Template Engine Demo – Q&A


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Template Engine LogoWith the announcement of one of our latest releases, the SendGrid Template Engine, we thought it would only be fitting to host a demo for our current and potential customers. Our demo provided a firsthand experience of what the new app is capable of, and showed exactly how to implement it. Within our demo, we had a lot of great questions asked during our live Q&A, and we figured you may benefit from hearing the answers as well! Our host John Vajda, SendGrid Product Manager, took some time to answer the following questions:

Do I have to use the body and subject substitution tags in my template? What If I don’t want to pass any substitution variables in my email?

No. You can pass a blank value through with your API call and not specify any variables.

Is the Template Engine free?

Yes, it comes with a SendGrid account of any package type.

Given the limits on a user are 100 templates and 100 versions does this mean I can have 100 versions of each template?

No. A user can have 100 total templates and 100 total versions. We are currently evaluating if this is the right limit for customers.

Can a developer utilize the Template Engine by making a call via SMTP, SMTP_API, or Web API v3 to SendGrid as long as they’ve set up an active template and reference a template ID in the call they are making?

No. A developer can utilize the Template Engine via SMTPAPI (SMTPAPI can be used either in SMTP transactions or via WebAPI). Also, v3 is not required to send mail with Template Engine templates, just when managing the templates, updating, creating, etc.

Is it true that developers cannot utilize the Template Engine with our existing Web API? They’d have to use Web API v3?

You only need to use v3 to manage your templates, create them, update them, and delete them. Sending with an existing template is supported via all versions of Web API as well as via SMTP when using an SMTPAPI header.

Are there any HTML templates that you provide? If not, where is the best place to get some?

No, not at this time. However you can use a service like stamplia.com to purchase pre-designed transactional email templates and add those to the Template Engine.

If we don’t write HTML, can we still create transactional email templates?

We encourage users of the Template Engine to have general knowledge of HTML and CSS to effectively manage their transactional email templates. You can use the Template Engine with limited knowledge, but may find it hard to make changes to templates you’ve created if you aren’t comfortable working with HTML.

Can the plain text be automatically populated based on the HTML?

Template Engine will prompt you to create a plain text email if you modify your HTML when clicking on the plain text button. It will also tell you when your plain text differs from HTML.

What do our developers need to do for us to start using templates? Currently we are sending non-html emails via SendGrid.  

You can use the template engine to send a plain text email template, but would need to at least have an HTML template with the body and subject tags present. It’s not recommended to only send plain text emails, it’s ideal for deliverablity to offer both HTML and plain text.

Are there any plans for a whitelabel template editor (reselling)? We’re in the business of sending marketing emails for our customers, so we would be interested in offering them access to the SendGrid template editor.

All customers of SendGrid have access to the Template Engine even if you purchased our service through a reseller or partner of SendGrid.

I’m curious to see some examples of using the <%body%> replacement elegantly. Can it be empty, like it appears to be in the Password Reset example we’re seeing? It seems like the template holds all the relevant content and substitutions already… 

It can remain empty, and you can pass a null value through the API. There will be no replacement. You can also see our docs for an example how this is used: https://sendgrid.com/docs/API_Reference/Template_Engine_API/smtpapi.html

What about images? Are they stored on your server? Can they be uploaded through the API?

Not at this time. You’d need to store your own images. This is a feature we are considering for a future release.

Is there any Python language wrapper for the API yet?

You can use SendGrid’s Python Library to interact with the Template Engine API.

Is it possible to A/B test through this tool? Is it just as simple as activating more than one template?

Currently you could set up 2 different templates with different active versions you’d like to test. If you add a category or unique argument to your outgoing email request, you can track the stats on those versions. Just send half your requests with 1 template version, and the other half of your requests with the other template version. There is no A/B testing functionality in the application UI at this time, however this is a feature that is on our product roadmap. More on using unique args and categories can be found here:

https://sendgrid.com/docs/API_Reference/SMTP_API/categories.html

https://sendgrid.com/docs/API_Reference/SMTP_API/unique_arguments.html

Thanks so much to everyone who attended and feel free to review the live demo here!


When Kate isn't trying to teach herself the ukelele, make it through the mountain of books on her nightstand, or figure out if they are actually being serious about suggested serving sizes on ice cream, she is the Content Marketing Coordinator.

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