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Act-On Software

Using Rich Text in Emails


To utilize all the features below it will be necessary to have a Rich Text Block to work with.

For an overall guide on creating emails, see this user guide.

Once a Rich Text Block has been inserted into your message (or form, or landing page) hover over the block and click Edit to access the rich text editor. Once inside the rich text editor you will notice that there are three rows of icons that help you customize your text. There are also six additional Act-On specific icons to assist you in accessing links to Act-On materials, inserting personalization fields, and creating layout structures for complex content.

Insert Image from Act-On Library

Images can be used for branding purposes in your email messages, or as a call-to-action for your recipients.

To insert an image from the Act-On Library into your rich text block:

  1. Hover over the rich text block in your email message, and click Pencil icon.
  2. Place your cursor wherever you would like the image to be inserted.
  3. Click Insert Image from Act-On Media Library.
  4. Select the desired image.

The image will display in the rich text editor in the same format as it was uploaded and originally sized. To resize the image, select it and drag the sides or corners to the desired size. If the inserted image is not the intended image, select the image and click the Delete key on your keyboard. Additional options for resizing and editing the properties of an image are available by clicking Insert/Edit Image.

The image can be re-sized by clicking on the image and dragging the sides or corners to your desired size. An additional method for resizing and manipulating the image is available by clicking the icon that allows you to insert or edit the image. 

Links to Act-On forms can be inserted as calls-to-action within your email message. When you specify the form, you also have the ability to pre-fill the form fields if your email recipient clicks through the link in the email.

To insert a link to a form within the Rich Text Editor and allow Act-On to pre-fill the form:

  1. Compose a new email message, or edit an existing draft.
  2. Hover over the Rich Text Block and click the Pencil icon.
  3. Highlight the text or click the image you wish to hyperlink.
  4. Click Insert Link to Act-On Form.
  5. Hover over any of the forms in your library, and click Select.
  6. A new window will appear, Click the Pre-fill checkbox.
  7. Click Insert.
  8. Save your email message, or continue with the addressing, reviewing, and sending steps.
  1. Hover over the rich text block in your message or landing page, and click the Pencil icon.
  2. Highlight the text or click on the image that you would like to hyperlink.
  3. Click Insert Link to File in Act-On Media Library.
  4. Locate the appropriate Document in your library, and click on it to have the link inserted into the rich text editor.
  5. Click Close

After clicking on the document, a link to that document will be placed behind the text you selected or the image that you chose. When a recipient clicks on your link or image, they will be prompted to download the document and either open or save it to their computer. You can track the clicks on this link by viewing the e-mail report or navigating to your Media Files library. Locate the document and hover over it and click More, then choose Reports.

  1. Edit the message or landing page.
  2. Hover over the Rich Text Block, click the Pencil icon to edit.
  3. Highlight the text or select the image you would like to hyperlink.
  4. Click Insert Link to Act-On Landing Page.
  5. Locate the landing page in your library, and either click Select to insert the link into the Rich Text Editor or click Preview to view the landing page.
  6. After clicking Select to insert the link, a pop-up window will appear containing additional options (i.e., to choose whether you would like to use the default link to your landing page or any other trackable links you may have created)
  7. Click Insert.
Note: After inserting the link to your landing page, it is important that the message or landing page you created be tested for accuracy. To test your message, see the article Sending a Test Message.

Messages can be customized according to the recipients' information found in the list. Once you identify your target list, ensure the appropriate fields are mapped properly to the Standard Field Names set up in your account. If you upload a new Marketing list, Act-On will try to map the fields to the Standard Field Names automatically.

To add Personalization Fields:

  1. Insert a new Rich Text Block, or hover over an existing Rich Text Block and click the Pencil icon to edit.
  2. Click the Insert Personalization Field icon (signified by the red 'f').
  3. Click the Recipient PersonalizationSender Personalization, or Header/Footer Link tab.
    • Recipient Personalization – Choose from the defined Standard Field Names or fields from a specific recipient list or segment. Optionally, you can add generic alternate text to use for contacts with missing values for this field.
    • Sender – Select a field in the drop-down menu to personalize the email sender contact information
    • Header/Footer Link – Choose from the Opt-Out link or View Message in Browser link
  4. Click Insert.

