Drag-and-Drop Email Design: It’s Here!

Update: Social Share Buttons and Section Dividers have been added to the editor so you can personalize your emails more than ever.

Good news, AWeber community. You’ve got a fancy new broadcast editor waiting for you. (Customers, it’s in your account now; go check it out!)

This editor’s literally designed for all skill levels: you now have three different editors you can work in. Choose from:

Block Editor

Got a vision but no HTML skills? You want the Block Editor, your what-you-see-is-what-you-get option.

Now this, ladies and gentlemen, is a busy marketer’s best friend. With the Block Editor, you just drag whatever you want to add to your email down from the menu bar.

Headlines, images, buttons, logos, paragraphs, coupons, product listings – you’ve got blocks available for all of them, so you can build a custom email structure in a few clicks.

There are 10 types of blocks in all to choose from. And as you’re working, a plain text version is automatically generated for readers who don’t have images enabled (and to keep your deliverability high). To see how the Block Editor in action, check out this video walkthrough.

new-new-message-editor-sd from AWeber Communications on Vimeo.

The Raw HTML Editor

Are you pretty good with email design? Want the freedom to tweak every bit of code ’til it’s just so? This editor’s for you.

You can, of course, switch to full-screen mode and choose from a white or black background, whichever you prefer.

Make sure you’re confident with HTML before choosing this editor, since you can’t skip back and forth to the Block Editor while editing – that creates a mess. And of course, you can preview your message at any point – in a new tab, so you can keep the editor open as well.

The Plain Text Editor

Just want to send out a few paragraphs? If you want black text on a white background, without pictures, formatting or other such fanciness, this is your editor. Just type your message up and send it on out.
(You can also create a plain text version in the HTML Editor, you don’t have to jump around, and again, the Block Editor generates a plain text version automatically.)

Switching Over From the Old Editor?

If you use the same basic format for each broadcast, you can continue to do so.

Copy and paste the HTML of your template into the template manager. You’ll need to add tags to any parts of the message you’ll want to edit. From there, you can add your new content with the Block Editor’s quick drag-and-drop system.

For now, you can also continue to hit the “copy” button on your original template. The new message will open in the old editor, so you can keep adding content the way you have been.

Is It Everything You Hoped and Dreamed?

We know each of you have your own unique needs for email creation, and we built this editor to accommodate as many of them as possible.

We want to know what you think of it and what needs you have that aren’t taken care of. If there are any other features you’re looking for, let us know in the comments below, and we’ll keep working on improving AWeber to make sure you have what you need to keep attracting more business!

“After watching the demo of the new AWeber broadcast editor, I quickly created a very basic email template to send to my lists (based on the block editor).

At this time, I’ve had the highest open rate, the most clicks thrus and the least complains of any mailing I’ve done in the last year.

This feature is beyond exciting, it’s re-inventing professional email. My readers are at at all time high and there’s a significant amount lower complains.

Thank you so much for making broadcasting something I want to do again.”

- A Happy Customer

By:
Amanda Gagnon is the former Education Manager for AWeber and has started a number of small businesses.

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62 Comments

  1. It’s good to see you guys keep innovating and not being complacent. Looking forward to the webinar.

    3/6/2012 11:12 am
  2. Just one word : AWESOME !

    3/6/2012 12:50 pm
  3. So good

    3/6/2012 1:54 pm
  4. Chad

    Adding a new feature like this increases the “wow” factor, but what I’d really like to see is improvements in existing features.

    Seems to me there are some simple things you could do with your current features to make Aweber more useful.

    For example, automation rules. These haven’t change hardly at all in years.

    How about adding more types of rules? For example, how about a rule for erasing (not just unsubscribing but removing) and blocking when lead subscribes to another list? How about rules for blocking subscription to a list if the lead is already subscribed to another list?

    Those are things we have to manage manually right now, on a weekly basis. Just those automation rules would be a lot more valuable to me than a new broadcast editor.

