We love anything that makes our clients’ lives easier. A couple years back, MailChimp rolled out their drag-and-drop template creator. This has been great for both us and our clients, because creating a MailChimp template is even easier than it ever was before.
Once you’ve started the Create a Template process, you’ll be asked to pick a layout for your newsletter.
Here is where you’ll want to start considering what kinds of content you’ll have in each newsletter, since that will help determine what sort of content areas you’ll need.
If you’re just featuring one article, and including some contact information, one of the 1-Column layouts may be the best option.
On the other hand, you may have multiple articles, a video, and a testimonial to feature with each your newsletters. In that case, one of the multiple column layouts could work best.
In this current client’s case, we’re making sure we have room for a blog excerpt, a highlighted article or tip, and contact information, so we are going with the 1:2 Column layout.
After you’ve picked your layout, you’ll be greeted by the drag-and-drop editor. It may look intimidating at first, but don’t fret! I like to take each section one-at-a-time, starting with the design.
First, I drop in my header image that I’ve created ahead of time. This can be as simple as your company’s logo, or something a little more creative. Once you have the header plugged in, you can begin shaping the design of the newsletter to match the header.
Next, go to each section under Design and adjust all of the colors, sizes, and fonts to match the branding of your company.
A lot of the settings can simply be left to their default settings. MailChimp gives you a great template to start with, so sometimes all that needs to be changed are the colors.
Once you’ve adjusted all your colors, and you’re happy with the design, you can add your mock content to your newsletter.
This step is optional, but it can sometimes give you a jump start with each of your newsletter campaigns if you have your newsletter already mocked up in the template.
You may also discover as you’re adding in your mock content that you need to adjust the design in the process. By mocking up your first newsletter in the template creator, it’s easy to make those types of changes on the fly.
This is also a great opportunity to use MailChimp’s pre-made content blocks, such as Social Share. These blocks are really helpful for building your newsletter’s content quickly and easily.
Finalizing your Template
Now that your newsletter is mocked up, you can preview your newsletter and send yourself a test email by clicking the Preview and Test button in the top right. This is an important step for fine-tuning your newsletter and making sure you haven’t missed any small details.
Once you’re happy with the template, you can click Save and Exit in the bottom. This will prompt you to name your template for your future use. Now you’ll be able to use this template to create your newsletter campaigns.