Designing the content for your email can involve adding, replacing, and formatting text, as well as adding or replacing graphics, links, and macros. You can also modify the layout of the message and change other aspects of its appearance.

Designing your content is like using building blocks: you stack different kinds of layouts on top of each other to form the structure of your message. Then, you can add your content by inserting different email gadgets into the various cells within your structure.

Wild Apricot email templates divide the message body into rows and columns. You can click individual cells to insert content and adjust cell settings.

You can save your draft at any time by clicking the Save link in the upper left corner. You can save and exit by clicking the SAVE & EXIT option in the upper right corner.

After you are finished designing your email content, go to the Preview tab to preview your message.

For guidelines on designing emails that are successfully delivered and not blocked by spam filters, see Best practices for composing emails.

Adding and replacing text

To add text to the email from the Design screen, simply click where you want the text to appear and start typing. To remove existing text, select it and press Delete on your keyboard to remove it or start typing to overwrite it.

You can format your text using the various toolbar options.

For consistent results throughout your emails, you should format your text using text styles (e.g. H1, Normal, etc.) rather than individual font options (typeface, size, etc.).

Adding and removing pictures

To add a picture to your template, click where you want the picture to appear then click the Image icon within the toolbar.

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From the window that appears, you can choose a picture that is already in your account or upload new pictures from your computer or network. For more information, see Inserting and editing pictures.

To set or change the properties of the picture, position your mouse over the picture in the template, then click the Settings option. From the image settings toolbar that appears, you can change any of the image's properties, including size, alignment, margin, and borders, and how adjoining text wraps around the image.

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You can also resize a picture by clicking on it then dragging its selection handles.

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To remove an existing picture, position your mouse over the picture and click the X icon in the top right corner of the picture.

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You can delete a picture by selecting it then pressing the Delete key on your keyboard.

For more information, see Inserting pictures.

Adding and modifying links

You cannot attach files to your email, but you can insert links to online files and to files uploaded to your Wild Apricot account. For more information on uploading documents, see Inserting documents and files.

You can also insert links to a web site, site page, event page, or email address.

To insert a link in your email:

  1. Click where you want the link to appear.
  2. Click the Link dropdown in the toolbar towards the top of the page and select Insert or edit link.
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  3. From the Insert link window that appears, select the destination for the link. https://cdn.elev.io/file/uploads/jEC8HySvDwISUdSg8iqChOB9kMRsiM1RCnIFiA0173M/wHOqi3v1Fcnh4-TzEnMCvQubmN0TJ1CBuSAkf0yEm5I/linking%20to%20other%20site-VuA.png
    Enter a website address or email address in the Website URL or email field, click the Site page tab to select a page from your site, or click the Event tab to select an event from your site. For events, you can choose whether to link to an event's detail page or registration page.
  4. Enter the link text you want to display to the recipient.
  5. You can also enter a tooltip to be displayed when a mouse pointer is positioned over the picture, and control whether the link opens in a separate browser window.
  6. Click Insert link.
You can also link a picture to a document, web site, site page, event page, or email address. Before clicking the Link dropdown, select the picture you want to link.

Personalizing the message with macros

Using macros, you can personalize your email to include specific information about the recipient such as first name or organization name.

To insert a macro in your email, click within the email where you want the macro to appear, then click the Macro icon on the content editor toolbar.

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From the list that appears, select the macro you want to use. For a complete list, see Available macros.

You should add a link to the {Unsubscribe_Url} macro so recipients can easily unsubscribe from your mailing list. If a link to the {Unsubscribe_Url} macro does not appear in your email, one will be automatically appended to the message.

Setting the message background

When you first begin editing your email or email template, general settings appear in the settings panel on the left.

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To display the general settings again, just click on the background area outside the content areas of your message.

From the general settings, you can change the settings that apply to the entire message, including the overall background of the message. For the background, you can choose a background color or image.

To set a background image for the message, click the Select button beside Background image. You can now select an image to be used as the background. You can choose a picture to be inserted from the pictures already in your account, or upload one or more new pictures then choose one of them to be inserted. For best results on different devices, choose an image that is no bigger than 600 pixels wide.

