signatures, for logo, for introducing panelists and upcoming events, etc.
I.e. all images that you use for any purpose in emails, including custom thumbnail image for video.
How to work with images to build a banner, we’ll show in the next section.
How to edit images with Stripo:
- once you’ve uploaded the image, in the settings panel, to the right from the image snippet, click the “edit” button;
- in a new pop-up window, your image will be opened with the Pixie editor;
- here, you can apply filters, resize and crop images, draw over them, put any text over them, add stickers, frames, apply backgrounds;
- when you’ve done editing, click “save” in the Pixie editor — only then, the changes you’ve made to the image will be applied.
8. Building banner
It is said that banner is the face of your newsletters. Hence, you need to work thoroughly on it.
Normally, by banner we mean an image that evokes emotions in your target audience, along with complementary copy over this particular image.
Important to mention:
Stripo offers a banner generator that enables its users to build sophisticated banners right in the editor without any third-party tools.
How to build email banner with Stripo:
- drag a 1-column structure into your HTML email template;
- pull the “Banner” block into this structure;
- click this block in the template to activate the settings panel;
- upload image that you’re about to use;
- in the settings panel, the system will suggest that you crop the image if needed;
- set image orientation. It can be vertical, square and horizontal. The latter is the most popular one;
- apply filters if you like;
- paste the link that will take recipients to the place related to the value offer described in the banner;
- enter alt text — this text will be shown to recipients if images for some reason cannot be displayed;
- if you need to place any copy over the banner image, you need to click the “T” button on the settings panel above. Once it gets light, you need to left-click this image again;
- the same moment, you’ll see the “Caption” inscription on the banner;
- erase this inscription and enter your text here;
- set font size, font color and the font type;
- among the banner fonts, choose the one that fits your email best;
- toggle the “additional picture” button in the settings panel. It can be anything you like: sticker, frame, logo, background to make your copy more noticeable, etc. Yes, you can place text over it :)
9. Image rollover effect
Image rollover effect helps you entertain and engage customers. Moreover, it saves you precious space in emails, as you can hide product details behind its photo. You can also play games with recipients by making them “search” for the coupon, etc. There are many reasons why you need to add image rollover effect to your emails.
But how can you actually build one? This technique was developed by our coders and has been adjusted to our system and what’s more important — to major email clients.
It works even in Gmail.
Important to note:
Image rollover effect works on desktop devices. Other users will see the primary image only.
It can be applied to any image you add in email except for the banner one.
How to build image rollover effect with Stripo:
- upload image;
- in the settings panel, toggle the “Rollover effect” button;
- upload the second image — edit it if necessary;
- insert URL link — it will be tied to the both images;
- enter the “Alternate text”.
Please, find the best practices and inspiring ideas here.
10. Adding video in emails
According to numerous studies, potential customers are 65% more likely to buy from us after watching a video about a product. Moreover, videos are one of the hottest trends in 2019.
Stripo provides its users with two ways of adding videos in emails:
- Inserting URL link to your video.
- Embedding video.
Way 1. Inserting URL link to your video
This is a totally safe way of delivering videos, because it works perfectly well in all email clients and on all devices.
How to insert URL link to your video:
- pull the 1-column structure in your HTML email template;
- pull in a basic “Video” block;
- left click the container in the email;
- in the settings panel, you will only need to insert the link to your video on Youtube or Vimeo;
- our system will automatically fill out the “Alternate text” field;
- select the color of the “play button” — it can be white, traditional red and black.
Our system automatically generates the thumbnail/preview image for your videos. But you may also want to set a custom one.
How to set a custom thumbnail to video in emails:
- toggle the “custom thumbnail” button in the settings panel;
- upload an image;
- edit it if necessary.
You may even insert an animated GIF as the thumbnail image if you like. It will certainly draw more attention to the video.
Important to note:
The play button will be displayed over the custom image, as well.
So, you can pick "none" button if your GIF contains an image of the button.
Way 2. Embedding video
Embedded video is the kind of videos that are played right in emails. Recipients are not required to go to another website to watch the video.
Yes, it cannot be played by all email clients. In fact, only Apple Mail, native iOS mail, Thunderbird and Outlook for Mac do support this kind of content.
