Create Custom, Responsive Templates with Revaxarts
Need a custom template? Say “Hello” to revaxarts.
Don’t you wish you could just drag and drop chunks of an email template into place, and then fill them with content? Well, thanks to Xaver Birsak you can. He created a custom template generator which creates email templates using predefined, stackable modules. They’re about $15-$18 per theme, and available through Themeforest. We decided to interview the genius behind this technology so that our readers can get to know him better.
Our Interview with Xaver Birsak:
How did you get into email design?
Xaver:”I did some email designs for clients in the past but really dug into it when I started creating templates for the Themeforest marketplace. I started with a simple template in 2010 which got rejected about five times. Later I learned a lot from others in that field, like Campaign Monitor and MailChimp. Their templates really helped me in the past.”
When did you start revaxarts.com?
Xaver: “I became self-employed in May 2006. My first serious client wanted to have an invoice, so I talked to my tax consultant who recommended that I start a small business. I’ve never regretted that decision!”
What are the challenges of being a one-man design shop?
Xaver: “Being alone means being alone – at least at your work desk. Sometimes I miss having colleagues to have small talk or to take a coffee with. Most of my friends are not design/tech related and have no clue when I talk about my businesses. But hey, there’s social media! Also to work on your own means you’re responsible for everything and you can’t blame anyone else. But that’s not really challenging. Generally speaking I love my job and my decision to do what I love to do.”
What gave you the idea for the template generator?
Xaver: “When I designed my first template I soon realized to separate content into modules would provide the most flexible way for users to customize their templates. Offering a wide range of different layout modules attracts and helps more customers, and with a handy tool that makes the progress even easier. From a business point of view, I value making good products and offering customers that little bit extra to make them happy, and stand out from the crowd.”
What challenges did you face in coding it?
Xaver: “Nothing at all! I think this is because I simply love this kind of coding. I really enjoy doing easy and intuitive user interfaces, and every time I do it again I learn a lot.”
How has user response been?
Xaver: “Pretty good. Most of them never saw something like this and fell in love with it from to beginning. Of course I wasn’t the first one with a layout builder but I was the first to interface with MailChimp and Campaign Monitor. People also gave me valuable feedback to improve it to the current state.”
How has Version 2 improved over the first version?
Xaver: “A lot. The first version was just something quick and ugly without the possibility to save layouts or upload them to an ESP. I think it’s always good to code something, improve it, and put it in the trash can to start again from scratch with version two. This way you can put everything you’ve learned into the new version.”
Which email client(s) do you use and why?
Xaver: “I’m using Apple Mail on my Mac and my iPhone just because they were there in the first place. Tried the Mailbox app as well but since it’s limited to Gmail and it’s pretty slow on my device I’ve stopped using it. I’ve used Outlook 2010 on my Windows machine and Thunderbird as well.”
What’s exciting to you about email design today?
Xaver: “Even with its limitations (from a technical point of view) there are always new designs and techniques around. Even with the growth of other message services, social media, and cloud services, email will never die and will always be the number 1 message system.”
Do you see any big changes for email marketing on the horizon?
Xaver: “Unfortunately no, not a big one. Until Microsoft decides to make an email client which doesn’t use Word as rendering engine I can only see steps backwards in terms of possibilities. The only way to bring email to the 21st century is to force MS to update their email clients and make each new version better instead of worse than its predecessor. I’m convinced that Microsoft is responsible for the very slow rate of advances in this sector.”
What’s next for Revaxarts?
Xaver: “I have huge plans for my Newsletter plugin for WordPress – it helps you optimize code, and includes new features and add-ons. I’m also working on new templates and trying to give others a better way to build their own. I started selling stuff on Themeforest in 2010 and I would never go back.”
Customizable Themes at Your Fingertips
Learn more about Xaver Birsak and his project at www.revaxarts.com.
Author: Alex Ilhan
Hailing all the way from England, Alex brings his email development expertise along with an endless stream of cups of tea and British cynicism. Follow him on Twitter: @omgitsonlyalex.