Working with Variant Selectors in MailChimp

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If you are familiar with MailChimp or had your template designed and/or coded by our agency chances are you’ve already encountered variant selectors. Variant selectors allow you to switch between any number of different content structures or layouts (blocks of HTML) within your template allowing you to create amazingly flexible campaigns utilizing only the content blocks you need and in any order you like. Fancy right?

There are no limits to the number of variants or content blocks your template can contain and you can mix and match them when drafting your campaign to achieve the exact layout you’re looking for. Everytime.

But if you’re new to MailChimp and you’ve never worked with variant selectors it can be a bit tricky at first. Below we’ve listed a few commonly asked questions to help you get started quickly.

My template looks great however when I create a campaign I only see a single content block; what am I doing wrong?

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When you create a new campaign using your template you’ll always begin with a single content block or variant, the first one specified in your template. Hovering over the content block will allow you to change its styling using the variant drop down menu to any of the preset styles hard coded into your template.

You can also create additional content blocks by clicking the plus (+) sign that appears to the right of the variant menu. The newly created content block or variant will take on the first style available but just as you did with the initial content block you can change the layout or styling of the replicated block utilizing the variant drop down menu. It’s that easy!

And remember the variant selector drop down menu will only appear when a template is applied to a campaign, but you won’t see it if you’re editing a template in the Templates area of your account.

How do I create a new section or content block?

Hover over the existing content block or if you already have several the last block in your template. Clicking the plus (+) sign that appears to the right of the variant selector menu will create a new content block directly below the existing content block(s).

How do I remove a content block?

Hover over the content block you wish to remove and click the minus (-) icon that appears. This will remove or hide the content block you wish to remove.

How do I change the look or styling of a content block?

Hover over the content block you wish to update and select the appropriate styling from the variant selector drop down menu that appears. All available styles will be listed minus the style you are currently utilizing as that style is currently applied.

How do I reorder content blocks once I’ve added content?

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Make sure to save your working campaign periodically and most importantly prior to reordering any content blocks to ensure you don’t lose any of your work. Reordering content blocks will result in a refreshing of your campaign in the MailChimp editor resulting in the loss of any unsaved content.

Repeatable and variable content blocks can be moved vertically within a template. These content blocks have arrows in the upper left hand corner that you can click to drag the block up or down. When you click on the arrow to move the block, you’ll see a bar that can be dragged and positioned where you’d like the content block to move. When dragging and dropping content blocks in your template, note that you can only drag and drop content blocks within the parent block element. For example, it’s not possible to move a right column into the left column or above the body content area.

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  1. […] familiar with as you’ll be using them routinely when creating your campaigns. We’ve got a brief walk though to get you started if you haven’t worked with variant selectors before or are new to […]

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