The PoliteMail Builder is only available in PoliteMail version 4.91+ Scroll to the bottom of the article for a video tutorial.
What is The PoliteMail Builder?
The PoliteMail Builder is a PoliteMail New Message add-on that allows users to drag and drop page and template component designs from a panel onto the Outlook editor. A user can now edit existing template layouts as well as create new ones, with more layout options, brand controls, buttons and image controls. To access the PoliteMail Builder, click on New Email. Under the PoliteMail flag icon click on the pull-down menu and choose Show/Hide PoliteMail Builder. You can also click the PoliteMail tab. You’ll see an option for the PoliteMail Builder, or you can access it by clicking the Templates icon. Templates created in older versions of PoliteMail are still accessible.
Components of The PoliteMail Builder
The PoliteMail Builder appears on the right-hand side of the new message. This window can be undocked and resized by clicking on the heading and dragging it to a desired location. You can also change the size and position by clicking the pull-down Task Pane Options window.
The Pages tab is where all your designed templates are stored. The name, owner, and date created will be displayed. Clicking on the tag icon will show any tags associated with the template. Shared templates will be denoted by the shared icon in the bottom right hand corner. Templates can be sorted by Recency or Alphabetically by using the pull-down menu next to the Search bar.
The content tab is where all your Images, Links, Paragraphs, and Smart Attachments are located.
The Brand tab holds all your brand themes. You can add your organization’s specific font and colors and apply them to any template. Additionally, you can assign the themes to specific Region or Business Groups.
Creating a New Template
Your first step in creating a new template is to design your Brand Theme. Click on Brand Themes and choose New. Give your theme a name. You can also make it the Default for all templates, as well as assigning it a Region or Business. Now enter in your brand’s colors and fonts. You can click Preview to see how your colors and fonts look while in the template. Please note when you click Preview, the PoliteMail Builder will only show a default template with your colors and fonts selected, so you can see how the colors and fonts look together in a template. You can also click any of the triangles next to a category to collapse it. When finished, click Save. Your Brand Theme is now ready to use. Click the back arrow to return to the Content tab.
Next, click on the Content tab and then Template Sections. You’ll be presented with options for a Header, Subheader, Body Columns, and Footer. Clicking on any of these buttons will present you with options. For example, these are the options available under the “Three Column” Body button. Clicking on the back arrow will take you back to the Template Sections.
To add any template component, double-click on it from the menu. The components will automatically be placed in their correct locations, regardless of where your cursor is. For example, if you had your cursor at the bottom of a template and decided to add a header last, the header would still be added to the top of the message. This example was created with a header, one of the two column Body options, and one of the 3 column Body options.
You also have a few HTML options within the Template Section. You can preview the HTML code in your template, save it as HTML, or import saved HTML.
Next to the Template Sections under the Content tab are your saved Images, Links, Paragraphs, and Smart Attachments. For an example, let’s work with Images. Clicking on the Images button will bring you to your saved Images. Hovering the cursor over images will display its name, size, and which user created it. As a best practice, you should resize your image before adding it to a template. To add an Image to your library, click on the Add Image icon.
To add an image to your template, drag it from the Content tab to the image placeholder in the template. If it has not been resized to the specified dimensions, the PoliteMail software will attempt to resize it automatically, but it can disrupt the table structure of the template. A second method is to click on the placeholder in the template to select it. Then, double-click on the image you wish to put into the template.
The same procedure works for Smart Attachments, Links, or Paragraphs. Any new content can be added by going to the PoliteMail tab and choosing the Add Smart Attachment, Add Link, or Add Paragraph icon under the Search bar. Click where you want to add content in the template, and then double-click on the content itself from the PoliteMail Builder. You can also drag it from the Content tab to the template where your cursor is.
Duplicating, Moving, and Deleting Sections
Within the Template Sections of the Content tab, there are several tools to help manage your content. By using the up and down arrows, you can move Body elements in your template. Click anywhere in the Body element in the template to select it, and then choose the up or down arrow. The text and images will be moved accordingly. In this example, the cursor was placed in the 3 column Body and then the up arrow was clicked. Notice it has now moved above the 2 column Body section.
Click on the section you want to delete and click the minus button.
You can also duplicate body elements by clicking on the duplicate icon. Make sure you select which element you want to duplicate by clicking on it in the template.
Previewing Your Template
While you are composing your template, you can preview how it looks on Desktop or Mobile. Under the Pages tab, click either the Desktop or Mobile icon to get a preview. The Mobile Preview page also has a pull-down menu to see how your template will look on different devices.
Saving Your Template
Once you’re done composing your message, you can save it as a template. Click on the Save icon. You’ll be brought to a dialogue page where you can enter in your Template Name, as well as assign it to a Business or Region. You can also choose to Share the template with your Group(s).
*Note: There is a known issue where the user attempts to save over an existing file and the changes are not saved. This will be fixed in the next point release. For a workaround, save your changed template under a different name.
Accessing Saved Templates
Your templates will be saved in the PoliteMail Builder under the Pages tab. You can also access them by clicking on the Templates icon the PoliteMail ribbon. Use the Search bar to search by name or by tags. Double-click or drag the template to add it into the New Message. You can now replace text and images while keeping the format of template. When you click Save, you can either overwrite the existing file by saving it under the same name, or you can save it as a new file by changing the name. For example, you have a newsletter you send out monthly. You want the format to stay the same, but the content to change. You could set the newsletter template as the default (name it Newsletter Template), edit the content, and then save it as the newsletter name with the month it was created (Newsletter October). The PoliteMail Builder will keep the default template, and then save a new file with the changed content.
Set a Default Template
You also have the option to make a saved template the default template that loads when the user clicks the New button. For example, you’ve created a newsletter template that all users in your Group will use and modify. Right-click on the name of the template in the Pages tab and choose Set Default. Or, go to PoliteMail > Settings > Preferences. Under Set Default Template, use the pull-down menu to select the default template from your saved templates. The default template will be highlighted blue.
If you do not have a user default template set and click the New button, The PoliteMail Builder will add the default PoliteMail template.
Content and templates can be assigned tags. Tags can then be searched, making it easier to organize your content. To add a tag, click on the tag icon on either a template or an image. A tag dialogue box will appear. Type your tags. Hit the Enter key after each tag. When finished, the tag icon will appear dark gray, indicating there have been tags assigned to the template.
You can share templates and content with the Groups you belong to. To read about how sharing works with Groups and among PoliteMail users, click here. When saving a new template, you can choose to share it by clicking on the Share button in the dialogue window.
For template and content that has already been saved, choose which item you want to share by clicking on it, and then click the Share icon at the top of the page.
You’ll then be presented with the Share dialogue window, in which you can share your content. Content that has been shared will be denoted by a share icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the item.
To delete any Content in the Page Builder, select the item you want to delete by clicking on it. Then click the trash icon located at the top of the page.
You can also delete content from the data grid. Go to PoliteMail > Content and choose whichever category you want to delete content from. From the Grid, place a checkmark next to the content you want to delete. Now click the X icon from the top of the menu. Your content item is now deleted and will not appear in the Page Builder.