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HomeOntraport for marketingMessages > The 5 message editors
Home > Messages  >  The 5 message editors
The 5 message editors
There are five message editors in your Ontraport account — Simple Mail, OntraMail, Raw HTML Email, SMS and Task editors. Learn the capabilities of each one so you can select the right tool for the job.
You'll learn:
  • Where to find the message editors 
  • How to use Simple Mail 
  • How to use OntraMail 
  • The basics of the Raw HTML Email editor 
  • How to use the SMS editor 
  • The value of tasks
Sam Flegal
The 5 message editors
There are five message editors in your Ontraport account — Simple Mail, OntraMail, Raw HTML Email, SMS and Task editors. Learn the capabilities of each one so you can select the right tool for the job.
You'll learn:
  • Where to find the message editors 
  • How to use Simple Mail 
  • How to use OntraMail 
  • The basics of the Raw HTML Email editor 
  • How to use the SMS editor 
  • The value of tasks
Course Instructor
Sam Flegal
Related resources
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In this video, we’re going to go over the different types of message editors in Ontraport. 

We have five message editors. Three are for creating emails — Simple Mail, OntraMail and our Raw HTML Email editor. The other two are our SMS and Task editors. 

All of them allow you to create messages that can be sent through automations, manual broadcasts or one by one to a single contact. There’s some overlap between them, so understanding what they’re all capable of and what they’re best used for will make your Ontraport experience easier. 

First, I’ll show you where you can create your messages.

When you first open your Ontraport account, your messages will probably live under the “Automations” tab. 

But Ontraport has a lot of features that you can turn on as you need them. At some point, you may end up with objects other than contacts in your account, like companies or deals.

When those features are turned on, your messages actually move. You’ll have a collection of messages for each object, and they’ll live under their respective object tab. Messages that you’ll send to contacts will live under “Contacts,” and messages that will be sent to different companies will live under the “Companies” tab.

You’ll understand more about this is as we dive deeper into the more advanced features in Ontraport. For now, we’re learning where you can create and find messages in your account.

So let’s go to the messages collection. Here, you’ll find all your messages and some stats associated with each. You can click on those stats to see which contacts are represented by each number.

When you click on a new message, you’ll see different editor options. 

Our first three editors are all used for creating emails. Let’s take a look at each.

Simple Mail is most likely going to be your go-to email editor. It’s simple, easy to use and feels just like writing a Gmail email.All three editors have these address settings somewhere. This might look a little more complicated than what you see in Gmail, so let’s talk about it.

At the top, you have your “Send from name.” Whatever you put here is going to be what shows up as the sender in your recipients’ inboxes.

When your recipients reply to the emails you’re sending, those replies will go to whoever you choose for this field.

If you want to change where these replies go, you can go to their user profile here. 

Or, you can select “Custom” under the “Send from name” field and simply type  what you want for both the name and the reply-to address.

Getting this right is important because if you’re sending a lot of automated email, you’re going to get a lot of bounce-backs — stuff like out of office replies or other canned responses, and you don’t want that filling up your inbox.

Next, you’ll see “Send from email.” Normally the default is going to be fine here, but if you’ve set up more than one business domain in your account, you can choose between them here.

Under this, we have “Send email to.” As you know by now, Ontraport is pretty fancy — it allows you to send messages not only to the main email address for each contact, but you also have the option to message any secondary addresses you may have stored for them, or even to other contacts or records related to them. 

For example, if your business operates children’s summer camps, you may want to select a group of kids who are signed up for your camp. But you wouldn’t want to send the email to them — you’d want it to go to their parents! 

This setting allows you to decide exactly who the email gets sent to. If you’re simply sending an email directly to the contacts you’ve selected, you won’t need to worry about this setting. It’ll always default to the primary email address for each contact.

Let’s navigate to the “Email subject” line. Finally, things are back to familiar territory here! This is your subject line, just like any old email.

Same with your Body copy. This is where you write your email — nothing revolutionary here. Down at the bottom, there are some controls for managing your fonts, font sizes and the like.

While we’re here, there are a couple more important bits to cover that you’ll find in every email editor, like the “Transactional Mail” checkbox.

Checking this box tells us that this is not a marketing email — rather, it’s an email directly related to the delivery of a product or service that your contact has purchased.

Don’t check this box until you’ve watched the video called, “How Not to Be a Spammer.”

