The Design Information You Want [+ Free Templates]

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Whenever you create an e mail utilizing a drag-and-drop or module-based instrument, you’re truly producing an HTML e mail.

woman perfects html email design

As a marketer, you’ve most likely in contrast HTML emails versus plain textual content emails and realized that every kind has completely different advantages.

HTML emails aren’t inherently higher than plain textual content emails, and in several conditions, each sorts might be a part of a profitable e mail advertising and marketing program.

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On this article, we’ll cowl how one can get began creating HTML emails, no matter your expertise degree and luxury with coding, and share some free templates you should utilize. Let’s dive in.

Plain Textual content vs. HTML Emails

There are two fundamental sorts of e mail you may ship and obtain: plain textual content emails (these are precisely what they sound like — any e mail that accommodates simply plain outdated textual content with no formatting) and HTML emails, that are formatted and styled utilizing HTML and inline CSS.

HTML emails are straightforward to identify — many of the styled, multimedia advertising and marketing emails in your inbox are HTML emails.

Right here’s what an HTML appears like on the entrance finish. Click on on the HTML button to see the code behind it.

See the Pen HTML E mail Template from HubSpot by Christina Perricone (@hubspot) on CodePen.

Easy methods to Create an HTML E mail

Excellent news: You truly don’t have to know learn how to code to create an HTML e mail.

Most instruments that create and ship e mail (like HubSpot) will provide pre-formatted, ready-to-go HTML templates that allow you to design emails with out ever needing to entry the precise code on the again finish.

As you make modifications within the e mail editor, these modifications shall be mechanically coded into the ultimate product.

E mail-building instruments like this are an excellent possibility for those who don’t have an e mail designer in your staff, however you continue to wish to ship professional-looking advertising and marketing emails.

Professional tip: Need assistance with the content material of your e mail? HubSpot’s Marketing campaign Assistant can create a custom-made first draft in only a few clicks— so you will get again to the enjoyable half.

Nonetheless wish to create an HTML e mail from scratch?

For those who’re snug with HTML and wish extra direct management over the code of your emails, most e mail instruments will mean you can import HTML recordsdata instantly to be used as customized e mail templates.

There are all kinds of free HTML e mail templates accessible on the internet (a few of which we’ll share beneath), and if you recognize your approach round an HTML file, it’s normally fairly easy to adapt the template to the email-building instrument of your selection.

If you wish to discover ways to create an HTML e mail template fully from scratch, you’ll have to have a complicated information of HTML (or work with a developer who does).

This information presents a strong overview of coding a fundamental HTML e mail.

As a result of the method of making an HTML e mail from scratch might be fairly concerned, we advocate working with a developer or utilizing a pre-made HTML e mail template as an alternative.

Creating an HTML e mail particularly for HubSpot?

If you wish to know learn how to create an HTML e mail template particularly to be used in HubSpot, you’ll wish to ensure you embody the required HubL tokens (these guarantee your emails might be custom-made and are compliant with CAN-SPAM legal guidelines).

You will discover a whole information to coding HubSpot-specific HTML e mail templates right here. Or alternatively, simply use our easy what-you-see-is-what-you-get e mail editor.

Now that you just perceive the fundamentals of what goes into creating an HTML e mail, let’s go over just a few vital greatest practices you must be mindful.

It doesn’t matter what technique you intend to make use of to discover ways to create an HTML e mail template, these greatest practices will assist enhance the design, consumer expertise, and deliverability of your emails.

1. Ensure that your HTML e mail is responsive for various display sizes and units.

The way in which your e mail appears in a consumer’s inbox relies on all kinds of things.

One of many largest and most evident components is the display measurement of the machine it’s being seen on.

An e mail that appears superb and well-formatted on a desktop can simply devolve right into a tangle of illegible, overlapping textual content and pictures when seen on a smartphone display.

To make sure your HTML emails look the way in which you supposed throughout a large spectrum of display sizes, one of the best factor you are able to do is preserve your format easy and easy.

Whenever you begin including extra complicated components like a number of columns and floated pictures, it turns into harder to translate the format of your e mail for various display sizes.

For those who resolve to develop a extra complicated format, ensure you’re actively fixing how the weather shall be rearranged to swimsuit completely different display sizes.