Stripo provides its users with a universal code — by using which you provide your all users with the video you want to share. (we give it below)
We recommend sticking to the following order:
- Embed this code in email template.
- Customize the given code by inserting your URL links.
How to embed this code in emails with Stripo:
- pull the 1-column structure in your HTML email template;
- drop a basic HTML block;
- in the email template, left-click the “Insert your HTML in the code editor” to open the Code editor;
- in this editor, instead of the “Insert your HTML code editor" paste the embed code;
- customize the embed code.
The very code to embed:
<video class="adapt-img" controls="controls" poster="https://tlr.stripocdn.email/content/guids/CABINET_0bd21bea47f1cfb916fb84d59a107495/images/92621531318217276.jpg" width="100%" height="313">
<source src="http://www.w3schools.com/html/mov_bbb.mp4" type="video/mp4">
<source src="http://www.w3schools.com/html/mov_bbb.webm" type="video/webm">
<!-- fallback -->
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryqOEPk51Lg/" class="esd-frame-element esd-hover-element esdev-disable-select"><img class="adapt-img" src="https://tlr.stripocdn.email/content/guids/CABINET_0bd21bea47f1cfb916fb84d59a107495/images/48461531318273724.jpg" alt="" width="100%" height="313"></a>
The part of the code that goes above the “fallback” is for those recipients whose devices and email clients support this kind of interactivity. While the part below is for those whose email clients do not support interactivity — they are redirected to Youtube, Vimeo or any other video hosting site.
By using this code, you make sure that all of your users will see the video you want to share.
Customize the embed code:
- upload the image, that you are going to use as the thumbnail one, to any site (I use Pinterest for these purposes) — it will serve as the preview image for those clients who use Apple devices. Certainly, the MP4 video will generate its own thumbnail image, but this image will not render on iPhone X and devices with Retina displays. The play button will automatically appear on it. Paste this link after the "Poster" attribute;
- convert your video to MP4 format by using any video hosting site (I use Streamable. It’s free). In the code, replace the link that goes after the "source src" attribute with your URL;
- convert your MP4 video to the WebM format — and insert the link in the respective line of the code. This video will be played on those devices which support videos of this format;
- and upload the second image you are going to use as the thumbnail one. Draw the “play” button over it. It can be actually a screenshot of your video on Youtube — will be displayed in all email clients that do not support interactivity in emails yet;
- then upload your video to Youtube (Vimeo, your website, etc.) — paste this URL in the "href" attribute after the quotation marks instead of the existing link. Once the recipient hit the “play” button, he or she will be directed to the respective website.
11. Adding CTA buttons
How to build a CTA button with Stripo.email:
- pull the basic button block into your template and drop it next to the product it is related to;
- click the button block in your HTML email template to activate the settings panel;
- insert a necessary URL link;
- enter your button label (give name to your button);
- set text style, such as font, its type and font size;
- set button color, font color;
- apply hover effect to button if you like. In this screenshot, the “button color” stands for the primary color, highlighted button color stands for the color your users see when you move the mouse pointer over it, and text color stands for the font color. If you do not want the hover effect in your emails, just set the same color as "highlighted button color" which you set as the primary one;
- set border radius if you like rounded buttons;
- specify alignment;
- set the button border if you like;
- set internal paddings. They are responsible for the whitespace inside your button. Due to the button layout method chosen by Stripo, it does not matter where exactly on the button your customers click. Whitespace is also clickable, yet it makes the buttons more appealing and clear;
- set external paddings — they are responsible for the whitespace outside the button, but within the container, it is located in.
12. Building products content modules
How to build a product content module with Stripo:
- pull a 2-column structure into your template;
- in any column, click the “image” icon in the structure to add product snippet;
- upload a necessary image;
- edit this snippet if necessary (we’ve described above how to edit images with Stripo);
- drag a text block into another column;
- enter your text and set the necessary design style if it differs from the text style you've previously set in the “General Settings” tab;
- drag the “button” block and drop it under your text;
- set its style — you are welcome to apply a hover effect to this button. Please, find the manual in the “Adding CTA buttons” section.
