Email Builder


Sendlane's drag-and-drop MJML email builder allows you to create engaging and perfectly branded Campaign and Automation emails. This guide will introduce you to our email builder and all of its features!

In This Guide

Add Content to an Email

The Content tab of the email builder contains layout blocks which organize your email into sections, and content blocks which allow you to embed text, images, and more to your Campaign or Automation emails!

Layout Blocks

Layout blocks make it easy to organize your content into sections! Click on a layout block to add it to the bottom of your email, or drag and drop exactly where you want it.

Layout Settings

  • Background color - Change a layout block's background color
  • Fullwidth Background - Check this box to apply a background to the entire width of the email for the selected layout block
  • Background image - Check this box to use an image instead of a solid color for the layout block's background
    • Accepted file types: .JPG, .JPEG, .PNG, .GIF
    • Maximum file size is 10 MB
    • Background size options
      • Cover - Image is cropped horizontally or vertically based on the shortest side to fill the layout element
      • Contain - Image is scaled as large as possible within the layout block without cropping or stretching
      • Auto - Image's proportions are maintained and the image is scaled to fit the layout block
    • Background position - Select the background image's position inside the layout block
    • Background Repeat
      • Repeat Y - Image repeats on the Y axis
      • Repeat X - Image repeats on the X axis
  • Border - Check this box to apply a border to a layout block
    • Border Color - Change the layout block's border's color
    • Border Style - Select a solid or dashed line
    • Border Width - Select a border width from the dropdown or slider
    • Spacing Top/Bottom/Left/Right - Adjust spacing on any side of the layout block
  • Stacking
    • Prevent stacking on mobile - Check this box to prevent layout blocks from being stacked when the email is viewed on a mobile device
    • Reverse stacking order on mobile - Check this box to reverse the order of blocks when the email is viewed on mobile

Column Settings

Adjust background settings for each column individually by clicking the Column tab and selecting a column:

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Elements determine the type of content that appears in a layout block in your email. Click and drag a content block into a layout block to start creating your content!

The email builder includes the following elements:

  • Text - Best for copy and longer sections of text. Adjust the text’s size, font family, color, alignment, line height, letter spacing, and add hyperlinks, text styling or emojis by clicking the text element.
  • Title - Best for titles, headers, or short sections of text. Adjust the title’s size, font family, color, alignment, line height, letter spacing, and add hyperlinks, text styling or emojis by clicking the title element.
  • Image - Add static (.JPEG, .PNG, .GIF, or .WEBP files) or dynamic images (using templating syntax) to your emails! Add alt text, adjust alignment, size, and corner radius by clicking on the image element. Images can be made clickable by pasting a link in the Link field. Linked images can add Tags to Contacts who click the linked image by selecting or creating a Tag from the Tag dropdown.
  • Button - Create a clickable button with custom text and styling! Buttons can add Tags to Contacts who click the button by selecting or creating a Tag from the Tag dropdown.
  • Divider - Insert a divider line with custom styling to separate content sections.
  • Spacer - Insert a spacer to separate content sections without a visible line.
  • Social - Insert links to your company’s social media profiles! Adjust the styling and social media icons and links by clicking the social element.
  • HTML - Insert custom HTML!
  • Media - Insert a link to a YouTube or Vimeo video to create a clickable image of the video’s thumbnail. Adjust the video’s alt text, spacing, and button styles by clicking the media element.
  • Link Bar - Insert a bar with links to any URL you need! Add, rearrange, and style the link bar by clicking on the link bar element.
  • Text Wrap Image - Insert a combination text and image element to wrap text around an image! Adjust all text and image settings by clicking on the text wrap image element.
  • Saved Block - Save any block in your email by clicking the Save icon on the right hand side of the block. Saved blocks can be added to any email!

