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Act-On Software

Creating Newsletters and Other Complex Layouts

AUDIENCE:  Administrators, Marketing Users

The Rich Text block within the Act-On email composer includes a feature for applying an overall layout (header, subhead, footer, sidebars, etc.) and for inserting complex sub-structures (rows, captions, multiple columns, etc.) to individual regions within the overall layout. The Insert Layout Structure feature gives you the freedom to be as creative as you like in laying out your messages for maximum appeal.

Creating a template saves you the effort of recreating a complex layout every time you need to use it. Remember that the template is just a convenient starting point; you can easily add, change, or remove elements in a message that uses it.

For greatest efficiency, create a template for each message type you expect to send often. Start each message from the template, and simply type or paste the new content into the existing structure, adding or deleting elements as needed.

AOmegaphonesmall.pngPlease note:

If you are importing an externally-designed layout, see the articles Create Stationeries and Differences Between the Rich Text Block and Custom Content Block when Using Custom HTML or CSS.

  • Click Content, and choose Email Templates.
  • Click Actions > New Template.
  • Choose Start With a Blank Template.
  • Click the Design tab.
  • Delete the Greeting block and Signature block. To do this, hover over the respective blocks and click the Delete icon.
    Click Delete
  • Hover over the Rich Text block and click the Pencil icon.
    Click Edit
  • Click the Insert Layout Structure tool.
  • In the Overall Layout section, choose the third layout, A page with a heading and a footer and a left column in the content area, to define the framework of your message.
Caution: Whenever you choose an overall layout, it replaces the entire content of the Rich Text block with the empty structure. If you make a mistake, just press Ctrl+Z.

CLick insert layout structure

  • Click in the sidebar (the left column), and note the insertion point there.
  • Click the Table Cell Properties icon.
  • Click the Advanced tab, click the Color Tool next to the Background Color field (or paste the public URL of an image in your Act-On account library in the Background image field). Choose your color and click Apply.
  • When you're finished modifying the sidebar's table cell properties, click Update.
    Click table cell properties
  • Back in the Rich Text editor, type an interesting sidebar, such as 'What our customers are saying' with a few quotes.
  • Use Table Cell Properties and the other editing tools to format the sidebar as you like
  • In the header, replace the default text with your newsletter's title.
  • Change the fonts and other formatting as needed
  • Click in the main content area, and note the insertion point there.
  • Click the Insert Layout Structure icon again.
  • In the Region Layout section choose the first layout, Stack of 2 Articles with Headings.
    Click insert layout structure
  • Replace the text in Topic #1 and Topic #2 with the titles of your two newsletter stories.
  • Place the insertion point in the content area for the first story, and click the Insert Layout Structure icon again.
  • In the Region Layout section, choose the last layout: Box with Right Column Strip.
  • Place the insertion point in the right column of the layout you just inserted, and click the Insert Image from Act-On Media Library icon to insert an image.
  • Repeat the process for the second article, choosing the next-to-last layout, Box with Left Column Strip.
  • Modify the copyright statement below your articles as needed.
  • Click Close.

You'll notice that the default footer already includes a copyright statement, along with the opt-out link and other CAN-SPAM information.

  • Hover your mouse cursor over the Rich Text Block and click the Pencil icon.
  • In the Rich Text Block, place the insertion point anywhere in the copyright statement.
  • Click the Delete Row icon (near the left end of the third row of tools).
  • Click Close.
  • Name the template 'Monthly Newsletter Template', and make any other changes needed.
  • Click Save.
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