Without any fanfare, the long awaited mobile responsive email builder was released yesterday. And the world didn’t explode. I know that thousands of Keap users have been anxiously waiting for this builder since long before they announced it was coming (at ICON in 2015).

But for all that pent up energy around this much anticipated tool, there was very little fuss. And it’s not because the email builder isn’t slick (it is). I think it’s because Keap knows how badly this is needed. And I think it’s because Keap has wanted to release this for probably just as long as their users have wanted it.

So, without further ado, let me give you my 3 favorite things about the builder, and my least favorite things. (Or, scroll to the bottom for my video review)

Favorite things:

  1. Mobile Responsive
    Yeah, that’s kind of big in this day and age, right? Well, the new builder produces sexy mobile responsive emails that look good on any device. Oh, and the preview pane shows you how it’ll look on mobile and on desktop. EDIT: I shouldn’t have said “any device”, as pointed out in the comments there are several exceptions.Software Screenshot of Email Preview Function
  2. Image Editor
    Yup. You can upload images directly to the email builder, and then crop them, add filters, or even overlay text. Right from within your email editor. This is something I didn’t even know I wanted. But man, it’s going to save me tons of time and allow me to create beautiful and professional graphics easier than ever. (Don’t worry, there’s a “meme” option)
    Software Screenshot of Image Editing
  3. Flexible Multiple Columns
    So, with the old builder, you had a “body” of the email, and the body either had one column, or two. And if you turned the sidebar on, it was there for the whole email body. It was all or nothing. With the new builder you can now alternate between single column content, and up to three side-by-side snippets.
    Software Screenshot of Multiple Columns

So, before I dig into the things that bug me about this new builder, it’s important to call out that this is still technically in “beta“, and I think Keap would happily acknowledge that there are plenty of other features they’d love to add to this. Edit: The email builder has experienced many updates since it’s initial release.

My Pet Peeves:

  1. No Campaign Builder (NOTE: Since this article was written, the email builder has now been made available for campaigns)
    Yup, the new email builder was released to be used in broadcasts only. Obviously this really limits how we’ll be able to leverage it. They know this, and they’re working hard to bring this email design experience to the campaign builder – but it’s not there yet.
  2. Tags on Links
    Don’t panic, you CAN still apply tags when someone clicks a link. But strangely you can’t create new tags from within the builder. To me this seems like it should have been built in to begin with, but I trust that there are some complexities associated with that which may be over my head. Oh, also, you have to scroll to find the tag you want – there doesn’t seem to be a way to easily search.
  3. Missing Snippets
    Yeah, there are a few snippets that were available in the previous builder that didn’t make the migration to the new builder – mainly the HTML snippet, the File Snippet and the Signature Snippet. Again – no need to panic, you can still go to the Owner merge fields and merge in the HTML signature, but it’s not a prepackaged snippet. And you can host your file wherever you link, and link to it like a normal link. So these probably aren’t the end of the world for most people, but it seems like they’ll want to add these over time.

Okay, so that’s my take, and it’s probably just the tip of the iceberg. This new Keap Email Builder really is pretty impressive (Kudos to the dev and design team who worked on this). Really you should definitely play with it and figure out what you love or what you don’t love, and you should definitely comment below with your thoughts about it.

In the meantime, enjoy this video: