The default Rex newsletters and match alerts are designed to have offer a basic layout which should fit most offices. While this default setting fits a number of offices, you might want to have your own custom newsletter.
Rex can't design these for you - we don't have a professional design service team - though we do offer a conversion service. What this means is that you'll need to contract a designer/web developer to build an email optimised HTML version of what you would like, then we will quote to have this imported into the Rex system. Basically, you send us the designs, and we'll import them into Rex for you.
Depending on the complexity of the design, this could cost between $400 and $800. (This is just a guide. It can cost more depending on how long it will take us to import and review).
Tips to get you started
As a basic rule; as long as someone can design it using HTML, we can most likely import it. However, the process can be quite difficult if any of the points below are overlooked. This can incur lengthy wait periods and additional costs. We recommend reading this carefully before moving on with your designs:
- Find a good designer. We don't explicity recommend any individual designers, but it might pay to ask around local businesses or check with companies that produce newsletters you like the look of. Another good place to ask would be the Rexperts Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/rexperts/) as other Rex users might have had someone who did some great work for them in the past, that they can direct you to. Don't want to pay for a designer? No worries - you could use marketing websites like CampaignMonitor or MailChimp to design something yourself, then download the email optimised HTML. Most of these sites are free to sign up to, as long as you don't send a campaign.
- Have a clear vision of how you want it to look. When talking with a designer, show them examples of newsletters you've been sent before that you like. (These could be from anywhere; other real estate agencies, department stores, online shops, etc.)
- Create a newsletter in Rex including all of the 'Blocks' available and send to yourself. Rex newsletters are built up of blocks that you can mix, match and stack on top of each other. Sending yourself an example in Rex will give you an idea of the various blocks that are available. You can then get your designer to create your own version of each block. Once these are loaded into the system, you can mix, match and stack them yourself. These could include your own custom designs for icons (bed, bath, parking, etc), headings, colours, and so on. Do the same with the Match emails - set up a match profile and send a few listings to yourself.
- Use fields that are available on your listings. We can't use custom fields in the newsletters, so Rex always checks to make sure any fields you reference are also on the Listing Record. (For example; Price, Short Ad Descriptions, Available 'From' Date, etc.)
- Make sure the width of newsletter is appropriate. Nowadays, people view their emails on mobile devices. Because the width of a phone is much smaller than a computer, your newsletters should always be for mobiles first. (The default Rex Newsletters are 600 px wide which is compatible with most devices).
- Image boxes. Images are uploaded to Rex to fit a 4:3 ratio - this means that you can't use images that are square in shape (eg. a ratio of 1:1).
- Use System Fonts. It's a good idea to stick with 'system fonts'. This allows all computers to view your newsletter in the same font. If you use a different or custom font, a recipient may not be able to view it, which will break the design. While there ways to get other fonts to display, it may not work on all of your recipient's devices. It's generally best to stick to the standard fonts all computers can view.
- Email Optimised HTML: The HTML supplied must be email optimised. Your designers should understand what this means and must be able to supply the HTML in this fashion.
- You must include an 'Unsubscribe Link'. As part of anti-spam laws, you must include a way for your recipients to unsubscribe from your mailing list. We'll make sure it works, just add an 'unsubscribe' link or button to your designs and we'll do the rest.
- Use the same 'Blocks' for Newsletters and Match Alerts. Rather than getting a designer to build you two different templates, instead we recommend using one set of blocks for both. For example, the default Rex alert includes:
- Header and Footer
- A text block for you to enter a message
- The Listing Grid (Large) block
We don't have the facilities to test your newsletter code, so we're unable to take responsibility for the accuracy and compatibility of the code you provide. Therefore you must ensure that either you, or your external developer or designer, have tested the code across all email clients and devices to be sure it's at the standard you require. We recommend using Litmus to do this.
If you or Rex discovers rendering or other issues with the code you've provided once we complete the conversion process, you'll need to take steps to correct the code and resubmit it for conversion by us. Each subsequent submission of code will require a new quote and new fees so we strongly recommend that thorough testing is done in the first instance.