Any recommendations for user managed email templates?

I’m in the last 20% (yeah right) of a project for a client, and one thing they would like is the ability to edit the templates for the emails that go out when they email their users for various reasons.

Do you have any recommendations in this regard, successes, pitfalls? liquid is out there, but it is old (not necessarily a bad thing). Are there any good markdown editable email template solutions that anyone knows of?


Are we talking transactional or marketing emails?

If the latter why not use external services like mailchimp?

If you find a solution for user editable email templates keep this thread updated. I’ve never had to implement this and would love to know what you come up with.

Hi @mrlee. It is a tutoring business. they want to send notifications to their tutors and clients regarding invoices, job opportunities, etc. Is mailchimp a good vehicle for that?

Looks like Sendgrid and Mandrill offer email templates for transactional emails. Mandrill is owned by MailChimp, which handles regular email campaigns.

Relying on clients to create email templates without one of these tools would be a nightmare, at least I imagine it would be.

Also make sure the company is aware of any email laws that may have come into effect in your area. Up in Canada CASL took effect early last year and it does the following:

To send a commercial electronic message to an electronic address, you need to have the recipient’s consent, to identify yourself, to offer an unsubscribe mechanism and to be truthful.

Consent: You must have a form of valid consent.
Identification: Clearly identify yourself and your organization.
Truth in advertising: Your messages must not be false or misleading.

Note: This website provides plain language information about the law but is not a substitute for the law itself. You are strongly advised to review our information bulletins and seek your own legal advice regarding how to comply.

Both services above take care of this for you. Aside from the consent that is.

I use Mandrill for my lesson tracking app. We send out notification emails each time a new lesson is created for one of our users.

It’s working very well for us so far. The email template editing isn’t the best I’ve seen but the ability to copy/paste HTML from your own email designs is great. They offer quick previews and full (paid for) testing to see how it will render in various email clients.

You would make a call to the Mandrill API with your API key, telling to send a certain template with included values. You reference the values like:

<p>Hi *|parent_name|*. There's a new lesson available for *|student_name|*.</p>

All very simple to set up and since the email templates are all stored and edited on Mandrill you can give your clients access.

The biggest plus is that you can try out several iterations of email layouts without redeploying your app.

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As I understand it:

Transactional emails are usually notification emails sent to an individual user in response to a specific user-related event in your app.

Marketing emails are emails of broader topics sent out en-masse to many users at once.

As @mrlee says, Mailchimp handles marketing emails while their sister company, Mandrill, handles transactional emails.

This is so incredibly on target and helpful. Thank you so much!

I second this suggestion for mandrill! the big value is that if you have a mailchimp account and connect your mailchimp and mandrill accounts (via “integrations” or something like that in mailchimp) then you can make really slick templates in mailchimp and “send to mandrill” - this is an option that shows up in mailchimp once the accounts are connected.

In our consulting work, I will usually set up a very basic templates with the right variables in mailchimp, and then ask the client to edit it how them want. They can then make edits and send to mandrill without code changes, as long as the variables and template name don’t change.

I’ve been meaning to write a blog post about this, and I think your question is just the push I needed to actually do it! :slight_smile: