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Using A Custom HTML Email Template Import With FeedOtter

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Overview

In addition to the included templates in your FeedOtter account.  FeedOtter includes (one) complimentary import of a custom HTML email template with every subscription.  This enables you to use a custom branded email template with your FeedOtter campaigns.  This guide walks you through the process of preparing a custom placeholder HTML email and uploading it for use with your FeedOtter campaigns and newsletters.

The Template Import Process

Once you have become a FeedOtter customer you can upload your custom template file to the FeedOtter team for import.  Here is how the process works:

  1. You create or export a clean, compatible, well-tested HTML email that uses placeholder data for your content. (We will talk more about how to do this in a moment.)
  2. You upload your template files at: https://www.feedotter.com/import
  3. FeedOtter reviews your template and tests it for maximum compatibility using Litmus.com. This ensures your FeedOtter emails are always compatible.
  4. FeedOtter adds the necessary code to make your content display in your template.
  5. Your new template will appear in your FeedOtter account as a "custom template". You can now select it for use in any FeedOtter automations or newsletters.

Let's dive into each step further.

Creating A Great Placeholder Template

Since FeedOtter is all about emailing your content.  Your custom email template will typically contain a header, footer, and a section or two where content should be displayed.  The classic example is an email design that shows 1 featured post and several smaller posts. 

Key Features:

  • Notice how our logo's image file is coded into the email.
  • Notice how we used a placeholder image sized to our specifications for each content block.
  • Title and Description content are filled with dummy text or you may want to use text from a single blog post and repeat it for each block
  • Our CTA is a text link labeled "read more" this could be a button or the title of the post could simply be linked.  Ensure that any objects you wish to link (post image, title, etc...) are linked in your placeholder template. Links affect the styling of an email so it is crucial this is done when you code your email.
  • Notice the custom footer text, copyright and details.  You should also code in any unsubscribe links or tokens that are used with your marketing automation software.

Important Considerations:

  • Design your placeholder email with the maximum number of content items you wish to have.  If you want 1 featured post and 3 sub posts.  Your design should have placeholder images and content for all 4 posts.
  • Ensure images, titles, and all links are coded in.  Links affect styles so these cannot be changed later.
Sample Placeholder Template 1

Testing Your Custom Email

The first thing FeedOtter does when you send us a custom template is test it with Litmus.com.  Litmus(and EmailOnAcid) are well-known email marketing tools that help ensure your emails are compatible with all clients and that your FeedOtter emails always look great.

If you email template fails to pass this compatibility check our team will notify you, provide a link to the Litmus test results, and ask you to fix the code problem.  For this reason it is imperative that you test your code before submitting it. 

We recommend using one of the following tools:

Some marketing automation tools also have this testing capacity built-in. Feel free to use that as well but ensuring your emails are compatible is a mandatory step.

We also recommend running your template code through a link checker.  It is ok that content-related links are broken but this can help you catch links to other places such as your social channels or company website that should be linked at this point in the process.

Here's a great free link checker tool:

Link Checker

Uploading Your Email Template to FeedOtter

When you are sure your template is compatible and there are no broken links (other than content-related ones) you can submit your template to the FeedOtter team.

Upload Your Template Files Here

Import Timeframe

Now that you've sent us your template import request the FeedOtter team will handle the rest. A typical import takes 1-3 days to be put into your account.

First, the FeedOtter team will review and verify your HTML code. We will do this using Litmus and return the template if there are any compatibility issues. If you're having compatibility issues, we'll ask that you re-evaluate the template and send it back to us once you've fixed the issue.

The FeedOtter team will also be in touch if there are any questions. Once we've completed the template import you will be notified via email and be able to access the template in your FeedOtter account.

The template will be located at the top of the Template Library in FeedOtter.

Considerations and FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions that we get with requests for a custom template import. If you have any other questions or would like to import your own template please email us at success@feedotter.com.

Can I use a Marketo template?

Ideally, no. Marketo templates have oodles of extra "Marketo code" that make them less than ideal for use as a template in any other system. If you must, you can test and send your HTML file over and our team will review it and make a recommendation moving forward. Here's an article on how to import your Marketo template for use in FeedOtter.

Can I use a Pardot template?

Absolutely! Pardot templates integrate well with FeedOtter for use. Check out this tutorial on exporting your Pardot email template.

Does my plan cover free template imports?

Some pricing plans allow for us to add the tokens and import the template for you. Check out our pricing plans and your FeedOtter Account Settings Billing to see if we are able to process this request for you.

My plan doesn't cover free template imports. Now what?

If you're plan doesn't cover free template imports, you can upgrade your plan or review videos and documentation guides we have for a custom template import. Here's a few helpful links for importing your own template:

FeedOtter Email Templates - Technical Documentation 

FeedOtter Email Templates - More about using custom templates

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to our team at success@feedotter.com. We're happy to help!