Oct 16, 2018 8:39:44 AM
Currently, in our Third Generation Editor we do not allow access to edit the HTML and have no immediate plans to do so. We want to provide our customers with the abilities to be able to use a user-friendly interface instead of having to rely on a code view to get their desired results. With all the feedback we have been collecting we are planning on making improvements to padding and adding some line spacing elements in the UI. I know this doesn’t solve all use cases, such as adding tables, but we will continue to make strides towards improving the editor.
I understand allowing HTML would increase the ability for more control of your content but it can also have a negative impact on your newsletter’s display in email clients. If we provide access to HTML for every block, changing some of the default styles or content could break display when sent to an email client. Also being able to manually adjust width could have a negative effect. We have a team of amazing engineers constantly testing our templates in all email clients, so you can be certain your email displays consistently across the board. With that in mind, we want to make sure we make it easy to provide the best look and feel not only on the desktop but on mobile. With a majority of opens now leaning towards mobile over desktop we take that as a priority.
Please continue to let us know your thoughts on HTML and what exactly you're trying to do so even if we don't have HTML access we will be able to give you the tools to get your desired outcome.
Thanks for finally being straight with us. That said, here is one (of many) issue I have with the lack of access to HTML:
In our emails, we frequently copy the style, layout, and content of one block in a previously sent email into a new email. I achieve this in the old editor by simply making a copy of the old email campaign, opening the HTML view on the block I wish to replicate, selecting all, copying to the clipboard, and then closing that copied campaign (without saving so that it's deleted because now I'm done with the copy), then going into my new email campaign I'm creating and pasting the HTML code into a new content block. I actually have several Notes files where I just keep the HTML code for my most frequently used types of content blocks, so I can just grab the code, paste it in, and then change the text or images as needed in the editor.
It isn't a solution to simply copy the whole campaign, because I may be combining content blocks from several previous emails, and/or copying a content block from a campaign we sent a year ago and, in the time since, many other elements of our campaign look and feel have changed. I'll give you a scenario:
Let's say, every summer we hold an annual event. How about an ice cream social that's in late July. In early May, I send a campaign containing a block with a save-the-date for the ice cream social. Then I don't mention the ice cream social for the next several campaigns. Mid-June, I send a campaign mentioning the ice cream social again now that tickets are on sale, so I just copy the block HTML from my early May email and add the new ticket info. Then I mention it in every campaign up until the event. Then summer turns to fall, fall turns to winter, and then at the beginning of the new year we freshen up our branding with a tweaked email campaign layout, some changes to our header and footer, etc. Time continues to pass and here we are again in May, planning our annual ice cream social. To save time, I want to just reuse last year's ice cream social marketing (same image, description, etc.). So I find the previous May email (now a year old) in my past campaigns, copy the HTML from the ice cream social block, and paste it into my new email, change the date, and VOILA! – now my campaign has our current branding with the new header and footer, the other current news, and the ice cream social info.
I don't see how to do this without accessing the HTML, but here's a potential solution: Let us save content blocks to a library, the way we can save images, so that as we are building campaigns, we can simply insert content blocks from other campaigns into our new campaign without having to build them from scratch anytime we aren't copying an entire campaign.
In other words, if you can find a way to let us copy various elements from multiple different campaigns into one new campaign, that would make me a lot less hesitant to switch to the 3rd generation editor. I want to be able to copy a block from Campaign A and a block from Campaign B and put both into Campaign C.
I'd be happy to give other examples or further clarify if you have any questions about how I use HTML. I really hope you find a way to incorporate this functionality if you don't plan to let us access HTML in the future.
Thanks for listening and considering this request.
It's great to see you in the Community! Thank you providing such thorough feedback on the Third-Generation Editor. It is feedback from customers such as your self that helps guide our decisions for adding features in. Also, thank you for providing so many examples of how having HTML code in the editor would be useful for you and other customers.
I also love your idea about being able to save content blocks to the library. I could see this being a potentially great idea.