The other checkbox, “Add tracking to the links in this email” will add UTM variables to each of the links in your email so you can see the activity generated by each email in your Google Analytics account. I’d go ahead and check this, unless you have a specific reason not to.

A few things about “Merge fields.”

Normally, when you’re writing an email to one person, you don’t need merge fields. You could just write, “Hi, Bob,” or something like that.

But if you’re writing an email to a thousand people, you obviously don’t want to say, “Hi, Bob” to all of them.

This is where merge fields come in. You can add names or any other info from each contact’s record using this tool. Just find the field you like, select it and you’ll notice that we’ve added the merge field for you.

If you want to take it up a notch, you can even copy that “First Name” field and paste it into the email subject directly! You’ll find this merge field tool all over the app, in all the message editors, your pages’ editor and elsewhere. 

We have one more tool that you’re going to see frequently in Ontraport — our link builder.

When you go to link up some text in Gmail, you’re given a field to type in your URL.

Ontraport lets you get a little bit fancier with it. When you highlight some text and click the link icon, you’re going to get a whole menu of options.

Let’s quickly zip through them.

The “URL” option is the most basic one and is similar to what you’d find in Gmail. Type your destination in the field and click “Insert Link.”

If you click “Ontraport Landing Page,” you’ll link to one of the pages you’ve built in Ontraport. 

What’s handy about this is that if you ever change where your page is hosted, we’ll update things automatically so that people always end up in the right place. You’ll never have to worry about all the links that lead to those pages breaking down.

“Tracked Links” are cool because you can easily trigger an automation from them and you can easily change their destination later. 

For example, if you’re running a sale or a product launch, you can change the destination of your link once the sale is over. If people click on the link after the sale, you can lead them to a “You missed it!” page.

With “Ontraport Hosted File,” you give contacts the option to download a file to their computer. All major file types are supported in Ontraport. 

All this stuff we just covered is going to be the same in every Ontraport email editor. But there is one more thing that you’ll find in this email editor, so let’s take a quick peek at that.

You’ve got this “Canned Messages” tool. This is normally used to create snippets of emails, like headers or signatures, that you may want to use repeatedly. 

You can create one by just typing your text, and adding it to an email. Pretty slick!

Ok, that’s it for Simple Mail. Next up is OntraMail.OntraMail is the best editor for more formal, HTML-based newsletter designs. These tend to look a bit more like a webpage than personal emails. 

There are a ton of design options here, so let’s see how it works.

OntraMail, like Forms and Pages, are built as a series of blocks. You can start with a template, and add blocks or swipe through different templated options.

Once you’ve got one that’s close to what you’re looking for, you can update the individual elements and hide any that you don’t need.

Just as with our first email editor, you can add links to your text, add merge fields and more. 

You can also change your email settings in the “Settings” tab.

Your third email editor is the Raw HTML Email editor. This editor is for coders who want 100% control over every detail of their email.  
Of course, coding emails is quite a project, one that’s much more complicated than coding pages because you’ve got to deal with all the intricacies of each inbox provider. 

So, unless you really know what you’re doing, we’d suggest leaving this editor alone. If you do feel like this tool’s for you, I’m going to assume you don’t need this video!

But if you have used this editor and successfully created and saved your email, you can use an automation or a manual broadcast to get it out the door. We’ll cover that in the next video.

For now, let’s move on to our final two message editors.

Our SMS editor is pretty simple to use. You just type what you want to say into the message editor and you’re all set!

You’ll send these just like any other message — in a broadcast or via automation. Note that these messages will only go to those who’ve opted in to receive SMS messages from you.

Finally, let’s talk about Tasks.

“Tasks” in Ontraport are a bit different than your personal to-do list. “Tasks” are designed to help you integrate personal interactions to your business processes, at scale. 

Instead of having to remember to call each lead the day after they fill out your form — or worrying that one of your team members will forget to do it — you can add a task to your follow-up automation and assign it to the right team member at just the right time. 

It’s a very powerful system, and we’ve got a whole series of videos on “Tasks” in our “Ontraport for Sales” course.

For now, just know that this is where you can create your task templates and where you’ll find the ones you’ve already made.

Phew, that was a lot! Now you’ve been introduced to all the message editors available to you in Ontraport.

Next, we’ll look at how to send emails and SMS messages to our contacts directly with a broadcast.
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