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Set Global Email Styles

Save time and set up global styling before adding content to your email! In the styles tab, you can create default styling for the following elements:

  • Links - Select a color or enter a hex code for the default color of all hyperlinks, and check the Text Underline box to underline all links
  • Buttons - Select a default background color, border, font styling, corner radius, alignment, width, and spacing for all Button elements
  • Headings - Select font color, font family, font size, line height, and letter spacing for all headings in your email by selecting the heading type from the dropdown and editing each heading's settings
  • Body Text - Select font color, font family, font size, line height, and letter spacing for all body text

Click the Styles tab in the email builder, then click the preview eye icon to see previews of your style selections in real-time.

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Configure Email Appearance Settings

Determine high level settings for your email using the Settings tab!

  • Background Color - Select a background color for your entire email
  • Background Image - Select the checkbox to use an uploaded .JPEG or .PNG file as a background image and choose the image's position setting
  • Border - Select the checkbox to add and style a border for your entire email, including dashed or solid borders
  • Spacing - Adjust the spacing on all sides of your email
  • Save as new template - Save this email as a new template that will appear in the Custom tab of the template page
  • Change Template - Replace the entire email you're working on with a pre-designed template from the Sendlane template library
  • Clear Template - Remove all content from your email and start from scratch

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Saved Email Blocks

Use saved blocks to create standard email blocks like link bars, social media information, and other static information about your company or brand! Saved blocks can be used in any email you create in the future.

To create a saved block:

  1. Click the block you want to save
  2. Click the Settings icon 
  3. Click Layout 
  4. Click the Save icon 
  5. Enter a name for the saved block 
  6. Click Save

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Save an Email as a Template

To reuse an email multiple times, use the Save As Template feature! Click  Save As at the top of the email builder screen. Enter a name for your template and click Save!

Campaign Templates

When you create a Campaign email, it will automatically be saved in the Previous tab of the Email Design page

Emails saved as templates are saved in the Custom tab of the Email Design page

To use a template, hover over the preview and click Use Template

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Recreate Legacy Emails

Because emails cannot be transferred from the legacy builder to the new builder, you'll need to recreate any email templates you want to continue using for Campaigns or Automations in the new builder. This is a great time to review your email templates and Sendlane's many resources for building awesome emails!

Here are just a few that will help you decide which templates to bring over and how to optimize them:

Take advantage of your ability to be logged into Sendlane in multiple tabs! It's helpful to use two tabs during this process, one for your legacy email templates and one for the new builder:

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Use Hyperlinks to Images or Text for Large Files

Sending marketing emails with attachments, large files, or videos can trigger spam filters and cause bounced emails, negatively affecting your email deliverability. Using hyperlinks to files avoids these deliverability issues and allows you to add Tags to Contacts who click your links!

  1. Upload your file to the file hosting service of your choice
  2. Copy the shareable link to your file
  3. Highlight text or select an image
    1. For text links, click the link icon
    2. For image links, find the Link field in the Image Settings left-hand slideout
  4. Insert the link to your file
  5. Click the Tag dropdown and select a Tag to apply to Contacts who click on your text or image link
Links in Text Links in Images

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Set Default Values for Personalization Tags

In Sendlane's legacy email builder, there wasn't a way to set default values for personalization tags which meant that Contacts without data in the selected tag would see a blank space. Now, you can enter a default to show when Contacts don't have data in the personalization tag you want to use!

To set a default value for a personalization tag, add | default("")  to the tag and enter your desired default text between the quotation marks.

For example, to set a default of "Friend" for Contacts without a first name recorded, select First Name from the tag dropdown:

Then, edit the tag text to read  {{ contact.first_name | default('Friend') }} 

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Choose background and font colors in your email's footer by clicking into the footer, selecting Custom for Appearance, and setting your color preferences. Our contrast calculator will let you know if your background and font colors are not contrasted enough!

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My text's formatting looks odd or isn't updating correctly when I adjust its color, size, or font!

If you pasted text from another application into the email builder, the text may be attempting to retain its formatting from the previous application. If your text looks off, you can remove all of its formatting by selecting the text and clicking the remove formatting button:

Additional Resources

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