If you want to build one or two more modules similar to this one, you need to:
- drop the 2-column structure in your template;
- in the module we’ve just built, copy container with details;
- And simply move it to a new structure;
- edit information in it;
- add new images;
There is another way to build product content modules with Stripo — smart elements. You configure them just once, and next time, when building a new template, you just insert proper links and Stripo automatically retrieves and inserts correct data into the respective fields.
13. Building countdown timers for emails
Countdown timers in emails build a sense of urgency, notify recipients about the duration of the sale, or let them know how soon a certain event will start.
Countdown timers in emails increase revenue by 9%.
You can build, design and add a timer to your HTML email template right in the editor.
How to build and add countdown timer in emails with Stripo:
- pull the 1-column structure into your template;
- drop the Basic Timer block in it;
- left-click this container in email template to activate the settings panel to work with the timer;
- set the end date and exact time;
- set the time zone;
- set timer background color that fits your email design best;
- make changes to the numbers’ size and color if necessary. Initially, Stripo applies the parameters that you specified when making general settings;
- toggle the “Display days” button if you want recipients to see how many days are left. Otherwise, they will see just hours and minutes. “5 days 20 hours” are easier to percept than “140 hours”;
- change date style if necessary. By default, we use “:” (colon) to separate days from hours, minutes, seconds. You can also set “-” and “/”;
- toggle the “number labels” button to display names “days”, “hours”, “minutes” and “seconds” under respective numbers;
- set color, font type and size to the labels;
- toggle the “Expired Timer Image” button;
- upload the image (as explained in the respective paragraph) that will be shown to customers once the timer expired. This is optional, yet we strongly recommend doing it — this will you will inform recipients the coupon is expired and they cannot use it any longer;
- insert URL link that will take recipients either to your website or to a particular page on your site when you describe the value offer in the details. This link will be applied to the “Expired timer image” as well;
- specify alt text for accessibility.
Please, find more ideas and inspirational examples in our blog post “How to add a countdown timer in your email”.
14. Adding spacer
How to set spacer in emails with Stripo:
- drag the 1-column structure into your HTML email template;
- drop the “Spacer” block in it;
- double-click to activate the settings panel;
- set its color;
- to set the “thickness” of your spacer — you need to set the “number” in the “Line” section — increase/decrease numbers;
- you also need to choose the style of your line. It can be solid, dashed and dotted;
- set width — the width here is measured in %, not in pixels!
- specify spacer alignment. By default, center-alignment is set. If you like, please change it in the “alignment” section;
- toggle the “responsive spacer” button for a spacer to render properly on mobile devices;
- if necessary, set paddings.
15. Inserting social networking
How to add social media icons with Stripo:
- pull the “Social” basic block in your template;
- double-click it in your template to activate the settings panel;
- by default, you will see 4 icons. If they are not enough, click the “plus” button to add extra icons in your email;
- in the settings panel, next to the social media icon, toggle the “more” button to start working with this particular social network;
- insert respective URL links;
- enter Title and Alt text;
- pick a style for these icons;
- set their size;
- and finally set the paddings and indents between the icons.
16. Building email footer
How to build email footer with Stripo:
This is a compound element of emails. To build one, you need to:
- drag a structure with a necessary quantity of columns;
- enter copy into these columns/blocks;
- insert the respective link to the unsubscribe option;
- add social media icons.
Get inspired by the ideas and examples of an effective email footer in this blog post.
17. Background color and image
How to set a background color for a structure:
- click any element in this structure in the template;
- on the left in the settings panel, click the “to container” button;
- click the “to structure” button;
- in the “background color of structure” field, enter or select the color you like.
Note: you do it the same way to set background color for entire email.
How to set a background image for entire email:
Please be advised that the background image will be shown on desktop devices only. It won’t be displayed on mobiles.
- in the General settings tab, toggle the “Background image” button;
- add image — in the “Adding Images” section, we described how to insert/add/upload images to templates with Stripo;
- set its position;
- click the “repeat” button if you want your image to be applied to entire email no matter how long it is.
Important to note:
Some email clients, like Outlook, may not show the background image. Hence, we recommend also setting the background color, that is similar to the background image, to entire email.
18. Writing subject lines
About one-third of recipients judge by the subject line whether to open emails or not.
You can set one in your ESP, or do it with Stripo.
