Designing, building, and testing transactional emails is time-consuming, to say the least. Creating great transactional emails that follow all modern best practices and include all of the key content is even more challenging. And then updating them down the road when your application’s logo changes or the name changes is even worse. Surely it doesn’t have to be this painful. We’re taking our first steps towards mitigating that pain with a few new things we’re putting out into the wild.
First, we’ve written individual guides for several categories of transactional email templates. These guides take a deep dive into the best practices for each type of transactional email and work nicely with our existing guide on transactional email best practices.
- Welcome emails
- User invitation emails
- Password reset emails
- Comment notification emails
- Invoice and receipt emails
- Trial expiration emails
Second, we didn’t just write some guides on best practices. We practiced what we preached in them, and increased the number of default templates in Postmark from 3 to 8. We’re also releasing all of these new templates under an MIT license so that you can use them anywhere you’d like. (And we’ve got plans to add many more.) Hopefully, in the near future, you could spin up a new application and not have to write a single email.
And finally, there’s some magic to how we build and maintain these templates for Postmark. We want to continue adding templates while keeping them responsive, consistent, and well-tested across email clients. So we’ve gone and automated the process a bit with a Grunt-based build system that we call MailMason.
So what is MailMason? It’s several things packaged into one. You can use partials throughout your emails and SCSS for your styles. You can choose to automatically inline your styles for maximum email client compatibility, or you can just leave a style block and let Postmark do the inlining for you. And for the icing on the cake, MailMason will automatically create plain text versions of your emails as well.
Of course, building the emails is only half the battle. Testing is where it gets tricky. MailMason includes several convenient commands for checking emails against the Postmark Spamcheck API as well as testing layout through your Litmus account. You can also easily send yourself copies of the emails through Postmark too.
All of these improvements build on the first version of Postmark templates. Our goal is to continue building these kind of tools to make sending transactional email easier and easier, even if you don’t send with Postmark. Each of these improvements makes it simpler to focus less on making things work and making them awesome. And here's a quick look at the current set of available templates.