Create Email: Message Editor

This topic walks you through the basics of using the message editor to build an email message.

About this task

The message editor is designed to let you quickly and efficiently compose emails through a drag-and-drop experience. More specific details about each individual option in the editor are provided in the additional help topics that this topic links to.

For a video overview about using the email message editor, see Intro to The Email Message Editor.

Note: If you are editing an older message that was created with the WYSIWYG editor, the message will open in the WYSIWYG editor. For more information about the WYSIWYG editor, see Creating an Email Message Using the WYSIWYG Editor.

As you work on your email Bronto automatically saves a draft. If you exit the message editor without saving the message you will be able to choose whether you want to edit the draft or saved version of the message.

To create an email message using the message editor:


  1. Go to Messages > All Messages.
  2. Click Create New Message.
  3. Click Create Email Message.
  4. In the Name Your Email Message section, add a name for the email message in the Message Name text box.

    The email message name is the unique identifier for the email message. Name the email message something relevant to its purpose.

    Note: The message name is not the subject line for the email message but will be used as the subject line if no subject line is specified.
  5. Optional: In the Message Organization section, select a message folder to store the message in using the Message Folder pull-down menu.
    You can also add a new message folder by checking the Create a new folder in the selected folder box and adding a name for the folder in New Folder Name text box. If you do not select a message folder, the message will be kept in the Messages folder by default.

    For more information on message folders, see Use Folders To Organize Your Messages.

  6. Optional: Select a campaign to associate with the message:
    1. Click No Campaign Selected.
    2. Select the campaign from the list.

      If you want to create a new campaign, click New Campaign, enter a name for the campaign in the Name box, select a marketing campaign type from the Type list, enter a Description, and then click Save Changes.

    3. Click Apply.
  7. Click the Email Message Editor radio-button.
  8. Click Next.
  9. Add a subject line for your email message by either
    • Typing a subject in the Subject text box to use a static subject line.

      To add tags or special characters to the subject, click the arrow at the end of the subject line box and select the relevant choice from the list. If you chose Insert Special Characters, use the special character keyboard to enter them. For more information about the other options in the list see Cart and Order Tags, Field Tags, Special Tags, RFM Field Tags, or Product Tags.

      For information on writing subject lines, see Effective Email Subject Lines.

      For information about using an emoji in your subject line see the Power of Emojis strategic blog post.

    • Selecting Make Subject Dynamic from the drop down menu to set up a dynamic subject line.

      Set up the rules for your dynamic subject line in the palette. The first rule you set up will always be If and then you have the option of setting up AND, Otherwise If, or All Others rules. Be sure to click the Edit Subject Line button for each rule you configure to add the subject line you want to associate with the rule.

    If you do not add a subject line then the message name will be used as the subject line by default.

  10. Build the outline of your message with
    • Containers

      Containers work like rows in a table. Each container has the specified number of columns, boxes, that you can add content to.

    • Content Tags or Templates

      Content tags are blocks of content you have created and can use as a template.

    If you want to see (or hide) the outline of your message while you design it, click the Outline Mode toggle at the top of the message to turn the outline mode on or off.

    To add containers:

    1. Click on Containers to open the palette.
    2. Click on an item in the palette and use your mouse or track pad to drag it to the canvas.
    3. Drag the item up or down the canvas until it is in the place you want it in relation to the other items on the canvas and then release to place it on the canvas.

    To add a content tag:

    1. Click on Content to open the palette.

      The Content Palette with content tag options is displayed.

    2. Click on Insert Content Tag.

      The Insert Content Tag window opens.

    3. Click on the content tag you want to use.

      We recommend using content tags designed with the drag and drop content tag editor for better responsive design support.

    4. Select either
      • Dynamic Tag to add the content tag to your message but still retain the link to the original content tag. This means any updates you make to the tag using the content tag editor will automatically be reflected when a message is sent. When you insert a content tag dynamically, the appearance of the content tag will look similar to any other dynamic tag you can use in a message: %%@tagname%%.
      • Static Tag to add the content tag to your message without retaining a link to the original content tag. When you do this the contents of the content tag are added to your message and you can edit it like any other part of the message.
    5. Click Insert Content Tag.
  11. Optional: To add headers or footers to your message
    1. Click the Content palette.
    2. Scroll to the Headers & Footers section.

