How to create consistent images from a template


WTF NO CODE DROP #1 showed you what you can pull off when you capture the right information from your users. Once you have everything you need in something like an Airtable base so that you have a single source of truth to work with, you can start to do a whole lot.

If you’re capturing or deriving data points like IDs or other unique identifiers, you can start to use those sort of things to augment the data you have. Put differently, if you set things up right you don’t have to ask your users for everything.

One solid example comes to mind – email addresses.

Every email address immediately offers you two crucial pieces of information:

  1. Email addresses can be a unique identifier.
    You’re not going to want to build a large-scale, complex system that relies solely on the uniqueness of email addresses. One simple reason is that your users will eventually want to update their email address. One less simple reason is that wildcard emails can make for a confusing experience. Ask me more more about this – a friend of mind thought he lucked out by getting an account for a common(ish) name. Problem is, it’s become a wildcard email that lands him invitations to PTA meetings and random birthday parties.

  2. Email address domains tell you a lot about who you’re dealing with.
    You might already know this, but every email address has a price. The more common the domain – your or your are pretty unremarkable and not that valuable to newsletter operators or advertisers, for example. On the other hand, your Ivy League .edu or your email addresses are sending some pretty valuable signals.

With this in mind, here’s a reliable way to create images at scale as well as a cool trick I’ve been adding to my projects ever since I used it in my No Code Referral App.

Let’s figure out how to instantly create images based on the data you’ve collected. This is perfect for social media content or marketing events with speakers, for instance. While pulling together extra data based on email addresses isn’t exactly a party trick, there’s more to be done to have a system that creates consistent images from a template.

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So a big takeaway here is that you’ve got usable data the moment your users submit your form and especially if you require them to submit their email address.

Quick aside: In the case of Podcast Delivery, I’m also capturing a URL which includes a unique ID.

This gives me two individual data points I can use to augment the information I’ve already collected from my user. I also make a point to capture the source/channel I’m acquiring all this data from so I can handle each channel differently. In my case, I change the messaging I use in my replies depending on the channel they come through. I won’t go into detail about querying APIs with those unique IDs but if you want to learn more just email me.

Clearbit offers two useful APIs to level up your user data. The first lets you find company logos based on the email address you send their way. This is pretty straightforward in the grand scheme of things and I’m will to be you can update some of your existing automations with this functionality in an afternoon.

The second API does all that logo jazz and more. If available, you get access to 100+ different attributes based on the person and the company. This instantly gives you better context about who you’re dealing with and signals where you may want to put your time and focus as you engage with your users.

The best part? Clearbit is free.99 with 500 renewable monthly credits. (Late last year HubSpot acquired Clearbit, so you may need a free Hubspot account to access Clearbit’s API).

⚠️ One piece of advice: Your everyday email addresses aren’t going to yield a whole lot of extra detail if you send them off to Clearbit for augmented data. Instead of wasting your precious 500 monthly credits, build your automations so that you’re filtering out those instances of low-yield email addresses.

The next clear bit we’ll want to focus on is using Placid to create and maintain image templates that’ll let you dynamically inject data you’ve harvested into your images.

Going back to the example of gathering information about an event’s speaker you’ll want to have a couple of things already setup–

  1. a form for your users to submit their info

  2. an integration with Airtable so that the collected data lands in a database you can work with


At this point, I’m sure you’re piecing things together. If you’re on the hook for creating a bunch of marketing assets, the last thing you’ll ever want to do is fiddle around with manual copy & paste workflows in something like Canva or Photoshop.

Instead, we’ll shift responsibilities around and pull in the data we need by asking folks to submit it themselves and quickly augment it via Clearbit. Then, we’ll make sure we have the imagery and data we need to create a title card image that can be used to market and promote a hypothetical speaking gig.

If you want to wrap your head around what Placid can do, dig into their setup guide.

For now, let’s put it all together –

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