After clicking on the appropriate personalization field you will see text inside of the rich text editor that prompts Act-On to inject personal/profile data into the message when sent. As an example, if you are choosing to include a recipient's First Name in the body of your message you may see something similar to this: "VCard.FIRSTNAME" with brackets on either side.

If you have additional profile data inside of your list that you would like to include in the message you may choose to place your column header or field name inside of the brackets and Act-On will include the value in your list when it renders your message. An example might be to include

UndefinedNameError: reference to undefined name 'xxcolumn_namexx' (click for details)
    at (Product_Features/Outbound/Email_-_Create_and_Compose/19_Using_Rich_Text_in_Emails), /content/body/div[6]/p[4]/span, line 1, column 1
inside your body text.

While Act-On can include personalization from any field that is located in your list it is always important to test your message prior to sending out your e-mail. When creating a message Act-On can test your personalization fields for you on the third step which is referred to as the Review step.

Test Your Personalization Fields

  • From within the email composer, click Review and click the drop-down for Sample Preview.
  • Under Sample Preview, Act-On will provide a sample list of the intended recipients and allow you to view how the message will be received by those recipients.
  • Personalization variables are not displayed if generic alternate text is inserted in the message
Note: If there are duplicate records in the target Marketing list, Act-On will use the personalization fields from the first record found in the list.

There are two options to choose from when creating a layout structure:

  • Overall Layout: This option can be used to create a complex layout like a newsletter. Overall Layout structures originate from an empty rich text block. If any text exists at the time you choose to insert the Overall Layout structure, you will be prompted to confirm that the existing text can be deleted.
  • Regional Layout: This option can be used if a single table is needed within a rich text block. It can also be used inside an Overall Layout structure to create a custom newsletter look and feel.
  1. Edit your email message.
  2. Hover over the Rich Text Block and click the Pencil icon.
  3. Choose an area to place your table.
  4. Select Insert Layout Structure.
  5. Click on the appropriate layout structure to insert the layout into the rich text editor.
  6. Click in a table cell where you would like to insert an additional table and repeat the process again. Ensure you are choosing a Regional Layout.  Regional Layouts can be used anywhere in the message and can be inserted inside other tables.

Once a table is inserted into your message, you can manipulate the height, size, background color, alignment, etc. of both the table itself as well as individual cells. Use the last row of icons in the rich text editor to format your table to the right dimensions.

Below are descriptions for all the icons found in the rich text editor that can be used to manipulate tables and table cells to create a custom look for your email messages and newsletters.

  • Insert a New Table: Insert a new table or edit the properties of an existing one (e.g., to set the width and height of your table). Place your cursor inside the table and click this icon.
  • Table Row Properties: Use this icon to quickly set the dimensions of all the cells in a row of your table at once.
  • Table Cell Properties: Set the height, width, alignment, background color, etc. for a single cell using this button. Place your cursor inside the cell and click the icon.
  • Insert Row Before: Insert a row before the one that your cursor is currently in. 
  • Insert Row After: Insert a row after the one that your cursor is currently in. 
  • Delete Row: Delete a row and its contents with a single click. Place your cursor inside the row and click this icon.
  • Insert Column Before: Insert a column to the left of the one that your cursor is currently in. 
  • Insert Column After: Insert a column to the right of the one that your cursor is currently in. 
  • Delete Column: Delete a column and its contents with a single click. Place your cursor inside the column and click this icon.
  • Split Merged Table Cells: If columns or rows have been merged in your table, use this icon to separate the merged cells. Place your cursor inside the cells you would like to split and click the icon to separate them.
  • Merge Table Cells: In complex table designs, you can merge two cells using this icon. Highlight the cells you would like to merge and click this icon to create a single cell.
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