I am happy to track all of the feedback you provided and send it to the appropriate teams. Please continue to provide us with any feedback you thing will help us improve our products and services.
Have a wonderful rest of your day!
I am in a similar situation to Emily. Once a week I send out an email listing about 10-30 new books that have published that week. I use the HTML editor in Second Generation Editor to paste all the content into the block in one go. From start to finish I can get this newsletter done in about 20 minutes. Using the 3rd Generation Editor it would take me, literally, hours - week after week.
I understand that entering poorly formating HTML could have detrimental effects on responsive design etc but please treat us as adults and give us a warning message and then let us make our own choice!
If you won't give us the ability to access the HTML. Please, at least give the ability to paste with formatting as is possible in Second Generation. The Second Generation Editor is getting increasingly buggy and hangs frequently. I suspect it is because it is no longer being supported and will thus get worse and worse over time. I would move to Third Generation if I had the ability to paste with formatting and/or access HTML within a specific block.
Thank you for taking the time to write the workflow details that so many of us use (myself and our clients included). I appreciate you taking the time! I love your suggestion of being able to save and/or favorite our own blocks. That would be fantastic! However, assuming those are saved on a per-user basis, that would not help those of us with parent portals that create emails across many users. I create email templates for our 30+ offices and I follow a very similar workflow. Copy block HTML and paste it into a new email template. I'm absolutely lost without this feature!
In the older editor, you had the ability to edit the HTML of any block of content. I found this quite helpful in a number of ways and was wondering if and when we might get that functionality in the third generation editor.
I used to use this to make a content block that resembled an abbreviated version of the navigation bar on our website, but have found it impossible to replicate in the third generation editor as the responsiveness of the new template breaks each menu item onto its own row in anything smaller than full desktop screen sizes. A problem I never had with the old editor since I could edit the HTML by hand.
Thank you for reaching out to the Community! I apologize for the inconvenience but we are not implementing HTML into the Third Generation editing system yet. The editor is designed to be mobile responsive so those layouts will create a stacked effect, making it easier for your contacts to read and go to your desired page. I would be more than happy to track this feedback on your account for our engineers to review. Again, I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.
I still use copies of old campaigns as my template and doing that gives me the Advanced Editor so I can edit any and all html in my campaigns. It's really a serious problem though that this is not available with the new editor! If CC ever blocks all html editing, I will have to use a different service, despite 20 years of being with CC! Writing my own html is the single-most important factor for me in our email campaigns. Please tell your engineers they need to put the Advanced Editor into the new editor!
I do apologize that this has not been implemented in our product yet and we completely understand why you would find this feature useful. Your feedback has been tracked on your account and our engineers will contact you with any updates! Thank you and have a great rest of you day.
I agree 100% with what hvhibiscus wrote here. Editing the HTML code in an email content block is a required feature for me. So is the ability to include a subject line and body text when creating a hyperlink to an email address. I have been with Constant Contact for over a decade. If I'm stuck with this third generation editor as it exists today, I'm moving on.
Thank you for reaching out to the Community with your feedback on this! What specifically are you looking to access or accomplish through you email's HTML? Having these details will allow us to pass on your feedback to the appropriate teams. Are you looking for HTML access to create these customized mailto links? If so, the good news is we have these directions on how you can successfully create mailto links with Subject line or Body text in our Third Generation Editor.
Thank you for your response. After several attempts, I was able to add a subject line and email body text to a link to an email address. (Oddly, although it accepted the code for a space, "%20", it did not accept one for an apostrophe, "#92". But the apostrophe character worked fine.) This process is much less user-friendly than that of the second generation email editing tool set.
Other things that are much more difficult, if not impossible, to do in the third generation email editing tool set, vis-à-vis the second generation tool set:
> Inserting a graphic image exactly where I want it to be; changing the border size; resizing the image. It seems that the only way that I can insert an image is to drag it into the content block. But doing that inserts the image only in the top or bottom or left side or right side. With the older tool set, I could insert an image in the middle of the content block, and then left- or right-justify it. And I could connect a link to the image. And I could change the image size to the resolution of pixel dimensions. The only way that I was able to resize an image in the third generation tool was to drag it larger or smaller. Not very precise.