For instance, in case your e mail shows as multi-column on desktop, that very same construction gained’t fly on cell — you’ll want to make use of media queries to outline how components shall be displayed on completely different display sizes.

how to create an html email template, make sure your design is responsive

Let’s take a look at this template from HubSpot. You’ll be able to see how the picture and the copy have switched layouts when it’s on completely different screens.

What I like about that is its capacity to take a look at the template via a consumer’s lens to establish what piques their curiosity to click on or subscribe.

Keep in mind, creating really responsive HTML emails goes past the construction and format of your message. Take into consideration how the general consumer expertise of your e mail shall be perceived on completely different units.

Ensure that your font decisions are simply as legible on cell as they’re on desktop, and use mobile-friendly buttons or calls-to-action (CTAs) instead of hyperlinked textual content (have you ever ever tried to faucet a little bit line of hyperlinked textual content on cell? It’s not very straightforward).

You will discover our extra in-depth information to cell e mail greatest practices proper right here.

2. Ensure that your styling works for various e mail purchasers.

One other massive issue that closely impacts the way in which your HTML emails seem in your subscribers’ inboxes is the e-mail consumer they’re utilizing to open the message.

Each e mail consumer masses emails barely in a different way, so an e mail that appears a sure approach in Gmail will probably look completely different in Outlook.

Fortunately, if you understand how hottest e mail purchasers load specific HTML and CSS components, you may create a fairly constant expertise throughout completely different customers’ inboxes.

It’s all about realizing which unsupported tags to keep away from and adapting accordingly.

This complete information explains how the most well-liked e mail purchasers (together with Gmail and a number of variations of Outlook) assist and render completely different styling components.

For those who’re questioning the way it’ll look, HubSpot truly works with a number of e mail purchasers to ensure you’re conscious of your e mail preview.

designing html emails, check style on different email clients

You too can take a look at an article we wrote on optimizing emails for various e mail purchasers.

3. Take heed to how lengthy your HTML emails take to load.

How lengthy your e mail takes to load might very nicely be the distinction between gaining a brand new buyer and shedding a pissed off subscriber.

Whereas it may be tempting to reap the benefits of all of the completely different styling choices and alternatives to include visuals that HTML emails provide, none of that issues in case your e mail takes too lengthy to load.

As you design your HTML e mail, stay aware of how lengthy your e mail will take to load — particularly if somebody is, say, opening your message on their morning subway commute with a weak knowledge connection.

Listed here are just a few little steps you may take that may go a great distance towards enhancing load time.

Use pictures sparingly.

That approach, you’ll bolster the message you wish to get throughout to subscribers. All the time use a picture compressor (like to scale back the file measurement as a lot as potential.

Most picture compressors can considerably cut back the file measurement of a picture with out compromising on high quality, so taking this further step gained’t harm the visible integrity of your e mail.

Use normal net fonts.

Customized fonts are nice for spicing up a touchdown web page, however they will add an extraneous layer of complexity when added to an e mail.

As we talked about above, all e mail purchasers deal with type components in a different way, and this particularly extends to fonts.

To be protected, use normal net fonts and test to ensure the e-mail consumer most of your subscribers use helps a specific font.

Attempt an HTML minifier.

An HTML minifier (like and mechanically removes code that isn’t wanted in an HTML file.

Repetitive, further components shall be stripped out, however the precise rendering of your e mail ought to stay the identical (all the time check it out!).

Every line of code impacts how lengthy an e mail takes to load, so taking the time to take away junk code can have a optimistic impact on load time.

Right here’s the code I used to make my e mail template. look how a lot junk code Smallseotools eliminated:

how to create an html email, html email code in Smallseotools

And look how a lot junk code Smallseotools eliminated. This not solely saved me from importing pointless traces of code, but it surely additionally improved total e mail loading time.

how to create an html email, use an html minifier

Maintain your message centered on a single goal.

One of the best ways to scale back e mail load time is to scale back how a lot content material you add to every of your e mail sends. It might sound apparent, however too many entrepreneurs attempt to stuff an excessive amount of content material into their emails.

Not solely does that result in an off-putting consumer expertise (no person needs to learn a novel in e mail type), however it could possibly ship your load day without work the charts and trigger customers to desert your e mail. Maintain it easy, and your customers will thanks.

