Getting Started: Designing an Email

Create > Design an Email

Use the Ascent360 Email Designer to build targeted and relevant marketing communication to be sent to an Audience.

Create a New Email

There are multiple ways to get started designing an email in Ascent360. On the homepage, select "Design" in the "Design an Email" tile.

You can also use the side navigation bar to select "Create" > "Design an Email"


Once you are on the Email Designs page, you will then select the "Create Email" button in the upper right corner. On the next screen, you will have the option to Start from scratch or duplicate an existing Template. After providing an internal email title and Subject Line, you will have the option to organize the design in any existing folders or create at the root (top) level.

Build the Email Outline

Emails in Ascent360 are built by combining Rows with Content Blocks. Rows provide the framework or scaffolding on which users can insert content blocks. Rows can also be used to group content together and apply customization consistently. To insert a row, select Rows on the right-side of the email designer and drag and drop to the center canvas, choosing the row with the appropriate number and location of columns. All new emails built from scratch start with one full-width row by default.

A new email with prepared Rows might look like this:

For information on saving Rows for future use, please refer to the "Advanced Content Options" section.

Add and Customize Content Blocks

Content Blocks are the primary building blocks for creating an engaging marketing email. On the right-side of the email designer, drag and drop the content block to the center canvas on top of an existing row. A "Drag it here" tooltip will appear to indicate the exact placement of the content block relative to other content on the canvas. 

After dragging a Content Block onto the canvas, click directly on the block to access the properties relating to the block on the right-side. 

Advanced Email Content Options

Merge Tags

Merge Tags allow you to dynamically insert information about the recipient in the email body and subject line. When editing a text box, click Merge Tags in the text editor to configure the merge tag options. Select a field from the list to dynamically insert this information into the email. Ascent360 highly recommends setting a default value for the merge tag as well. The default value is used in the event that the selected field is not populated for the recipient. Merge Tags can also be configured in the Subject Line of an email.

This merge tag would insert the first name of each recipient. If a first name isn't present for an individual, the text would appear as "New Friend".

Display Conditions

Just as Merge Tags allow you to dynamically insert text information based on the recipient's data, Display Conditions allow you to dynamically change the content of the email based on the recipient's data. For example, you can display different images to male recipients versus female recipients.

For more information on adding display conditions to emails, please refer to Dynamic Content (Display Conditions) in Email.

Mobile-Friendly Options

Emails built in the Ascent360 Email Designer are responsive, meaning they dynamically fit the screen size of the recipient's device. To check how an email appears on mobile, use the toggle in the upper-left of the design canvas to switch between desktop and mobile views.

Should you wish to hide certain content blocks on mobile devices, select the Content Block you would like to hide, scroll down on the right-side of the settings and select the Hide on Mobile option.  

Global Email Settings

Use the Settings menu on the right side of the email designer to configure the global properties of the email:

  • Content Area Size (500-700px is standard)
  • Content area alignment
  • Background color
  • Content area background color
  • Default font
  • Default link color

Email Designer Tips & Time Saving Workflows

  • Emails will periodically be autosaved as you work. You can also trigger a manual save by clicking the Save button in the top-right of the email designer.
  • Use the Undo, Redo, and Action History buttons on the bottom left to revert your design back to a previous state.
  • Create one or two emails that include the basic framework and colors that you intend to use for all future emails. Rather than starting from scratch each time to build an email, duplicate an existing email to get a head-start. 
  • Email Properties duplicate too - use this to your advantage by setting the correct From & Reply-to addresses in your template email.