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Explore Content Types

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you'll be able to:

  • Name the types of content you can create with Content Builder.
  • Describe different types of content blocks.
  • Explain the benefits of reusable content blocks.


As we explored in the Marketing Content Creation module, your content builds valuable customer relationships. When your customers subscribe to receive messages from you, Content Builder is one of the most important tools you can use to engage these subscribers and grow those relationships. In the Content Builder Basics module, we discussed how Content Builder is like a library: a system to organize and reuse your content. Now that you’ve built your content strategy and set up Content Builder, we’re taking this a step further. We’re using the power of Content Builder to create content that you can personalize and reuse.

Before we dig into creating content, let’s take a look at the different types of content you can create in Content Builder: email messages, email templates, content blocks, SMS messages, mobile app push notifications, and upload abilities.

The Create menu with the mouse pointer on the Create button.

Email Message

You can use Content Builder to create emails from scratch or from templates that include multiple layout options for you to customize. When creating an email, choose one of these options.

  • Template: Create an email from an existing template.
  • Template + AMP: Create an email from an AMP email template.
  • HTML: Paste in your existing HTML code or write code from scratch in the editor.
  • HTML + AMP: Code based option that also includes the AMP editor.
  • Text Only: Create an email that displays as text only in your subscriber's inbox, regardless of their display preferences.
  • Existing Email: Select an existing email to duplicate and revise.
Learn more about AMP emails in the Trailhead module, Interactive Content Using AMP for Email.

You can also create emails directly in Email Studio using content from Content Builder. We’ll tell you more about that later in this module.

Email Template

If you’re new to creating emails, templates are a great place to start. Content Builder includes several basic, empty, and themed templates that feature different pre-designed layouts. 

Template options displayed in rows and columns.

Basic templates provide suggestions for images, text, and column layout. Empty templates show layout only. Themed templates take it a step farther with sample colors, fonts, and layouts for you to customize. For example, customize the Featured Newsletter template to start a monthly newsletter message.

Content Blocks

A message layout comprises various blocks of content. These blocks are made of anything from images to text to buttons. Your message layout can include one or many content blocks. Content Builder is your destination for building these blocks. Types of content blocks include:

Type of Content Block
A/B Test
A/B Test allows you to create two different content blocks and track which performs better during an A/B Test. A/B Test works with Content Builder emails for testing content.
Behavioral Triggers Create a content block for abandoned cart items when you configure Behavioral Triggers in Journey Builder.
Block Auth
Developers use this option to create a custom block through Heroku and the Content Builder SDK (software development kit).
Create a reusable linked button with this content block. For example, link to a sign-up form.
Code Snippet
Use code snippets in Content Builder to save reusable bits of HTML, AMPscript, and Guide Template Language. Use code snippets for a single block or for an area as large as an entire message template.
Dynamic Content
Use Dynamic Content to create content that is personalized for subscribers. Include subscriber attributes, such as first name or membership status.
Email Form Create an embedded form directly within an email that allows subscribers to submit forms without leaving their inbox.
Enhanced Dynamic Content
Create a dynamic content block by importing a delimited file containing text and image URLs. Instead of using AMPscript and data extensions to manually create complex dynamic content and the rules for each variation, Content Builder creates the content from the data in your import file.
External Content
Paste in a URL to external content that is embedded in your message.
Free Form
Free Form gives you complete control to add a combination of text, links, images, and more.
Paste or upload HTML code into this type of content block.
Image Block
Insert JPEG, PNG, GIF, and AMPscript files to display an image in this block.
Image Carousel
The Image Carousel block allows you to add blocks of up to five rotating images. You can set these images to auto-rotate every 6 seconds. Navigation arrows allow the recipient to manually rotate through the images.
Similar to a template, create a reusable group of content blocks.
Social Follow
Add links to your social networks in your email with this content block. Subscribers then choose to follow your social accounts.
Social Share
This block includes links that allow subscribers to share an email through their social networks.
Use this for blocks that include only text and links.

Check out Create Content Blocks on Salesforce Help to find a complete list of content blocks. To enable Dynamic Content, and AB Content blocks, contact your Marketing Cloud Engagement admin or log a ticket with support.

Why use content blocks? Most companies have standard pieces of content that are used time and again. For example, can you imagine retyping your company contact information in every email message you send? Instead, use Content Builder to create reusable content blocks that you can easily drag into multiple messages. This also ensures your brand and message stays consistent. Here are a few examples of content blocks (the possibilities are endless).

  • Company contact information
  • Privacy statements
  • Mission statement
  • Logos
  • Product descriptions

SMS Message and Mobile App

Content Builder is not just for emails. Use Content Builder to create SMS messages and push notifications.

  • SMS Message: Create an SMS text message in Content Builder by entering the message and selecting a code type (geographic market) to preview it.
  • In-App Message: When you create an in-app message, you can choose from three different layouts. The full-page layout fills the screen and requires interaction. The banner layout appears at the top or bottom of the screen. The modal layout shows part of the screen behind it and is great for contextual information. After choosing a layout, you can add an image, title, message, and buttons. You can also use advanced design features to specify colors, fonts, and more.
  • Push Notification: To create a push notification in Content Builder, enter a title, subtitle, message, and media. You can also select an option for an open behavior—this is what happens when the recipient presses the push notification on their mobile device. Open behavior can include opening the app, directing the user to a specific page in the app, or opening another URL.

We take a closer look at each of these mobile content options later in this module.

Now that we’ve reviewed the types of content you can create in Content Builder, next we look at how to create content.


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