> Adding additional space between bulleted text. I need access to the HTML code to do this.
> Fixing formatting errors that your GUI interface HTML editor creates. Mostly relating to font size and color. Also removing extra line breaks that are auto-entered. Fixing misinterpreted auto-bulletin lists. Your second generation editing tool set made mistakes too. I've always had to go into the HTML code to fix them.
> Indenting selected lines or paragraphs.
> Changing the types or colors of bullets or numbering. (I need access to the HTML code to do this.)
Incidentally, nowhere in your post do I see an "Accept as Solution" button. I only see "Vote" and "Reply".
Earlier today, I created my first email, using the third generation email editing interface. Although I was able to resolve the link-to-an-email issue, my ability to tweak the the content of the Constant Contact email template was extremely restricted by the third generation editing tool set.
How much longer will the second generation tool set be available?
Thank you for the rather extensive feedback. There are definitely a few things that the third-generation editor can't quite do yet, and knowing what users are actually wanting helps our design team prioritize their next projects. I'm tracking all of your current requests, as well as your description of the issue with them.
We do not currently have a set date regarding when we'll fully remove the legacy editor. Currently we've simply stopped anything except critical updates to the legacy editor, and we've stopped creating new templates in it. Provided that nothing else changes, you should be able to continue copying and re-using the legacy editor for quite awhile.
I also would like to apologize about the lack of an 'Accept as Solution' button, that would only be available for the person who originally started this thread.
Thank you for your reply.
Yesterday, I gave up on trying to wrestle a third-generation template to meet my needs. I will continue to use older templates and the second-generation email editor until they are no longer available.
I am sure that new users looking for simple editing tools will appreciate your third-generation editing tools. The learning curve is short and shallow. It's just that I have been tweaking the HTML in my emails for many years. And because over 80% of my emails are opened on a computer, not a mobile device, fancy-schmancy mobile-friendly templates are not so important to me.
I'll try to retire before you kill second-generation editing functionality. 🙂
I'm sorry this was your experience working in our third generation editor. I am glad continuing to reuse your templates is a workaround that works for you in the meantime. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns as you continue to work in your email. We're here if you need any help with any of your templates!
May I also add to the list of things that HTML fixed?
Since we can't adjust the default social media links associated with our account, I have to adjust the social media links every time we use a new template. Somehow with the new editor, two of our default social media links point to one company/group. The other points to another group. Therefore, it is always wrong when I start a new email.
I used to keep a copy of the social media block code that I could paste into my emails. This took 30 seconds and once I copied in my little code snippet, I knew the links were correct at the size I prefer.
With the new advanced editor, this "check" takes much longer and is more clicks. Even making the menu on the side long enough so that I can see the entire social media link without clicking and scrolling to the end of the box would help. I have five different social media "groups" that need to change depending on the email. Even though adding social media icons/buttons is faster, it is not helpful if they are not correct. It was not pleasant getting nastygrams from our constituents before I realized that our default accounts had shifted with the new editor.
I like the new editor when it works, but this lack of HTML coding seems like a GLARING omission.
You sure can add your feedback on this as well! So thank you for sharing this information here in the Community. Both having HTML access and the option to have multiple social media accounts connected are both feature requests I have tracked in your account. A workaround we suggest is inserting your desired social icons as images that can be linked to the correct URLs. Doing this will allow you to have separate social media accounts connected to your campaigns.
I'm another user upset about the loss of the HTML editor due to some of the same issues "Mark" mentions. I see that there's an option to create a new campaign with HTML, but I need to make edits to one I've already created. The inability to position the images in particular is a huge inconvenience.
3rd generation editor -- that is a joke.
CC now has a 1st generation editor that doesn't work. Fonts don't change when commanded. At least in the old version you could go into HTML and change it.
It's probably time for me to find a new platform that works.