Before you start to design and create your first widgets you should read the Open Time Content Use Cases and Examples, to get a good idea of where to place different types of content for maximum effect. Then you can get started by following the instructions below.


Terminology: Campaigns, mailings, widgets and tags

To get started quickly with Open Time Content you should familiarize yourself with the terminology the product uses.

  • Campaigns – Before you can create a widget you must create a campaign. This is a top-level category for the widgets and groups them together for reporting so that you can measure their combined effectiveness in relation to a single marketing goal. Campaigns can be thought of as the equivalent of Automation Center programs and we recommend that you use (wherever possible) the same names as the programs which contain the emails where the widgets will appear.
  • Mailings – After you have created a campaign you must create a mailing before you can build a widget. We recommend that you name the mailing after the email campaign where the widget will finally be used. In this way you can track all the widgets used in each email and view the reporting for all of them together. A campaign may contain many mailings, in same way that an automated program may contain many emails.
  • Widgets – These are the containers for the tag. They are equivalent to a section in your email, and are the real estate within the email content where the dynamic content is displayed. Each widget must belong to one mailing.
  • Tags – These are snippets of HTML code which are the result of every widget you create. You add these to your email content and, when the email is opened, they pull in the relevant image from the Open Time Content servers and display it. Please note that tags will continue to reference the same image even after you delete the widget that generated them.

About the HTML tag

The Open Time Content tag is an HTML string which consists of a url and and an image path.


The <href> component is the link/URL. This performs two functions:

  • It directs the recipient to a specific landing page based on the rules you define.
  • It tracks the clicks and clicks-to-opens.

The <img src> component serves the image and any dynamic content you have placed over it. The image is adapted, optimized and updated at the moment it is downloaded in the email inbox.

As long as these two parts are correctly copied over, you can add additional elements such as styles or alternative texts to the HTML (see the examples below).

You can always test your tags by pasting the <img src> into a browser and seeing what image is displayed.

Personalizing the HTML tag

Contact data can be ‘merged’ into the tag to track individual opens and clicks and to personalize the image at the time of opening.

  • Individual tracking – To track the email address of the recipient who opens or clicks on the image, you can merge the email address into the tag. To do this, you will need add the $Email$personalization variable to the href link. This is done by appending &m$Email$ to the end of the href link:
    <a href="$Email$">

If you would like all the tags created in your account to automatically contain an email personalization variable, please contact Emarsys Support and we will make this your default setting.

Uploading custom fonts

To upload a custom font, open the Settings tab, Fonts and click Upload Font.


Once uploaded it will be available across your account for countdown clocks, personalized images and content automation.

Please note that you can only upload True Type Font (.ttf) files.

Limitations and technical considerations

Please read the following limitations and known issues regarding the Open Time Content widgets.


  • Widgets that require the recipient’s location first use their IP address, therefore the initial location is not 100% exact. After that, the recipient must allow Mobile GPS before the widget can proceed, for example to guide them to the nearest store.
  • Location cannot be detected in Gmail webmail & app.
  • UK 3G/4G mobile connections (EE, Vodafone, O2) provide country level data only, therefore location-based widgets will notbe so effective with these customers.

Countdown timers

  • Countdown clocks will tick for 30 seconds by default, and up to a maximum of 70 seconds. After that they stop and must be refreshed before they show the correct time again.
  • Countdown clocks do not tick in the Outlook app on Windows machines.
  • Countdown clock images cannot be transparent.


  • Authentication is required to your Instagram account before you can use the widget.


  • Twitter hashtags must have a minimum of three tweets before they can be used. If you use the hashtag option, please note the hashtag will pull any tweet that uses it, meaning you will have no control over the content presented in your email.

Content Automation

  • The feed is limited in size and cannot contain more then two levels.
  • There will be webpage limitations for sites that render in JavaScript.


  • All URLS must contain ‘http://’.
  • Change in templates do not automatically change the live widgets that have already been sent. You must change the template in the mailing by activating the Update template check box and reselecting the changed template.