    There are features in other areas besides automation. How about a simple way to erase all unsubscribes from an account? That’s something we do once a month. Right now, I either have to fill out a support request to have it done, or I have to do it 100-at-a-time. If I have 1800 unsubscribes, I have to go through 18 pages to do get them all.

    Or as another example, how about an account-wide block list, instead of just a per-list block list?

    And how about fixing a few of the bugs in existing features?

    One that hampers me about once a week: Search for a subscriber that has received more than 100 messages. Click on the email address to display the subscriber activity. By default, the activity shows 20 entries. Click on the “100″ button to show 100 entries. Then click to go to page 2 of subscriber activity. Instead of showing the next 100 entries, the display snaps back to 20 entries and shows page 2 of the 20. There’s no way to show page 2 of the 100 in Subscriber Activity.

    Here’s another one. I don’t do it very often, so I don’t know if it’s still there, but it was the last time I did it: Go to the Unsubscribe page. Paste in a list of addresses (about 10 or so) to unsubscribe, then click the check box to block the addresses. They all will correctly unsubscribe, but only one of the addresses will unblock (either first or last, I can’t remember which).

    Any of these changes would be more useful to me than another editor.

    3/6/2012 2:00 pm
  5. Chad, Thank you for your feedback; it’s very useful to us to see what kind of improvements our customers are looking for. I’ll pass your suggestions directly on to our developers. If you don’t see the changes you’re looking for immediately, just know that some projects do take substantial time to complete, and we are always working on innovations that are as yet unseen.

    3/6/2012 3:51 pm
  6. This looks super easy and much more user friendly the the older editor. Two questions:
    How will we generate the text version of the emails?
    Will we be able to use this for creating follow-up emails soon?

    Thanks for the updated editor!

    3/6/2012 5:08 pm
  7. Excellent, Very Good!

    3/6/2012 7:41 pm
  8. Ileane, The text version is actually automatically generated for you if you’re working in the Block Editor or the Raw HTML Editor. (Easy, yes?)

    As for a new follow-up editor, we’ll take that suggestion and pass it along, and thank you for it!

    3/7/2012 9:26 am
  9. Michael

    I’d like to see the same interface for Follow Up messages too.

    3/8/2012 11:45 am
  10. Is there a video tutorial?

    3/8/2012 12:58 pm
  11. Elena

    Wow that’s so cool. I can’t wait to create my new newsletter with blocks. It looks so easy and so fun compared to the old version. I’d love to see you becoming a bit more world-wide friendly with your calendar and time options soon ;))

    3/8/2012 1:47 pm
  12. EAA

    This is just great.

    3/8/2012 3:21 pm
  13. This is sooo incredible. I have plans for this. Thanks very much.

    3/8/2012 4:37 pm
  14. Awesome guys. Really looking forward to creating my first email in the new block editor. Well done!

    3/8/2012 4:57 pm
  15. WOW… You guys just raised the bar to another level. The now layout looks awesome!

    I do have one question, I did not see and option to send a test message is that option still there somewhere?

    Thank you – ~ Mark

    3/9/2012 9:02 pm
  16. Hi! This is incredible!

    Am I able to go back and edit my old messages with this new Block editor?

    3/11/2012 10:38 pm
  17. Awesome! Good work guys. Keep it up!

    3/12/2012 9:47 am
  18. Great to see the improvements.

    Hope to see the block editor also as an option with the follow up! The editor now is not working well all the time. Especially when you are changing the layout. Sometimes you can just make one improvement and then it stops working!

    So hope to see more improvements…

    Florian

    3/13/2012 1:56 pm
  19. Hi,
    This looks fantastic and I just love that it automatically converts to plain text. My question is just like Mark’s, how can I send myself a test?

    3/14/2012 4:39 pm
  20. This looks awesome, I’m getting started now. I’ve always wanted to be able to drop my blog posts in and associate them with pictures.

    3/18/2012 7:41 pm
  21. I like the idea, but I’m still not happy with the fact that I’m SO locked into the stock images and colors that you’ve picked. My site’s colors and logos don’t match your common color trends which makes things frustrating.

