Help, I can’t copy my Constant Contact email: 2021 edition

A few weeks ago, a friend texted me in a panic for help, because she had gotten this vaguely threatening email from Constant Contact indicating that her email templates were about to go extinct.

At Constant Contact, we’re always looking for ways to improve our tools so that you can get the best results possible. That’s why, on March 10, we’ll be retiring your current editor in favor of our more advanced third-generation editor.

Important: As of March 10, you will no longer be able to copy emails you created in your current editor.

With our third-generation editor, all templates are mobile-responsive—meaning they automatically format to any device (over 50% of all emails are opened on a mobile device).

To make the transition to our newest editor as seamless as possible, we recommend recreating your legacy emails in one of two simple ways.

Next time you log into your account, you can:

1. Choose a new template and fill in the content you want—our third-generation editor makes it easy to customize your template and get the professional look you want.
OR
2. Enter your legacy email or website’s URL into our branded template builder to automatically create an email that matches your website, logo and colors. Watch this short video to see how easy it is to make the change with our branded template builder.
To learn more about recreating your legacy emails, check out this helpful article.

Thank you for being a loyal customer. We’re working hard to provide you with the most powerful editor for better email marketing.

The Constant Contact Team

Note that my friend does exactly what I assume most people producing a weekly e-newsletter do: you copy the previous week’s email, leave in the sections that are relevant, delete the items that are outdated, and add any new information. You don’t start from a fresh template every week, no matter how carefully you customize the base template. So she depends on that ability to copy, and having to build out a whole new template is a nontrivial challenge.

Now, I was a daily Constant Contact user for my previous company, and I had upgraded all their templates some time ago to use the “new” third-generation editor (which at this point can’t really be called new anymore; it was launched in 2018, over three years ago). So I can confirm that the new editor truly is a lot more powerful and flexible once you get the hang of using it. However, for users who are barely comfortable with the familiar second-generation version, it’s daunting.

I told my friend not to worry, I was on the case. The thing is, she didn’t really need to learn how to build a template from scratch. She needed an experienced user (me) to create the new template, and then she’d be back into her rhythm of copying from week to week.

The first thing I did, since it was touted in the email above, was to try out that “branded template builder” to see if it would really automate the process of the new template. Truthfully, though, I didn’t even want to duplicate the design of their old email; having to start over is a good time to refresh the look and feel. Instead, I entered the URL of the organization’s website. And… I was disappointed. The builder used the dullest possible background color and didn’t even pull the logo image correctly. So I scrapped that and built a newsletter template from scratch, starting from the built-in Basic Newsletter template.

For my new template draft, I dropped in all the content from her previous week’s email – manually copying and pasting everything into the new blocks. I had made some design decisions in advance, so then I adjusted the rest of the settings on the fly, like fonts (I settled on the ever-popular Georgia), colors and background images (uploaded more thoughtfully from the organization’s website). I also created a few coordinating variations: standalone emails for short announcements, a different weekly newsletter series, and so on. No before-and-after shots here, to protect the organization’s privacy, but overall it was a definite upgrade.

Once we had her templates ready, I also gave her a tutorial on how to use the cool features in the third-generation editor, like drag-and-drop and mobile preview. Now she’s off and running!

Are you struggling to convert your legacy second-generation Constant Contact templates? Drop me a comment or an email.

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