How the Taxi Marketing team uses Layouts to make multiple emails from one set of HTML.

At Taxi, I have one Email Design System (EDS) which we use for multiple types of email. This EDS is super flexible which is great, but can mean it takes longer to build an email as I need to pre-set all the design areas before I add any content. Using Layouts means I can manage one set of HTML and it's a lot quicker to get started making email.

Here is a step by step guide on how I built my first Layout to send Taxi Insights with. And some tips for anyone new to or interested in Layouts 🤓

Before you get started…

Here’s a few things you can do to prepare:

  • 💭 Think about the general structure you use for the campaign/emails you want to build a Layout for
  • ✅ Open up a few examples in a new tab to revert back to
  • 📝 Take note of the changes you might make to each module before building your email e.g. Do you change the font size, image height, CTA colours? These are a few things you would want to replicate in your Layout

Step 1: Creating a Layout

Layouts are pretty cool because you don’t have limit yourself to one Layout per EDS. Nope! You can create as many Layouts as you need, so they can be exactly what you need them to be for each campaign you send.

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  1. Create your Layout and name it appropriately. My Layout is for Taxi Insights so that’s what I’ll name mine (if I used Shipped by Taxi or Promotions that is what I would name them).
  2. Add a description if you need. Remember you might know immediately what your Layout is, but team members/anyone new to your team might need that extra bit of detail!
  3. Open up a few examples of emails you have sent in a new tab that you can revert back to.

A few things to consider:

  • Have you gone through a rebrand recently? We have so I made sure to only use the most up-to-date emails I could
  • The general module structure and order
  • Any design adjustments made to modules e.g. background colours, links, copy, CTA colours

layouts__emails__modules.png#asset:2360

Step 2: Adding modules and pre-setting content

This is where you can start building your Layout. As you can see from the screenshot below, the Layout mocks building an email in the editor so you can see your changes in real time.

Screenshot-2021-02-10-at-16.18.28.png#asset:2356

  1. Start adding the modules you need for your Layout. For example, I use 4-5 two column text and image modules so I will add those first and then add the industry article and events modules.
  2. Revert back to previous emails to check the modules you have added are the ones you want, and in the right order (you want to avoid making changes after you have built the Layout.
  3. Now I have the skeleton I need I can start pre-setting the design and formatting I need.

Here’s an example of what I started with and what I created:

1. Transforming the header into the format I wanted with the appropriate copy added.

Screenshot-2021-02-11-at-09.34.22.png#asset:2361

2. Modules now render the way I need and with the right image and font sizes.

Screenshot-2021-02-11-at-09.34.31.png#asset:2362

3. Long areas of text are now condensed to how I need them to be

Screenshot-2021-02-11-at-09.34.43.png#asset:2363

Step 3: Using a Layout to build an email

Now I have my Layout ready to use I no longer need to clone over the previous month’s email or start building from scratch. The biggest win for me is the small nitty gritty details which I might easily miss are now taken care of. For example, those pesky divider lines which I always catch in my QA at the end of my email build!

Now I can easily go into Taxi and build my email - I already had my Taxi Insights project set-up so what I did to make sure all my new emails will be using Layouts is:

  1. Create a new Mailing and name it e.g. Taxi Insights Valentine’s special
  2. Tick the box to use a Layout for the Mailing
  3. Select the Layout I want to use (if you have more than one you have set up this will appear in a dropdown)
  4. Save changes and my new Mailing will be created using the Layout I saved

Here’s what mine looks like:

Still got questions?

We’d be happy to help with any questions you might have around Layouts, we understand everyone’s process is different so get in touch with any questions and we will help you get set up.

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