    I’d love to use the postcard format to send out a quick FYI about an upcoming program, but just realized that I can’t change the image photo of the city. Why can’t that be a block that an image could be dumped into???

    4/15/2012 8:19 am
  22. And I’m not happy that the text boxes created try to squash the text into the tightest format possible especially when there is tons of white space and the words, from a design perspective, need some breathing room.

    4/15/2012 8:33 am
  23. Jennifer, you can add your own images, but it sounds like you’re using a template with a background image baked in. In that case, you’d need to choose a different template. The text issue might be helped by choosing a different font. You may want to experiment with adding more rows and columns to create more whitespace (if you click outside the message, you’ll see tabs with plus signs appear that you can use to add rows and columns).

    If you’re still having a tough time, call us at 877-293-2371 and we’ll work with you one-on-one.

    Mark and Wendy, to test your message, you’ll see a blue “Test & Preview” button down next to the green “Save” button in the editor. Click that to see the preview, and at the top of that screen, use the green “Send Test” button.

    Linda, yes; you’ll want to use this template manager to bring them into the new editor: http://www.aweber.com/blog/email-marketing/create-your-own-gallery-of-custom-email-templates.htm

    4/16/2012 8:45 am
  24. Is there any way that I can be a beta tester for this new application? I would love to give this a try. This really looks awesome !! Please let me know. I do have the time, and am a really fast learner !!!

    Thank you,

    Rebec (Becki) DiStefano

    4/17/2012 11:11 am
  25. THANK YOU!
    I felt like a giddy kid watching this …
    I am so grateful for the simplicity you guys have put this together with.
    Even I can figure this out!!!!!!!!

    Keep up the Awesomeness Team Aweber!!!!
    Cowabunga Namaste
    BradiDude

    PS if you ever want a fun dude to come in and lead some Company Meditations for your teams to help spark even more creativity, let me know cuz I’m your Dude!!

    4/17/2012 12:30 pm
  26. Hi Becki,

    Sure! The editor is available to all AWeber users – just click the “beta broadcast editor” link on your account’s Broadcasts page.

    4/18/2012 7:45 am | Follow me on Twitter
  27. Amazing job guys!!, Now i feel ready to create my very own emails. I will provide a feedback once a have done my first email with the new editor. Best of luck!

    4/19/2012 12:25 pm
  28. Very nice editor !

    4/29/2012 7:00 am
  29. wasan

    THANK YOU!

    5/9/2012 11:01 am
  30. Don

    I like!

    5/9/2012 2:11 pm
  31. Scott

    Firstly, I think the visual editor is a wonderful version 1.0 release and think it has great potential!

    That said, though, it would be nice to have more flexible template elements. For example, the article templates are good (e.g. left image with right text), but I think you should consider more flexibility in those elements. For example, I cannot see a way to delete the “Read More” link. What if I send out a newsletter that doesn’t have any more info to read? The “Read More” link is superfluous.

    Also, having some completely blank templates (like your competitor “Mad Mimi” offers) would be nice. That way, we could build up the elements on our own.

    Still, I think what you’ve done is great! Just some flexibility would be nice.

    5/15/2012 12:15 am
  32. Hi Scott,

    Thanks for the feedback! I’ve passed your ideas along to our team for review.

    5/17/2012 10:40 am | Follow me on Twitter
  33. This is a grate service Yea this software made it realllllly simple for me. & I must mention thanks thanks to the ever coorperating staff at ( Aweber)
    Great Guys.

    5/21/2012 3:14 pm
  34. I am so grateful for the simplicity you guys have put this together with.
    Even I can figure this out! Appreciated your good support Thank you

    5/30/2012 12:04 am
  35. Scott – Completely blank HTML template is now available; thanks for the request! (It’s in your account, titled “Plain”.)