4. Plan (as a lot as you may) for end-user inconsistencies.

The display measurement and e mail consumer aren’t the one components that may alter the way in which your HTML e mail renders in your subscribers’ inboxes.

Parts just like the model of their e mail consumer, their working system, their distinctive consumer settings, their safety software program, and whether or not or not they’re mechanically loading pictures can all affect how your e mail masses.

As you may most likely guess by that hefty record of things, making an attempt to resolve for all of them (each single time you ship an e mail) would most likely be sufficient to make you throw your pc throughout the room.

However you don’t need to be fully helpless within the face of those variables — you simply need to perform a little pre-planning.

Take into account making a webpage model of your e mail.

That is form of like giving your e mail a fail-safe button.

If for some cause — attributable to one of many many components mentioned above — your lovingly designed e mail renders like an absolute mess when a subscriber opens it, they’ll not less than have the choice to click on “view as net web page” and see the e-mail as you supposed it to be.

Since type components render far more persistently throughout net browsers versus e mail purchasers, you’ll be capable to have far more management over the online web page model of your message.

In HubSpot, there’s an possibility you may activate that may generate an internet web page model mechanically.

Create a plain textual content model of your e mail.

A plain textual content model is precisely what it appears like — an alternate model of your HTML e mail that renders in fully plain textual content.

Including a plain textual content model of your HTML e mail is vital as a result of some e mail purchasers and consumer settings can’t (or select to not) load HTML.

If that is so, the consumer will search for a plain textual content various model of your HTML e mail to load for the consumer. If one doesn’t exist, it might sign to the recipient’s e mail server that your message is spam — or probably harmful.

Most e mail instruments like HubSpot will mechanically present a plain textual content model that shows if a recipient’s e mail server requires it. Right here’s an instance of what it appears like on desktop:

how to create an html email, plain text version of html email

However for those who’re coding an HTML e mail from scratch, you’ll have to create one thing referred to as a multipart MIME message.

A multipart MIME message is an e mail that accommodates each a plain textual content and HTML model of the identical e mail. The plain textual content model shall be displayed if a recipient’s e mail consumer or safety system doesn’t permit HTML e mail.

It is a course of that requires a complicated information of coding, so we advocate working with a developer.

Ensure that your e mail nonetheless is smart if the photographs don’t load.

Some customers have computerized image-loading turned off, which implies they’ll see your e mail with out pictures after they open it.

Because of this, don’t rely completely on pictures to get the that means of your message throughout, and all the time add alt-text to the photographs you do embody.

Alt-text will load even when pictures don’t, so your subscribers can get the final thought of what the visuals embody.

5. Conduct thorough testing.

Lastly, you’ll want to check your HTML e mail at each stage of improvement to make sure it really works throughout completely different e mail purchasers, working techniques, and machine sorts.

Don’t wait till the very finish of the method to check out your e mail — testing as you’re employed is one of the best ways to identify inconsistencies between completely different e mail purchasers and make sure you’re creating essentially the most constant expertise potential to your recipients.

Some e mail instruments (like HubSpot) provide in-app testing inside their e mail builders to make the method simpler.

For those who’re working from scratch, you should utilize a instrument like HTML E mail Examine or PreviewMyEmail to get a greater thought of how your e mail will look in several e mail purchasers and units.

See beneath:

how to create an html email, viewing email on mobile

Utilizing the identical code from earlier than, I reviewed the e-mail’s show/look throughout completely different units. This gave me a greater thought of what my subscribers are taking a look at, plus I didn’t even need to improve to the paid model.

how to create an html email, viewing email on desktop

Easy and Free HTML E mail Templates

There are an awesome quantity of HTML e mail templates accessible on the internet as you may see beneath, and so they differ in high quality, responsiveness, and value.

 HubSpot’s guide to designing html emails

We’ve pulled collectively a collection of free HTML e mail templates that present a responsive consumer expertise. You should definitely learn the phrases and circumstances on every particular person template earlier than use.

1. Product Promotion HTML E mail Template by HubSpot

how to create an html email, product promotion html email example

Whether or not you’re launching a brand new product or just promoting your current choices, this e mail template is a good place to start out.