    3. Select a header or footer from the list.

    After you select a header or footer, it appears on the canvas. To change it, select a different header or footer from the list.

  12. To add content to your containers
    1. Click on the Elements Palette to open it.

    2. Click on an item in the palette and use your mouse or track pad to drag it to the canvas.
    3. Drag the item until it is in the box you want it and then release to place it on the canvas.
    4. Provide additional information for the item in the element's Content tab, as necessary.

      An element settings menu consists of two tabs. The Content tab is where you add the attributes relevant to the element. For example, if you added an Image element to your message you will need to provide the attributes for the image, including the Image URL. Each element has a different set of requirements. For more information see Elements Palette.

    5. Format the item, as desired, using the Design tab.

      The Design tab is where you can design the style of your element. For more information, see Design (Format) Message Content. The one exception is the Text element, which provides design options on both the Content and Design tabs.

    6. Click Done.
  13. To access and edit the global message options,
    1. Click the Settings Palette.
    2. Click a button in the palette.
    3. Provide additional information for the item, as necessary.

      For more information about each option see Settings Palette.

  14. To edit an item after it is already on the canvas, mouse over it and
    • For containers, content blocks, or templates click on one of the large blue buttons that appear above the row.
    • For message elements, click on one of the small green buttons that appear below the item.

    When you click Edit for an individual element, you are only styling that element. When you click Edit for a container, you are styling the entire container and all of its elements. For more information, see Design (Format) Message Content.

    A message's design settings always default to the most specific design. If you apply the same design setting to an element, a container, and import a CSS for a message, the element design will respect the design settings that were set at the element level. For example, if you make the Background Color for a container blue and give the text in the middle cell of that container a green Background Color, the left and the right cell in the container will have the blue background, but the middle cell will have the green background you assigned to the Text element. For Text elements, any font design set in the Content tab will supersede Design tab settings.

  15. To
    • Delete an item, mouse over it and click Remove. If you accidentally delete something, you can click the Undo button to add the Element or Container back to the message.
    • Copy an item, mouse over it and click Copy.
    • Move an item, mouse over it and click Move.
    • Design an item, mouse over it and click Design for rows or Edit for individual items.
    Remember, the blue button edits the row and the green button edits single items in a cell in the row.
  16. To make the content in a container dynamic:
    1. Mouse over the container.
    2. Click Dynamic.
    3. In the Edit Dynamic Content Rules panel, set up your rule criteria:
      1. Select the criteria from the list. For example, select On Segment.
      2. Click + and select the item you want to use. For example, select the segment you want to use.
    4. When you are done with the first rule, click New Rule to add another rule.

      By default, the content in the message for the first rule is copied into the other rules as you create them. You can edit or delete this content as appropriate.

    5. Set up your new rule and any subsequent rules you would like the container to have.

      When you add dynamic content, an All Others rule is automatically defined. Any contacts who do not fit into any of the dynamic content criteria you set are sent the version of the container that is associated with the all other rule. Make sure that you appropriately configure the container content for this default rule as well as the rules you defined.

    6. Click Done.
    7. Select the rule you would like to work with from the Active Dynamic Rule list to the right of the container.
      The content in the container will change to the content for that rule.
    8. Edit the content in the container for this rule, then design it.

      When you are done, the container should match what contacts who fit the rule should see when they open the message. You can see other what other rules look like, or quickly access the Edit Dynamic Content Rules panel, using the container's dynamic content shortcut on the message canvas.

      To see the dynamic content for another rule in the container, change the value in the Active Dynamic Rule list.

      To edit the rule, click the lightning bolt to the right of the container. The Edit Dynamic Content Rules panel will open and you can make your changes.

    9. Continue to view, add, and design content for each of your rules until the message is how you want it to be.
  17. When you have finished building your message
    • Click Save to save your message.
    • Click Save & Close to save your message and exit the page.