    6/7/2012 8:51 am
  36. Scott

    Amanda, that’s great! I just saw that. Thanks for listening to us. :)

    I just sent an email to support with the following suggestions, but I’ll post them here since you seem to take our suggestions into account (really cool that you do that, by the way).

    (1) Some variety in the article block layout would be nice. At present, the only options are left image + right text. It would be cool if you could provide a left text + right image option, though, admittedly, most people use left image + right text.

    (2) Many times, I do not need a “read more” link, and there’s currently no way to delete it. If we put all the info we have in the email itself, the “read more” link is superfluous. Please add a delete option.

    (3) Regarding the article blocks layouts, is it possible to allow for text wrapping around the image? That looks pretty spiffy, and I know some other marketing services (e.g. Mad Mimi) allow for this.

    (4) Could you add divider lines as an option to be added in the newsletters? These can help section divisions look really nice and clean.

    Again, thanks for the plain layout. It makes personalizing newsletters and follow-ups much easier!

    6/17/2012 1:24 pm
  37. Scott, thank you for those additional suggestions! They’re definitely good ones, and the editor is still undergoing changes, so I’m passing them along.

    6/19/2012 11:14 am
  38. Hi Amanda,
    Just adding a few of my suggestions as well.

    1. Table: Being able to add a table into the body of the email would be extremely helpful as 95% of my emails have a table in them.

    2. Sizing pictures: Being able to re-size with specific dimensions would be great.

    3. There seems to be a lot of “white” space when using the Block Editor. I seem to be able to get more info in the standard editor.

    Thank you,
    Wendy

    6/19/2012 11:45 am
  39. In the old editor I could switch back and forth between Design view and html.

    In the new editor, when I switched to html from drag-and-drop, I no longer had access to the Design view.

    Please put that function back.

    6/24/2012 5:52 pm
  40. Tom

    I second Wendy’s suggestions above. I’m having a really tough time adjusting margins and white-space in the new editor. Thanks

    6/26/2012 12:36 am
  41. I want to add a video placeholder with a link to the Youtube video. How do I do that? I’ve tried using some of the other tools, but no luck.

    8/23/2012 10:11 am
  42. Heather, What you’d need to do is take a screenshot of the video and insert that as an image, then link the image. Instructions are here. Call if you need help!

    8/23/2012 12:08 pm
  43. Hi,

    I’m a brand new user to Aweber, and all the new designs and features sound exciting, I can’t wait to get started.

    Thank you very much.

    Stephanie

    9/26/2012 4:29 pm
  44. Rod

    I too would like to be able to add a table. I noticed that this was mentioned by Wendy but hasn’t been commented on by a Amanda.

    Is this possible?

    Rod

    10/20/2012 11:42 pm
  45. Rod (and Wendy) – All the drop zones are actually tables. If you click on your message in design mode you should see a little black box appear directly above it. On the right side of this box, there are two options that let you add rows and columns to a table. Hope that helps!

    10/22/2012 7:38 am
  46. Rod

    Thanks Crystal. That does help!

    10/22/2012 3:26 pm
  47. Thanks. It is really wonderful. I am going to try it out.

    11/13/2012 8:45 am
  48. Please add the option to delete the “read more” that appears at the end of every article. It confuses readers when there is no more and it’s unprofessional. It seems like a very basic thing so I’m really surprised you’ve not dealt with this since Aweber has such a good reputation.
    Thank you.

    2/21/2013 7:59 am
  49. Niamh – You can delete the “read more.” Just click on it, and in the Article toolbox to the right, delete the “Read More” from the Text field. The link will be gone.

    2/21/2013 9:43 am
  50. I have discussed this on help tickets with your staff, but it would be really helpful to bring back the option to see the html code even in the new drag and drop editor. I know others have mentioned this as well, but sometimes it takes even longer to compose an email to my subscribers in the drag and drop editor because although the email looks fine in the editor, when I send the test message, there are often mistakes – for example, a change in font size or the font itself in the middle of an article. It is very difficult to fix these mistakes with the drag and drop editor, because you can’t see the code to see where the change is. Looking at the drag and drop editor it looks fine. Highlighting the entire article and putting in the desired font doesn’t always work, either. It is *extremely* frustrating!

