Suggestions for Responsive Email...

User 2777322 Photo


Registered User
5 posts

I am using RED for Business for Mac OS X with my own custom mailer/server. I am currently testing RED to determine if I can use it as my primary app for building responsive emails. I have only been trying RED for a couple of days and I'm generally very impressed with the results, especially the email code compatibility across devices. However, there are rough edges from a productivity standpoint in my usage that make the RED application itself sometimes difficult to understand and use. I would like the following features included/improved in the Business version:

1. Improvements to the editor, which doesn't function for editing as well as it could (or perhaps as I expect it to). For example, I would like to be able to select and drag rows up and down within the email content to rearrange. The triple-click doesn't always work for me to edit text and is not a common text editing convention. The context swapping for tool panels and bars is kind of rough and leaves a large blank area on the right side (I'm not clear on why this operates in a modal manner; I expect to be able to click or double-click and edit and then return without having to press an Exit button). Another example, I can't find a way to remove the trailing white space that is automatically applied to the paragraph element. If there is a way to edit it, I can't find it.

2. A way to store and insert frequently used custom branded footers, mailing list removal code and other reusable code snippets.

3. Ability to open more than one document at a time, preferably in tabs.

4. Ability to cut and paste content from one document to another.

5. Option to remove the image URL below from the code, preferably to replace the URL to point to a file for this image on my own server. Also, option to turn off all image uploading to your server.

http://sdrive-storage.s3.amazonaws.com/ … /blank.png

6. Option to preserve text formatting (such as italic, bold, links) when pasting from another application.

7. Improved documentation and more how-to articles, specifically shorter tutorials that focus on how to accomplish more specific tasks rather than longer articles like "A Responsive Email in 6 Steps". These are useful but I'd like more suggestions on how to specifically build specific elements of certain layouts, etc. without all of the other information.

8. Sample files or templates included with the software rather than sold in a separate pack. Paying $18 after purchasing RED for Business to look at samples is irritating. More should be included than the sample in the initial window that opens.

9. Function to also export a web browser version of the HTML, perhaps with the email specific code that causes problems in some web browsers removed.

10. Function to edit the title and other meta information. I would like this to simplify creating the web version.

The above would all improve my workflow. I have adapted to some of the applications quirks and have been able to prepare my first email that I will be sending out to a mailing list shortly. The email code is interesting, complex and more solid in terms of compatibility than I expected. One issue seen in the email client on a Samsung phone with multiple columns not appearing in the correct order was already fixed with the test version released today. Nice work!

This is a very promising application and I look forward to usability and other improvements in the future.

Thanks,

Andy

User 2777322 Photo


Registered User
5 posts

Some additional requests:

1. Ability to select more than one element (such as multiple paragraph elements) to be able to apply style changes to all selected at one time. I'd like to be able to select non-contiguous elements to batch-apply styling.

2. Ability to edit default link color for a document (and set a default for all new documents).

3. Really need to be able to set some of the default CSS to avoid repeating the same edits.

I'm building my second email. The first one went out yesterday to about 14k subscribers and it was well received. No issues reported as far as email compatibility. With productivity improvements, RED will be the best tool I've tested for building responsive emails.
User 187934 Photo


Senior Advisor
18,074 posts
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Instead of importing your email template to the form builder I would like to export the variables to RED.
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User 232214 Photo


COO
820 posts

Eric Rohloff wrote:
Instead of importing your email template to the form builder I would like to export the variables to RED.

Agreed, it's on the list. Also for using 3rd party variables like the Mailchimp merge tags and Campaign Monitor variables.
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User 1750295 Photo


Registered User
6 posts

Hi

I posted this on another topic (Personal Links) but got no response, so I'm re-posting here:

Having now put RED through its paces on some real work, I think there are a few issues caused by some confusion as to its targeted user-base.

I'm a professional web developer and have found the RLM/RSD line really useful. Despite some (inevitable) frustrations at not being able to delve in and fix the underlying code within the software (so you have to keep repeating any required tweaks as you go back and forth during testing) , the way you can visualise and control appearance across different screen sizes is priceless.

Now we're looking to extend responsive design into the email marketing design services we offer our clients. We use our own bulk email system for sending (like a home-grown MailChimp), so the mail-out facilities in RED are irrelevant to us. That includes the image hosting, as these will all be replaced by our own system's images for sending.

We've been designing the mailings using "Local Image", which works very well - especially as we can add the local image folder into the RED Project structure. However, we've found that we can't then export the HTML, ready for our bulk mail system, without turning all the images into "Online Images". Worse, as our bulk mail system's image upload comes *after* adding the page code & text, these are not available to us as we work and test. Plus, we can't export without saving!

So, the process becomes:

- Design the email in RED, using Local Images
- When ready for testing, turn all images to Online Images (using gash URLs)
- Save the project
- Export the code
- Import to bulk mailer system
- Send test emails

If we now need to go back into RED to do some tweaks, we have to go back through all the images, re-linking them to the Local Images so we can visualise the email correctly. Before we can export again, we have to repeat the above process to take them all out. That's very frustrating indeed.

I appreciate that you are also aiming this product at those who want a quick and simple way of creating short-run marketing emails and that your hosted images service is pretty useful to them - as well as providing you with an extra income stream for doing so. But, if you are really serious about also getting RED taken up by professional developers, you need to find a way for us to work more easily with the product. This could be as simple as allowing Export with Local Images in place and an option to use placeholder text ("IMAGE 3 GOES HERE") in the code in place of any images.

We are considering upgrading to RED Business for the more refined control it offers, but are reluctant to do so when there seems to be this confusion between audiences. Especially as there also seems to be a veiled warning that those without a paid hosting account (which we don't need, as I've explained) may receive a second-class service (see attached screen-grab).

I look forward to your response on these points.
User 2088758 Photo


Senior Advisor
2,625 posts

Hi there Mike,

Not sure if you have tried this already but why not upload your images and use the (online image) instead of the local image within Red? Then you wouldn't have to repeat and change all the time.

Perhaps I am missing something here...
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User 2772925 Photo


Registered User
1 post

Is it possible to add search or other short forms like submit, coupon code etc in RED?
User 2088758 Photo


Senior Advisor
2,625 posts

You can easily add an html element and add any custom code you would like.

***NOTE FROM ADMIN*** RED does not contain an HTML Element.
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User 453525 Photo


Registered User
9 posts

The ability to easily import client mail lists from other sources (excel, csv, databases) seems to be a must for an e-mail design program such as RED. So far all I see is a way to manually enter client names, email addresses, etc. which means I have to retype a huge number of records I that have in other programs (programs that can easily export data in commonly recognized formats). Have I missed something? I only have the "personal" version of RED. Perhaps the "Business" version already has this feature. The ability to import client contact data would be a HUGE time saver even for the users of the "personal" version.
User 2319362 Photo


Registered User
13 posts

EDIT: Whoops! Forgot to quote...

The ability to easily import client mail lists from other sources (excel, csv, databases) seems to be a must for an e-mail design program such as RED.


Note that RED is not meant to be an email sending system, but rather an email design application. While it does contain some sending features (for design testing purposes), it's not very good at handling large mail lists (simply because this isn't its purpose). To this end, look into systems like MailChimp.

Note: I'm simply a CoffeeCup user, actual CoffeeCup employees might correct me here, so look out for their posts.

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