Each merge-able image template requires:
• An uploaded background image
• Merge-ready content (any of these):
* Text that includes merge fields (such as 'FIRSTNAME')
* Image placeholders
New images are created from
• the background image
• the merge-ready fields,
• the formatting and layout of these fields
• the data provided in the URL for the merge, and
• any default values defined in the merge record.
You can upload any PNG, JPG or GIF as a background image.
While mergeImg does not currently impose any file size or resolution limits, gigantic images are not recommended.
Images that fit within standard device screens and email clients render almost instantly; oversized images may take several seconds, which may not please your recipients.
Background images CAN be replaced, even after a template is published. Even if a campaign has already been sent with a merge URL, you can change the background.
Overall image size is set by the background, so we recommend that replacement backgrounds keep the same dimensions as the original background.
Text Formatting and Layout
MergeImg provides extensive layout options for text, including over 100 fonts, in any size.
Fonts may be selected from the drop-down menu, or previewed and applied from the sample set by clicking the small 'suitcase' icon.
Font color - including opacity - can be set with the Color drop-down.
Background color and opacity behind/between characters can be set with the Background drop-down.
Standard bold/italic/underline and text-alignment controls are also included.
While you can mix merged fields with unchanging text, keep the impact of varied merge length in mind. Generally speaking, putting a merge field at the end of a line, followed by a return or line break, provides a bit of layout insurance:
Hi *|FIRSTNAME|* (return)
We're glad you signed up!
DO drag the width handles to size text fields as wide or wider than your longest expected merge value.
A last name like "De Laurentis-Popenschatz" may spoil your layout if you don't.
MergeImg uses Unicode, not ASCII, so characters from many languages can be used easily.
We have a known, unresolved bug affecting layout of right-to-left languages such as Arabic e.g. (أالشملطقس).
To work around this, put merge fields in a text block by themselves, place them with other 'static' text blocks, and test with Preview.
Image Placeholder Layout
Image placeholders are an exclusive MergeImg feature.
If you provide an image URL, mergeImg will upload & size that image, and place it in the center of the placeholder rectangle.
Transparent backgrounds in PNG images are maintained.
Images are expanded to their best fit based on width OR height of the placeholder, so use the drag handles to size the placeholder for your largest expected image.
Images provided in merge URLs must be valid image URLs for PNG or JPG graphics.
While images are resized on-the-fly, extremely large merge URLs are not a great idea.
(Downloading a 5Mb picture, and resizing it to a 100x100 rectangle will probably delay delivery of the final image.)
MergeImg saves one default value for each field.
If an inbound URL skips a field, the default value will be used.
Default values can be updated after an image is published, or after an email campaign has been sent.
This is useful for other purposes beyond just replacing missing fields.
For example, you might leave the merge field for "DaysRemaining" blank on all images, and update this field globally on all images by changing the default value.
MergeImg provides sample values when Preview is clicked for the first time.
If 'first', 'last' or 'company' are part of the field names, sample first/last/company names are provided; otherwise, Latin nonsense words are used.
Image fields are assigned a sample image on first click.
Sample values can & should be replaced with your own data to refine image layout;
simply click in the field and type or paste the value.
If you know the longest first or last name in your customer list, paste it in & click Preview to ensure the layout will accommodate it.
When a template is ready, click Publish.
The 'Use' screen that follows provides the correct tag for your selected Email Service Provider.
Click the Copy icon, or copy the img tag manually.
Brief instructions for each ESP are included, as specific platforms have different tools for handling images via URL.
The Use page for each template provides a live counter of the unique images created to date.
While a new user may create their first template without a login to MergeImg, login is required to Publish (and use) a template.
MergeImg uses a unified login shared by other Say It Visually content services.
You can create a login with email, or use any of the common universal login services, including Google, Facebook, GitHub or Twitter.
Login ID is saved in local browser data. Unless you log out, MergeImg will log you back in when you return to a MergeImg page.
No action is required to save a mergeable image; as soon as you click Preview, that template is saved (provided you are logged in).
The home page for a logged in user lists their Published and Draft (unpublished) templates.
Published images are linked to the Use page; to edit, click the Edit button on that page.
Click draft templates to edit.
Draft templates may be deleted.
Published templates may be cloned.
Cloning duplicates background, layout and default values to a new image ID, and resets the unique counter to 0.