How to write a subject line for your emails with Stripo:
- above the template you are working with, click the “Settings” icon;
- in the dropdown menu, enter your subject line and pre-header text;
- add emojis to Email subject, if you like.
19. Settings for email rendering on mobile devices
How to set preferences for mobile view:
- in the settings panel, click the “Appearance” tab;
- click the “mobile view” tab;
- set your preferences for headings size, for text size in different content areas, and text size in buttons.
20. Optional email elements
To make your emails more effective or to make their design more vivid, you are welcome to add some of the following elements:
Interactive elements in emails
Interactive elements are the trend for 2019. They double conversion not only for being entertaining, but also for being informative and functional.
In our “6 Examples of Interactive Content in Emails” blog post, we showed in little details how to build and add interactivity in your emails with Stripo.
Due to advanced techniques, you can build with us:
- image rollover effect;
- CSS-animated buttons (please, see the manual on how to build one in the adding CTA buttons section);
- countdown timers;
- embedded surveys.
Due to our open HTML code editor and to the HTML basic block, you can embed any type of interactive element that you’ve built with a third-party tool.
Important to mention:
Please, be advised that some elements that you build with a third-party tool, can be non-responsive. To check this, you will need to test your emails.
Gmail Promotion Annotations Builder
This feature allows informing recipients about the size of the coupon, about the duration of the sale and even allows providing recipients with preview images without having them open our emails. Works on mobile devices.
You can easily build the annotation code by using our Promotion Annotations Builder.
AMP-powered emails will enable your recipients to add products to cart, to choose and buy tickets online, and many more things.
Google just released its AMP for emails, but you already can build AMP-emails with Stripo.
21. Previewing and testing your email
Always preview and test your emails prior to sending out to recipients.
How to preview your email with Stripo:
- click the |preview” button above the template to see mobile and desktop preview of your email.
How to send test email with Stripo:
- click the “test” button;
- in the pop-up window, enter your and your colleagues’ email addresses — separate them with commas;
- click “send”.
In this blog post, we showed in the details why and how to preview, test and get your email shareable link with Stripo to get colleagues and clients’ approval.
22. Exporting email to your ESP
Once your email is completely finished, I mean — tested and polished, you can easily send it to your ESP.
This means that you can transfer your emails to any of them with just 1 click.
If these options are not enough, download your email as HTML-file, and theт import into ESP you currently use.
And what is also important, Stripo enables you to download your email as PDF-file.
How to export your email from Stripo:
- click the “Export” button above the template;
- in the dropdown menu, click the option that fits you;
When exporting email to an ESP for the first time, you will be asked to enter login and password to your account with this ESP.
We do it to provide synchronization of account of the ESP you use with your account with Stripo. Yet, we do not store, nor can see your password with those systems.
Little tips to significantly reduce email production time when working with Stripo
There are many of them, here I just want to mention a few of them:
This simple button helps you cancel a previous/a few previous actions.
It prevents us from building email element once again from scratch.
It allows seeing who and when made changes to our emails. And what is more important — allows restoring any version of your email.
It prevents us from building email from scratch (in case we do not like the last changes made to email).
Once you click this “magic” button, you see all the versions of the email, all dates and names of those who made the changes.
Copying and moving elements
This is a very convenient and fast way to use similar elements in emails.
For instance, you designed a spacer that perfectly fits your email and you want to use it across this email. There’s no need to build it again and again. You just click the copy icon in the “Command panel”
then you “move” the copied element. This is it.
You can save to your personal library all kinds of content for further use — elements, blocks, containers, modules and stripes.
To save one, you just need to make this element active, then click the “save” button in the “Command Panel”.
The system will ask you to give a name to this element in the settings panel for easy search.
By saving modules this way, you can build entire emails just by dragging modules into your template.
We recommend storing and reusing the following elements: headers, footers, contact information, and containers with smart elements. The former will remain unchanged, the latter will require you to insert a new link.
Storing and reusing existing templates
This is probably my favorite part. If you need to send similar emails daily, and you just update some information in them, like copy or banner — just copy your previous email. And edit elements that need to be edited. Voila!
I hope you find this guide useful.
We sincerely wish you all the best.
Please, feel free to email us if you have any questions.