Drag and Drop does exactly what it says on the tin. It enables users to move a particular element from one location to another by simply selecting the item, dragging, then dropping it into it’s new location. Most Internet users have probably used it in some capacity by now, possibly without even realising it!
For example when:
Uploading images or albums on social media platforms
Placing files in relevant folders on your PC
Placing products in a basket when online shopping
Rearranging tasks in project management programmes
If any of those sound familiar, then you have already partaken in a spot of drag and drop fun.
Over the years, this handy feature has successfully dragged its way into email marketing, and with it dropped the ability to create sophisticated email campaigns with ease. Rather than having to rely on programming languages, marketeers (and your regular Joe) can now build email templates in just a few minutes by dragging structure and content blocks into place to form your email layout. Depending on your campaign, there are a multitude of clever content components that can be dragged into your structure, including text, imagery, video, social media buttons, CTA buttons and dividers, helping you build slick-looking, interactive emails without needing to know a single line of code.
Due to its simplicity, this method of building is used on a daily basis by businesses around the globe. No longer does one need to be an expert in HTML or CSS, instead drag and drop templates gives users the freedom and convenience of going off and preparing an email campaign without necessarily needing anyone else’s help.
One of the main advantages of using drag and drop templates is that the user can instantly see what’s been created, and amend the content and design layout straightaway if required. That means building a template using drag and drop functionality is much quicker and (almost) hassle free.
Another advantage is that the drag and drop template can be prepared in a relatively short period of time in comparison to any HTML template. In order to prepare such a template, all the user has to do is think about how they would like their template to look, and start dragging and dropping relevant building blocks into place. Not sure about the way you’ve laid it out? No worries! Simply drag the content around until you get a result you’re happy with. Once all the blocks are in place, the user simply has to save the design and voila, you’re ready to send!
If you prefer coding elements of your emails, never fear as some drag and drop systems, including Enabler’s email marketing software, give you the option of adding in HTML content blocks, allowing you to build more complex components of your template with a developer. Once the code is dropped into the HTML container within your template, it will seamlessly work in conjunction with the rest of the drag and drop template.
There are, however some limitations to Drag and Drop templates. One of them is the fact that there are a limited number of modules to choose from and so the template layout is limited by the software provider you choose. For that reason, drag and drop templates may be more useful for a small businesses without a with limited coding resources rather than corporations that deploy complex email campaigns.
Another limitation of the feature is that even though, in theory, drag and drop templates are mobile responsive, the software will either stack the content modules or just shrink the template down when displaying on mobile devices. When stacking content modules, the software usually places the modules on top of one another, taking the email content in a sequence from left to right and stacking it to enable the recipient to easily view all the content on their mobile device. However, this results in giving you little or no control over how the email stacks the content on your mobile device, meaning some content that might not be suitable for viewing on mobile still gets stacked, and you’re unable to swap content around within the stack itself. For more information on the different ways you can make your templates mobile responsive, take a look here.
Working with a designer has the potential to both help your work with drag and drop templates, however they can be a hinder if your designer is not fully briefed on the expectations and limitations of the drag and drop software in use. For example, in the Enabler team, we make sure our designers are fully versed in the functionality of our drag and drop system, but this won’t be the case everywhere, so the best thing to do is to check with the designer before starting work to find out how familiar they are with the drag and drop system you’re using.
Let’s face it, drag and drop templates won’t work for everyone; and that’s fine. These templates are best applied when used as an alternative way to build your emails, for instance when you don’t have the luxury of an in-house designer or experience in HTML or CSS. If you need to prepare and deploy emails with good functionality, ease of use and quick turnaround, then drag and drop is a great solution for you, especially if you are a small businesses with limited resources and have only just started to explore the world of email.
Most of the time, drag and drop is the easiest way to build templates, so do get in touch with our Enabler team for a quick chat on 020 7099 6370 to find out how our email experts and designers can help your build more complex, mobile responsive templates and campaign management for your next email campaign.
Happy dragging and dropping!