How to use the Email Template Designer with Dynamics 365 Marketing

Dynamics 365 Marketing comes with a wide variety of professionally designed templates. Most templates include a basic layout, color scheme, and sample content. This offers your team the flexibility to spend more time creating content and less time on design work.
When it comes to email marketing, design plays a vital role in subscriber engagement, getting higher click-through rates and conversions. As a marketer, we understand that creating compelling email content is difficult enough and the struggle of designing an email adds to the workload. That’s where email templates come in handy.

Benefits of using Templates in Dynamics 365 Marketing 

The templates included with Dynamics 365 Marketing provide: 

  • A starting point to help you work quickly 
  • Advanced layouts based on responsive design techniques help make content look good on any screen size 
  • A harmonious color palette with a manageable number of colors that you can easily adapt to your own organization's identity 
  • Tried-and-true designs that have been tested against a wide range of web and email clients to help ensure they will look great everywhere

Step 1: Select your email marketing template

The first thing you do each time you create a new message, page, or form is to choose a template. The template picker provides many controls for searching, sorting, and filtering.

Note: When you edit a selected template the original template won't change; likewise, any future changes that you make to any template won't affect any existing designs that were created using it.

Step 2: Design your selected template

The graphical designer provides an editable preview (canvas), where you can select, edit, or remove content.

Toolbox: To add a new design element to your design, drag an element from here to an appropriate place in the canvas; or select an element here (without dragging) to highlight each position on the canvas where you could place that element.  

Properties: Most design elements need to be configured to work. For example, an image needs to point to an image file and a button needs some text and a destination. When you add a new design element, that element is automatically selected, and its properties tab opens so you can set it up. 

Step 3: Style your selected template

All email and page templates included with Dynamics 365 Marketing provide style controls to help you quickly adapt them to your organizations or campaigns brand colors. The style settings vary according to which template you choose. Designs based on a blank template don't provide styling controls unless you (or your system customizer) have programmed them to do so by using the right HTML markup.

Below are some common style settings provided by the out-of-the-box templates:

Outer background: The color shown outside of your message content (behind the "paper") 

Inner background: The color shown behind your message content (the "paper color") 

Hero image settings: The hero image is the largest image on the page.  

Font and body text settings: These set typographical options that apply to most of the text in your message, but usually not headings. 

Colours: Allow you to set colours to individually match your preferred color palette. These colors typically map to heading text, call-to-action buttons, text-box backgrounds, and borders used in the design. The following naming conventions are used most typically (additional colors are sometimes provided): 

  • Color 1: Primary buttons 
  • Color 2: Secondary buttons or feature blocks 
  • Color 3: Footer 

Direction: Depending on which language you're using, you'll choose either LTR (left-to-right) or RTL (right-to-left). 

Step 3 Preview your design 

Dynamics 365 Marketing provides both a simulated preview and an inbox preview for email messages. 

  • Standard preview: Go to the Designer > Preview Basic Preview tab to see the standard designer preview and choose between various form factors, contacts, and content settings. 
  • Inbox preview: Go to the Designer > Preview > Inbox Preview tab to see real-world inbox previews that show your design exactly as it will appear in a wide variety of target email clients and platforms. 

If this article was helpful to you, consider checking out some of our other blogs about Dynamics 365 Microsoft Marketing. If you need  further support and training with Microsoft Marketing – speak to one of our CRM experts today!