Included within the free model of Advertising Hub’s e mail instrument, this template presents loads of room for personalisation. You’ll be able to simply add pictures, textual content, and buttons in an intuitive drag-and-drop editor.

You too can be assured that the templates you design shall be totally responsive on any machine.

The primary good thing about utilizing this template is that it’s bundled with all different Advertising Hub instruments. Plus, you could have different templates to select from — you don’t have to remain confined to this selection.

The drag-and-drop e mail editor is one other unbelievable plus.

Professional tip: Happily, HubSpot presents pre-made e mail designs you could copy and paste proper into your template.

Nonetheless, if you wish to delve deeper into HTML coding, there are many movies and tutorials that stroll you thru the basics of designing HTML emails, just like the one beneath:

2. Firm Information HTML E mail Template by Marketing campaign Monitor

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For those who’re planning to ship firm information to your clients, it is a nice template to make use of. It’s image-heavy, making it an ideal match for trend or modern manufacturers.

Plus, it’s linked to Marketing campaign Monitor’s e mail instrument, which begins at $11 per 30 days with different paid plans you may discover (there’s a free trial, too).

I personally love that this contemporary template is so subtle and minimal.

The delicate colour palette and easy design make it a flexible possibility for a lot of industries and functions, and it’s been examined on completely different e mail purchasers and units to make sure a constant consumer expertise throughout platforms.

Professional tip: I noticed that utilizing a template alone isn’t sufficient; you’ll additionally need to customise it to your subscribers. My private favourite hack is including an organization URL to the Marketing campaign Monitor instrument in order that it produces a model template.

3. Welcome HTML E mail Template by Unlayer

how to create an html email, welcome html email example

Unlayer is an e mail advertising and marketing instrument that primarily focuses on e mail design. Its drag-and-drop editor makes modifying its templates a breeze. I really like the template above due to its construction and customizability.

Although this template was designed for a health firm, you may simply adapt it to your personal use.

This clear, muted template is an effective way to show the content material your staff has created and join subscribers together with your most up-to-date merchandise or weblog posts.

The design options two totally responsive columns with a number of colour scheme choices and room on the prime to spotlight a CTA.

Professional tip: Unlayer integrates with many e mail advertising and marketing platforms, corresponding to MailChimp and HubSpot. Which means when you’re completed designing HTML emails, you may simply export your template.

4. Minimalist Welcome HTML E mail Template by MailBakery

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Proof that typically much less actually is extra, this straightforward, totally responsive design makes essentially the most of whitespace and retains the main target firmly in your phrases and visible components.

With out design distractions, your content material can actually shine — on any machine.

This template is offered on the MailBakery e mail template retailer. I find it irresistible as a result of you may merely obtain it and add it to your most well-liked instrument, whereas different templates require you to make use of their software program to entry their templates.

I might advocate it for those who’re snug dealing with HTML recordsdata and for those who’re conversant in the add course of to your instrument.

Professional tip: With any e mail template from MailBakery, you may ensure that it’s going to seem flawlessly on varied platforms, having been examined on 40 e mail purchasers.

Your message will nonetheless be efficient whether or not your subscriber makes use of Outlook, Gmail, or every other e mail supplier.

5. Free HTML E mail Templates from Bee Free

creating an html email, Bee Free html email templates

I couldn’t resolve on a template to characteristic from the Bee Free market, so I’ve determined to advocate its total library as an alternative. This assortment of free, open-source templates is totally responsive and examined throughout standard e mail purchasers.

You’ll be able to edit and construct on them on the Bee Free platform, then export the HTML file to your native drive and add it to your most well-liked e mail advertising and marketing instrument.

These are an excellent possibility in order for you a extra styled, polished beginning place, however you continue to need to have the ability to customise the design to suit your firm’s wants.

Every template is offered in a number of codecs for various advertising and marketing functions, like transactional emails, NPS assortment, and e mail subscriber re-engagement.

Professional tip: For those who’re utilizing the professional model of BeeFree, you may export on to your e mail advertising and marketing program, which is much less of a trouble.

6. Retailer Sale HTML E mail Template by Marketing campaign Monitor

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This modern, responsive design from Marketing campaign Monitor could be excellent for sending out a reduction code — but it surely might additionally function a trendy technique to showcase your newest merchandise to e mail subscribers.

