This post has been updated to reflect new information.
Content Builder is one of Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s newest tools for creating emails. Over the past month, we’ve chronicled questions to ask when considering switching to the new tool, key differences between Content Builder and Classic Content, and our favorite updates to the WYSIWYG and interface.
Understanding that Content Builder is a new tool, we’ve seen the various updates that have been made in SFMC releases over the past few months. Though, as folks who work in the tool every day, here are some of the improvements we’d love to see in future releases.
Read the entire Content Builder series:
Mapping of Template Updates
Applying template changes seems to be a more convoluted process in Content Builder than it was in Classic Content. In Classic Content, you can name content areas when building paste HTML templates — for example: preheader, content_1, content_2, footer, etc. When applying template changes or changing templates, if content areas were named the same, those content areas would automatically map to those sections.
In Content Builder, you name blocks and even go as far as to limit the number of blocks added to a content area and the type of blocks (Free Form, HTML, image only, etc.). For more information, check out the information on help.marketingcloud.com about Content Area Properties. However, we used to notice that if a template needs to be changed, a user sometimes has to drag and drop all content areas back into the template.
The good news is that the automatic mapping has improved greatly over the past few releases, so this is less of an issue! Though, we admit we’ve encountered content blocks disappearing when updating templates, so we recommend making a copy of your email before updating the template or applying template changes if you run into these issues.
Make a copy of your email in Content Builder before updating templates to avoid disappearing content blocks.
Moving Multiple Items at Once
When we first published this blog, one of our chief frustrations was that it didn’t seem multiple items could be moved at once. However – and luckily – you actually can! The checkbox next to items can be selected and then at the top right, there is a button that says Actions. That drop down allows you to move or delete multiple items at once!
Consolidate Tags When Styling HTML Text via WYSIWYG
Span tags are used when updating font size, font face, font color, etc., in the Content Builder WYSIWYG. Additionally, <b>, <i> and <u> are used for bold, italic, and underlining. Currently, if someone makes Tahoma text bold, size 14, and the color blue, this translates to four different tags. We’d love to see the span tags consolidate to make the HTML less clunky.
Find and Replace Within HTML Section of Content Areas
The WYSIWYG has a find-and-replace function, but it only applies to exactly that — what you see in the WYSIWYG section of the content area. We would love to see this functionality added to the HTML editor within Content Builder. This update would help create efficiencies when updating text, alt tags, title tags, and links within the HTML.
The good news is if you are editing HTML, you can do Ctrl+F to find certain phrases within your HTML. Once you search and push enter, the first instance of your search will become highlighted. If you press enter again, the next instance will be highlighted, etc. However, there does not seem to be a replace function within the HTML tab yet, so copy and paste it is!
Subject Line Placement
In Content Builder, the subject line and preheader are set within the content tab of the email itself (not to be confused with the content tab in the drag and drop to the left of the email build.)
This differs from Classic Content, where the subject line and preheader are set within the properties tab. We’d love to see the properties tab include the ability to update the subject line and preheader.
We’ve also noticed when duplicating email builds, you can’t update the subject line and preheader until after the new email is saved. We’d love to see the ability to change these content areas in the modal that pops up when you go to update the email name itself. (Though, we will say, we sincerely appreciate that descriptions can now be associated with email builds.)
Content Builder should allow validating within the email itself, instead of just in the folder in which it lives.
At DEG, we validate each email build against its sending list, data extension, or audience to ensure the email and data “get along” and that it won’t error upon send. In Content Builder, the only way we’ve found to validate emails is in the drop down next to the email within the folder where it lives. In general, we would love to be able to validate within the email itself somehow, since getting in and out of folders, emails, etc., can sometimes be time consuming. Additionally, we’d love to see the path for the email validation maintained so you don’t have to go back through all of Content Builder and find your email if there is an issue or something else you need to check on.
As mentioned, we’ve already seen improvements in the past two Salesforce Marketing Cloud releases. The next Marketing Cloud release is scheduled for January 27, 2017, so we’re hopeful that the Content Builder tool will continue to get even better. In the meantime, learn more about our Salesforce Marketing Cloud expertise.
Do you have any improvements you’d like to see in Content Builder? Have you run into an issues and come up with workarounds? If so, please leave a comment — we’d love to hear about them!