New Email Composer User Guide (Beta)

  • Updated

Act-On's new Email Composer offers more advanced styling and building options, mobile-focused formatting, and enhanced usability, as well as features for targeted email delivery and automated personalization of messages.

Please note that the new Email Composer is currently in Beta. This beta is limited and not available for all customers at this time.
Some of the options described here are unavailable when sending from a CRM or Act-On Anywhere.

Legacy Emails

New emails or templates use the new composer. Emails created before the new composer was available use the legacy composer to edit. If required, you can create a legacy email by copying and editing an existing one.

New Message

  1. Go to Outbound > New Message
  2. A new browser tab opens. First-time visitors see a message with options to Get started with a blank email in the new composer or Maybe later (dismiss). Otherwise, the following appears:

New Email Composer User Guide 00.png

  1. In the banner at the top, click + Blank message.

A blank email opens in the new Email Composer with three tabs on the left: Settings, Design, & Send Details.


Begin building your new email in the Settings tab of the Email Composer:

Feature (*required) Description
Internal email title* This is for your own reference in Act-On, displaying in email listing pages and reports, and is not visible in the email sent to contacts.
Subject line* The subject line that contacts will see in their inbox. This can include personalization. Also, see Tips for Email Subject Lines for suggestions.
Preview text Shows in the recipient's inbox next to the subject line. This can include personalization. For help creating effective preview text, check out Litmus' Ultimate Guide to Preview Text.
Sender* Identify the person sending the message. This will appear in the From field of your email message and can be personalized based on the contact's information.
Reply to* Identify the email address for replies to your message. This list is identical to the Sender list, but the selection does not have to match.

Tip: Specify a no-reply@ address if you do not manage replies. To do this, add the no-reply address to your account's From addresses.
Internal Tracking >
Subscription category
Enables email contacts to opt in or out of specific email categories. The Subscription Management feature must be enabled for this option to appear.
Internal Tracking >
Act-On campaign
Select an Act-On Campaign from the dropdown menu to add your email message for consolidated reporting. The Campaigns feature allows you to group multiple emails, Forms, Landing Pages, and media into a single report.
Analytics Tracking Append custom query string data (parameters and values) to the clickthrough links in your message for enhanced custom analytics and functions. Learn more
Transactional Email If applicable, confirm that the email does not contain any marketing or advertising material. Use of this feature has implications for your CAN-SPAM compliance. Learn more


Use the design builder to create your email. Set Global Styles for the initial layout, drag and drop Rows and Content Blocks to the stage from the sidebar, and then fine-tune your design elements like colors, fonts, and more. Options available in the sidebar reflect what is selected in the stage.

Global Styles

The Global styles tab is your starting point for any design, allowing you to establish global design elements that both Rows and Content Blocks will inherit.

Here, you can manage the following:

  • Content area width and alignment
  • Background colors
  • A background image
  • Default font and link colors

These settings bring cohesion to your design, ensuring elements like font families are consistent throughout unless overridden by custom settings in Rows or Content Blocks. Learn more

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Rows serve as the foundational layout elements, defining the horizontal arrangement of sections within your design. Features include:

  • Up to six columns, accommodating various content elements side by side. See Column Management.
  • Ability to choose different column configurations.
  • Customizable features like background color, border, and mobile behavior for each row or specific columns within a row. See Row Properties.
  • "+Add new" button to add new columns and a separator icon for resizing existing columns.
  • Individual column settings like background color, padding, and border are accessible by clicking on the column in the Sidebar (highlighted for easier identification).

New Email Composer User Guide 03.png

Content Blocks

Content Blocks are your go-to for adding specific elements to your design. 


Content Block Description
Title Implement header tags, creating a structured hierarchy within your design. This is beneficial for both web accessibility and SEO, without the need for custom HTML. Learn more
Paragraph Optimized for long-form text, offering greater control over styles and spacing. Learn more


Add a Call To Action button to open a web page, send an email, make a call, or send an SMS. 
Image Creatively incorporate images into your email messages. Learn more
Divider Insert a physical line into your design, segmenting different parts visually. Learn more
List Create ordered or unordered lists, including customizable styles and spacing options. Learn more


Content Block Description

Email headers are standard practice for email marketing, so select the header you want from a default or available custom headers.