I like its clear and attention-grabbing CTA, in addition to its house to incorporate extra data.

This template is free to make use of, as long as you enroll on the Marketing campaign Monitor platform. It’s additionally price testing Marketing campaign Monitor’s full library of responsive e mail templates.

Professional tip: For those who want particular code, you may discover ways to create a template in your favourite HTML editor and import it to Marketing campaign Monitor.

Utilizing their template language, you may design a template with changeable sections after which choose and edit it for an e mail.

7. Fashionable HTML E mail Template by ActiveCampaigndesigning html emails, stylish html email template

This e mail template from ActiveCampaign is trendy and optimized — excellent for introducing your organization or your merchandise.

Its hero part consists of ample house for a picture and a CTA, and additional down, you may immediate your readers to take a look at extra merchandise, supplying you with a second probability at changing them.

To make use of this free HTML e mail template, you’ll want to enroll in an ActiveCampaign free trial. Its e mail instrument begins at $49 per 30 days and consists of three seats, making this template an ideal match in case your e mail advertising and marketing staff consists of a number of individuals.

Professional tip: Need your purchasers to view real-time content material that’s up to date each couple of minutes? You’ll be able to truly add a code that’s equipped to you by third-party instruments into your ActiveCampaign HTML e mail template for his or her on-line HTML code editor.

8. Apology HTML E mail Template by Stripo E mail

designing html emails, apology html email template

It’s by no means enjoyable to fail to fulfill a buyer’s expectation, but it surely’s even much less enjoyable to go away them in the dead of night. This free HTML e mail template from Stripo, an e mail instrument, means that you can succinctly apologize.

The lovable cartoon is a plus, however you may all the time substitute the picture.

I particularly like that this template means that you can ask for suggestions proper within the e mail. That makes it straightforward and easy for the recipient to let you know how they really feel about their interplay together with your firm to date.

To make use of this template, you solely have to enroll on Stripo’s free tier, which permits you 4 e mail exports.

Professional tip: You too can use the generated templates to develop Model Pointers kits, which is able to allow you to write emails constant together with your model extra rapidly to your campaigns.

These kits include all desktop and cell e mail layouts and mean you can save all of the required design components and settings in a single easy-to-use type.

9. Hero Picture Free HTML E mail Template by ZURB


ZURB is an e mail template supplier that has created a sequence of free e mail templates for anybody to obtain. This one features a clear heading, a hero picture, and a CTA highlighted in blue.

I really like that it has a sidebar to incorporate extra hyperlinks. It is a good match for newsletter-dependent manufacturers.

You’ll wish to closely customise this template together with your model colours and fonts to make it really feel extra like “you.” In any other case, it’s a unbelievable tool-agnostic possibility. Merely obtain the template and add it into your most well-liked e mail advertising and marketing software program.

Professional tip: Do not forget that each CSS component should be inline for HTML emails. ZURB retains the CSS separate to make modifying simpler. When sending your e mail, you must use a CSS instrument, corresponding to Premailer or MailChimp, to call a pair.

10. Password Reset HTML E mail Template by Basis Framework

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A password reset e mail doesn’t must be elaborate, and this HTML e mail template from Basis Framework (often known as ZURB) checks all of the containers.

It leaves an area so that you can both embody your brand or a cute graphic, in addition to placeholder textual content you could depart as is for those who’d like.

I particularly like this template as a result of it already appears so good with out customizing it. All you want is to vary the button’s colour to considered one of your model colours, and also you’ll be all set. Plus, you should utilize it with any instrument.

Professional tip: You’ll be able to strive making some modifications to the templates, or obtain them and preview them to see how the options have been applied by wanting on the supply.

You’ll see that the Basis for Emails type tag is included on the prime of every template, indicating the place the template is from.

Create HTML Emails to Improve Your Subscriber Rely

HTML emails are an attractive technique to share what’s taking place in your enterprise and preserve subscribers coming again for extra.

With the guidelines and templates we’ve shared, you’re nicely in your technique to creating stunning and purposeful HTML emails with out writing a single line of code.

Editor’s observe: This publish was initially revealed in June 2019 and has been up to date for comprehensiveness.

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