Effective Email Templates

Create email templates that an admin can edit and then send.

Rails 3.2.x through Rails 6

effective_email_templates 1.0

This is the 1.0 series of effective_email_templates.

This requires Twitter Bootstrap 4.

Please check out Effective Email Templates 0.x for more information using this gem with Bootstrap 3.

Getting Started

Add to your Gemfile:

gem 'haml-rails' # or try using gem 'hamlit-rails'
gem 'effective_email_templates'

Run the bundle command to install it:

bundle install

Then run the generator:

rails generate effective_email_templates:install

The generator will install an initializer which describes all configuration options and creates a database migration.

If you want to tweak the table name (to use something other than the default 'email_templates'), manually adjust both the configuration file and the migration now.

Then migrate the database:

rake db:migrate

And import the provided welcome email template:

rake effective_email_templates:import

Admin View

To manage the content of the email templates, navigate to /admin/email_templates or add,

link_to 'Email Templates', effective_email_templates.admin_email_templates_path to your menu.

Create Email Templates

The installer already created an app/mailers/email_templates_mailer.rb. You can change this name. And additional mailers can be created, just make sure they extend from Effective::EmailTemplatesMailer.

To create an email template:

  1. Create a method inside the mailer, like def welcome. The @assigns instance variable should contain all the variables that are passed to the liquid view. Any variables that end in _url like root_url will be automatically expanded.
# app/mailers/email_templates_mailer.rb
class EmailTemplatesMailer < Effective::EmailTemplatesMailer
  def welcome(user)
    @assigns = {
      user: {
        first_name: user.first_name,
        last_name: user.last_name
      adjective: 'awesome'

    mail(to: user.email)
  1. Create a .liquid file in app/views/email_templates_mailer/welcome.liquid.
subject: 'Welcome {{ user.first_name }}'  # REQUIRED
from: '[email protected]'               # REQUIRED
cc: '[email protected]'                  # optional
bcc: '[email protected]'                 # optional
Welcome {{ user.first_name }} {{ user.last_name }}!

I am a liquid template that is imported to the database, and is then editable.

Thanks for using our site at {{ root_url }}.
  1. Run rake effective_email_templates:import or rake effective_email_templates:overwrite
  • Remember to do this in your staging and production environments as well!

  • The import task can be run even when no new templates have been added and will not overwrite existing database templates. This allows you to run the rake task in a deploy script if you are adding new templates frequently.

  1. Send the emails like normal:


All authorization checks are handled via the effective_resources gem found in the config/initializers/effective_resources.rb file.


To allow a user to see the admin area, using CanCan:

can [:index, :edit, :update, :destroy], Effective::EmailTemplate
can :admin, :effective_email_templates


MIT License. Copyright Code and Effect Inc.


  1. Fork it
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Add some feature')
  4. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  5. Bonus points for test coverage
  6. Create new Pull Request