After you have selected a background image, you can choose how the image is repeated – horizontally, vertically, both (tiled), or not at all – and set the horizontal and vertical alignment.

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Background images are not supported by some email clients (e.g. Yahoo and Outlook 2007/2010/2013). If you set a background image, be sure to also set an appropriate background color as a fallback.

To choose a background color for the message, click the Background color control. You can then select a color from the drop-down palette or enter the hexadecimal code for the color (e.g. #FF0000 for red).

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Choose the X option in the upper left corner if you don't want a background color.

To display the General settings panel again, click the Appearance icon at the top.

Changing the font set

From the General settings panel, you can change the default typeface used in the message by choosing a font from the Font set list.

After selecting a default typeface, you can still change the font for selected text using the font and text style options appearing on the content editor toolbar. Selecting a different typeface from the font set list will not override any custom text formatting. To clear custom text formatting and revert to the default typeface you selected using the Font set list, select the text then click the Clear formatting icon within the content editor.

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Setting cell properties

Wild Apricot templates divide the message body into rows and columns. You can click individual cells to insert content and adjust cell settings.

For each cell, you can set the following properties:

Background color
The background color of the cell. After clicking the Background color control, you can select a color from the drop-down palette or enter the hexadecimal code for the color (e.g. #FF0000 for red).

Background image
An image to be displayed as the background for the message. To set a background image for the message, click the Select button beside Background image. You can now select an image to be used as the background. You can choose a picture to be inserted from the pictures already in your account, or upload one or more new pictures then choose one of them to be inserted. After you have selected a background image, you can choose how the image is repeated – horizontally, vertically, both (tiled), or not at all – and set the horizontal and vertical alignment.

Background images are not supported by some email clients (e.g. Yahoo and Outlook 2007/2010/2013). If you set a background image, be sure to also set an appropriate background color as a fallback.

Padding
The distance (in pixels) between the cell content and the cell border.

Margins
The amount of space – in pixels – that appears outside the cell. You can set the top, bottom, left, and right margins separately.

Border
The width of the cell border (in pixels). You can set the top, bottom, left, and right border separately, and choose a border style and border color in each case.

Changing the layout

You cannot add or remove individual columns and rows while modifying an email or email template, but you can switch to a different layout with a different combination of columns and rows. When you switch layouts, your content with be automatically repositioned without any loss of content or formatting.

If you want to send a message that consists solely of a picture or image, you have to switch to the 1 cell, no headers/footers layout.

To change the layout for your email or email template, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Layouts icon towards the top of the screen.
  2. Click the layout you want to switch to. Most layouts include preheader, header, and footer areas. The exceptions are the 1 cell, no headers/footers option – a single-cell layout with no headers or footers – and the No layout option – a single block without any layout or text styles.
  3. Click the Apply button.
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If the new layout has fewer cells than the previous one, the content in the final cell will be appended to the last cell in the new layout.

If you choose the No layout option, all email content is combined into a single content block with no text styles.

After switching to a different layout, you can undo the layout change by clicking the Undo layout change button within the layout panel.

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Any changes that you have made since the layout change will also be reversed.

If you don't want a particular layout cell to appear in your email, leave the cell empty, then click the HTML icon on the content editor toolbar and delete all the HTML code.

Copying and pasting external content

You can copy and paste content from external documents or web pages with minimal loss of formatting and no subsequent editing errors. To paste copied content, click where you want the text to appear then click the Paste icon within the content editor.

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On browsers other than Internet Explorer, you may be prompted to use keyboard shortcuts instead of the Paste icon to paste your text.

The email editor will try to preserve as much of the text formatting as possible, but will discard any incompatible formatting – formatting that it cannot reproduce itself.

Whether graphical images are pasted along with the text depends on the source from which you copied the content. When pasting from sources that store images using URLs – such as Google Docs, web pages, and emails – any images included in the content will get pasted. When pasting from other sources – such as Microsoft Word – images will be discarded.

Accessing the HTML code

You cannot access the HTML code for the entire message, but you can access the HTML for individual cells by clicking the HTML icon within the content editor toolbar.

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Exception: If you're using the Blank template, clicking the HTML icon will display the HTML code for the entire message since it consists of a single cell without any layout.