    2/21/2013 9:56 am
  51. I completely agree with Allison — there are so many thing that could easily be tweaked in HTML.

    2/21/2013 2:13 pm
  52. Allison and Wendy – I hear you. There are reasons to make that option available and reasons not to. We found the reasons not to more compelling, originally, but I have forwarded your requests to our development team. Thank you.

    2/21/2013 2:18 pm
  53. Wow that’s so cool. I can’t wait to create my new newsletter with blocks. It looks so easy and so fun compared to the old version. I’d love to see you becoming a bit more world-wide friendly with your calendar and time options soon )

    4/19/2013 10:37 am
  54. I’m hugely frustrated by the inability to see the code. AND by the seeming inability to change the font size of personalization code!

    I intentionally make my fonts much larger than the default, so they’re easier to read on smartphones, but I cannot get the personalization details to change, so I end up with the recipient’s name MUCH smaller than the rest of the text, which practically screams spam! Very frustrating…

    Is there any way to change the font size of the personalization inserts? I select the item (ie, first name) and change the font, but the change is never reflected in the actual newsletter.

    5/9/2013 10:27 pm
  55. Melissa – You can, of course, edit in HTML only instead of the block editor. The ability to go back and forth between HTML and the block editor isn’t available because the email templates are designed in very specific ways that are very easy to break when people edit the HTML themselves. So many users were breaking them and getting frustrated that we removed the option, the theory being that anyone savvy enough to edit the code would work in the HTML-only editor. However, I will pass along your feedback.

    I just checked and was actually able to edit the font size for personalization variables. Here’s the process: set the font AFTER you add it in. It should work.

    5/10/2013 7:26 am
  56. I am with Melissa. It would be great to be able to switch back and forth between html and the block editor.

    This feature is built into WordPress and other blog editors, and I haven’t seen any epidemic of authors “breaking” the design.

    Prior to the introduction of your block editor I had already created my own template. Tried to install it as a custom template, but it didn’t translate well.

    Therefore, I now create my Aweber emails in Kompozer (a no-longer-supported wysiwyg html editor) and copy/paste the html code into Aweber.

    It’s a workaround, albeit cumbersome. Looking forward to your bringing back the switchable view!

    5/11/2013 5:47 am
  57. Pauline, will pass along your story, thank you for sharing it. In the meantime, the template editor has received some updates and may now translate your template much better, so I’d suggest dropping the code in again. Don’t forget, when you load the template into a message, you’ll see different components based on whether you check or uncheck the “Keep My Content” checkbox. If it’s still not getting you the results you want, please call us at 877-293-2371.

    5/13/2013 9:19 am
  58. I love the block editor and would also love to be able to save the BLOCKS I create in an account library so I can add them to other newsletters with ease and reuse them at will. Thank you so much.

    8/21/2013 10:06 pm
  59. Hmmm,

    I notice that when I personalize my e-mail with Dear ‘firstname’ the deliverability seems to go up, at least the test doesn’t arrive in my SPAM folder, but without the personalization it does.

    However, when I personalize my mail the inserted ‘firstname’ has a different font from the rest of the mail . . . so I’m forced NOT to personalize the mail, because if I do it looks automated and naff.

    Is there a workaround for this?

    Stephen

    9/28/2013 6:22 am
  60. PT

    I’m having the same problem. Personalization is a different font and color. It doesn’t matter if i add it first or last. And it doesn’t matter how many times i set the size, style, or color. It is always different from the rest of the email.

    Looks spammy. Is there any way to fix this?

    11/21/2013 12:50 am
  61. Rachel Acquaviva

    Hi PT,

    You may want to try manually coding the personalization (for example, typing out {!firstname_fix}) into your email instead of choosing it from the drop down menu. For a full list of codes, check out our Knowledge Base article on personalization.

    11/21/2013 8:48 am