Footer Email footers can include your branding, personalization, and options to view-in-browser, opt-out, etc. Select from the default or available custom footers.
Signature Use email signatures for consistent message branding, personalized to individuals, or for account-wide use. Select from the available signatures.

Additional Content

Content Block Description
AI Create Use the technology of OpenAI to create new content for your emails with Act-On AI Create. Learn more
HTML Customize your emails further with HTML code. Learn more

Tip: Use these to add anchor links. Learn more
Icons Icons use text and images together & can replace traditional bullet points, making the layout more interactive and visually appealing. Learn more 
Social Provide your recipients links to promote marketing content to social media on your behalf, directly from the email. The social media icon collection features are similar to the icon Content Block
Video Add links to video content to engage your audience. Learn more

Other Design Features

  • Content Blocks auto-adjust to the column width when dragged into a Row. See Content Block Selection.
  • Individual settings for each Content Block, like custom padding and visibility (Hide on desktop or mobile), are accessible via Block options at the bottom of the sidebar once the block is selected.
  • Rich text options are available for Title, Paragraph, List & Button Content Blocks when selected:

New Email Composer User Guide 04.png

  • Copy & delete options are available at the bottom right of any selected Content Block.
  • To move a Content Block, use  at the right of the block.
  • Undo, Redo, and History are available at the bottom left. Learn more


All your changes are autosaved in the email composer, showing saved status at the top right:

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Send Details


Select lists, segments, or individual contacts to send your message to. Options will vary depending on your user privileges.

  1. In the Recipients area, click Select contacts.
  2. Select either Choose entire lists or segments or Choose specific contacts from a list or segment.
  3. Using the drop-down box in the upper left corner, choose from your Accounts List, Marketing List, Form Submissions, Webinar Lists, or Act-On Contacts.
  4. Search for & select the list(s) or segment(s) you would like added to your mailing (only one if choosing specific contacts):

Message Address Overview 02.png

  1. Once you have selected your list, click Submit.
    If Choosing specific contacts, click Next, select the contacts you want from the list, and click Add recipients.

The Recipients area shows your selections. To remove any, hover over and click Remove on the right.


Select lists and segments to suppress your message against. Any contacts present in both a sending list and a suppression list will not be sent to. Duplicates found when you send to multiple lists at once will automatically receive just one message. See the article Creating a Segment for further information.

  1. In the Suppression area, click Select contacts.
  2. Using the drop-down box in the upper left corner, choose from your Accounts List, Marketing List, Form Submissions, Webinar Lists, or Act-On Contacts.
  3. Select the lists or segments you would like to suppress against.
  4. Once you have selected your list, click Submit.
  5. To prevent email addresses from receiving this email more than once select Suppress duplicates.
  6. Select Use suppression fatigue rules to prevent contacts from receiving too many emails, using a set of rules that limit the number of marketing emails a recipient can be sent over a specified time period. Learn more

Send Method

Choose to either send the message immediately or schedule it to be sent at a later time. See Choosing an Email Send Method.


At the top right of the Email Composer, click Preview to see what your email will look like when delivered. When you have finished, click Done at the top right to close. 


At the top center, switch between an approximation of how your email will look on a Desktop or Mobile client. Learn more

Inbox preview

Generate representations of how your email will look on different email clients, operating systems, and devices. Features include:

  • Download images of the emails
  • Switch on image blocking 
This feature requires a Litmus account. Learn more

Other Preview Features

Along the bottom of the preview window:

  • Dark mode: Simulate how your email looks on devices with dark mode activated. Learn more
  • Plain text: See the plain text version of your email. Learn more
  • View HTML code: View download or copy the source code for your email.
  • Email size: See the size of your email, with an indicator & best practice advice.
  • Details tab > Preview personalization: See the personalization that will be applied for the email recipients.
  • Check for errors tab > Email validation: Validate email content and review required fields and issues that may impact deliverability or prevent you from sending your email.

Test Email

See Send a Test Email Message.

Review and Send

See How to Validate an Email Message for Sending.

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