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.
Being unable to edit any html or CSS in your new editor is very frustrating and made me switch back to the old editor. I VERY much hope you allow your users to access html and css in the email templates. It is frustrating to not be able to take advantage of the AB testing in the new editor, knowing that I would be sacrificing the ability to tweak and customize the email templates.
Thanks for reaching out with your concerns about not being able to access the HTML in our new our Third Generation Editor (3GE). We do apologize for any frustrations! You are also correct in that subject line A/B testing is only available in 3GE. We have forwarded your feedback to our programmers but would also like to extend our help! Please let us know if there's something in particular that we can help you format within a 3GE email template so that you're able to utilize subject line A/B testing. It's a great tool for helping to improve open rates and we definitely want you to be able to use it!
If you are still gathering data to add features to your third-generation email editor, I also need access to html source code. I work for a large company that receives money from sponsors. One of the terms on the sponsorship is that we will send sponsored emails to our customers as often as their contract allows. Most of our sponsors send us crafted emails from a marketing firm. I need html access to be able to recreate the sponsor email exactly as it was intended.
The HTML feature is a great suggestion! We really appreciate the feedback. I have tracked the request to your account and have notified our developers about it. Also, you can submit suggestions and feedback to our "Have Feedback" page that is located at the bottom of your Constant Contact account. Let us know if you need assistance with anything else.
I have kind of lost track of how many times I have seen this response "the html feature is a great idea"--and yet as far as I can tell when inquiring further it seems clear that Constant Contact has no intention of restoring this feature. Could the Constant Contact employees who are saying this please tell their company that they think it's a great idea? Because apparently they are not speaking for Constant Contact when they say that!
I came across another reason for needing it last night. I realize there is some thought that these drag-and-drop copy blocks are a great idea and really help people with design but there are huge problems with them.
1. you can't set the default styles for the copy blocks
2. Even if you want to use the default styles, if you try to paste copy (stripped of its coding via a text program like notepad), the text when pasted does not hold the default style that has been brought in. So you are forced to either retype text that already exists (for instance on your website) or paste it in and then restyle each individual piece of it. (WIth access to the html, at least you could switch to the html view and paste your text between the codes.)
3. You can't put a border around a block, though you CAN give it a colored background. Why did anyone think only one way of creating a "box" in your layout was sufficient? WIth html, you could switch to code view and add the style for your border if you wanted one. (I "get" that it is hard to create ready-made options for every need, but that's why we should be able to add styles in the code. I heard that the concern is that people will use coding that is not mobile friendly. Why don't you let people decide which is more important to them? We are capable or searching the web to find out whether something we are doing will work on a mobile device!)
4. I think there was a 4,5, and 6 but I have forgotten what they are at the moment. Oh, yeah, one was to be able to add space less than a full line height between paragraphs.
I will add, that for me, spacing is a primary issue. Unfortunately, elements like a title block above a student success story--with three lines of text in a hierarchy of font sizes--look terrible (no way to control font sizes and spacing to fit into a justified format.)
When using fonts below 14, the line spacing is poor. As a school in a highly regulated educational industry, we have to cite sources for any statement we make, and also include links to consumer information pages on our website. The length of the statement plus the link necessitates using a smaller font (9 or 10), resulting in spacing between lines that are out of proportion to the font (and the rest of the email text)--the result looks amateurish.
I am back to making JPGs for the title blocks, and story text, etc., plus graphic or photographic "postcards", and then uploading them into to image blocks. That way I can, at least, control their size, and how the text lines break across different devices. I can't do this, unfortunately, where I need to insert a link; I have to use a Constant Contact text block.
I have to acknowledge Constant Contact Customer Success Specialist, Kaitlin, for reaching out to us--and for having her team help us--that is great customer service. Although I do appreciate that Constant Contact has been willing to help with templates (we have so many iterations that need to be re-made and not enough time), long-term, it is not acceptable for us to have CC re-do or design new templates for us. We already had responsive emails before 3GE (I had customized a responsive template offered in 2nd gen and built up multiple designs from that). I really don't find anything in 3GE that offers significant improvement--and it takes away features that were helpful in 2nd gen.
This morning we received an email from Constant Contact for a $300 or $500 (discounted) set of services. One service is listed as: "List Growth Tools: Branded list growth tools (pop-up form, welcome emails, text-to-join flyer) and HTML code for self-installation." Another is: "Advanced Template:
Advanced email template that provides additional layout options and features."
So are there additional design tool options--if one is willing to pay extra for them?
Thank you for the additional feedback for us to pass on to the developers. Knowing exactly what people are looking for helps us work in the most needed tools as we update the system. Some of the workarounds you've mentioned are good ways to control how things are viewed. Some of the spacing issues you've just mentioned might have another fix as well. In your campaign go to the 'design' tab, and change the default text size to the smallest size you plan on using in your campaign, that should fix the issue you were seeing with line spacing not fitting the smaller text correctly.
While we're absolutely aware that many people still prefer the Legacy templates, some of them simply aren't as mobile responsive as we would like, which is one of the reasons for switching to the newer editor. If you were using one of the Mobile Friendly Legacy templates, it was likely to look great on most devices. However, editing the html can, and did occasionally cause issues on the mobile displays, which simply weren't predictable. As more and more people started opening email on mobile devices, we need to make sure that our focus is not just that you like the way you're seeing the campaign, but also that your customers are seeing the same campaign you are. Because of that, some features are currently more limited, to ensure that we're not giving you tools that end up not looking right for a large portion of your contacts.
This is not to say that we aren't going to keep trying to improve the system, and give you more control, but we'll continue to temper new releases to ensure that your campaigns look the same regardless of how they are being viewed. I hope that helps understand that we're not trying to take away features, we're simply not yet including features until we're more sure they're going to work the way you want them to.
Earlier this week I ran into a situation where I had a bullet list item with a nested list under one of the points. The editor insisted on making the "child" bullets exactly the same as the parent. The 3rd gen editor has no way of fixing this and believe me I tried multiple work arounds. With access to the HTML code, I could have fixed it in about 30 seconds. Instead I fussed with it for several minutes before giving up.
The new editor is great overall, but this scenario described above gave me bad flashbacks to my earlier experiences with Word (NOT positive) when the program would format things seemingly randomly and left me hating it!
Thank you for reaching out to us through the Community. I am sorry to hear that you experienced this issue. I can definitely see how beneficial it would be to have the HTML feature in this type of scenario. I have submitted your feedback to our developers and have also tracked your account with the feature request for the HTML option. I would also add that a possible workaround would be to paste the content into notepad and then pasting it from that document into the email campaign since the Third-Generation pastes with styles. With that being said, again, I am sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused. Let us know if you need assistance with anything else.
Please give us this feature! When copying and pasting content into the editor, it often captures fonts and styles I want to get rid of in the final version. It looks fine in the editor, but in email preview I see the fonts are different. Then there is no way to go into the html and see what's happening and clean it up! Very frustrating.