Site icon Email Uplers

A detailed guide to help you ace your Email Template Design

email template design

Good design is one of the chief components of a smashing email template. Irrespective of how original and insightful your content is, at the end of the day, if your presentation is not up to the mark, your campaigns won’t be able to charm your audiences in the manner you wish them to. Designing an email template is a nuanced affair, and to get it spot on, one must factor multiple aspects into consideration. New to the game? Worry not, we have got you all covered! In this blog, we will be walking you through the ins and outs of email template design. Excited? Well, dive in!

Table of Contents:

Why is Email Design Important?

Whether it’s a small or mid-sized business or a multinational conglomerate, almost everyone out there uses email. So, what can you do to set your campaigns a touch above the rest? Establish a unique visual identity for yourself. Of course, that’s not the sole parameter. You also need to focus on regularly churning out compelling content, pruning your contact list, and measuring your performance. However, these efforts will bear fruit only if you have a distinguishable and attractive brand identity to begin with. 

The points listed below illustrate how good HTML email design helps your business.

Evergreen Email Design Trends You Ought to Take Stock of

Email marketing is a constantly evolving landscape. Every year brings with it a slew of new and exciting design trends. However, there are certain trends that remain ageless and timeless. Let’s take a look at some of them over here.


“Less is more” has been the go-to motto of designers for a long while now. It was only a matter of time before minimalism took the email world by a storm, and over the last few years, it certainly has. In this age of information overload, it is enabling brands to put out neat and ultra-focused emails, thereby keeping them ahead of the curve. In a minimalist email, your message shines bright and is conveyed with absolute clarity to your audience. All the elements present in your email have ample breathing space, allowing you to deliver a splendid user experience. 

Minimalism fosters improved navigation as well. Lastly, since minimalist emails have few elements, they tend to have small file sizes. As a result, they have excellent loading times. 

Looking for some inspiration? These delightful minimalist emails will certainly help.

Image Source
Image Source

Dark Mode

From making your email templates aesthetically pleasing to promoting greater readability, the dark mode has a long list of virtues. It is no surprise, thus, that it is among the most popular email design trends. With major email clients like Gmail, Apple Mail, Yahoo Mail, and Outlook embracing this state, it has now become pretty much imperative for businesses to design two variants of their emails- one for the light mode and another for the dark mode.
That said, not every email client extends the same degree of support to dark mode. It’s best that you prepare yourself for the following three scenarios.

1. Your email remains as it is- This takes place with clients (Mos who offer absolutely no support to dark mode. Even when the user turns on dark mode on their device, these clients effect no change to your email’s design. Except in cases where your email has a light or white background, this scenario is pretty manageable. 

2. The colors in your email get inverted- This is the scenario that comprises the nightmares of email designers. Here, the client attempts to make a dark mode version of your original design by simply inverting the colors of your email background, fonts, CTA button, and other elements. Depending on the client, the inversion might be partial or full.

3. You get to specify a custom dark mode- Goes without saying, this is the best case scenario one can hope for. Clients such as Apple Mail which offer full support to dark mode, allow email marketers to add custom CSS to have separate versions of their campaigns for light and dark modes.

With that covered, let us take a look at a few things one should keep in mind while designing for the dark mode.


What can you use to communicate expressions that transcend words, emoticons, and images? Animation! A surefire way of electrifying your emails, animation lets you unleash your creativity to its fullest. Emails with animated elements- be it the hero image, the text, or the CTA button- capture the imagination of readers without skipping a beat.

Showcasing your offerings ingeniously, breaking down a complex idea, livening up your product descriptions, and representing customer data in an attractive and accessible fashion- the use cases for animation are plenty!

Given below are the three kinds of animated elements that are typically used in emails.

1. GIFs: Hands down the most popular as well as the tried and tested option out there, GIFs have been a darling among email marketers for a long time now. Since they are so thoroughly engaging, they contribute towards improving your click throughs and conversions, reducing your bounces in the process. Keep in mind that GIFs are made up of multiple frames. And the greater the number of frames, the more will be your email file size. Large file sizes hamper loading times, hence the best course of action is to compose your animated GIF using as few frames as possible. Additionally, certain email clients, such as Outlook, don’t support GIFs. Subscribers opening their emails on Outlook will only be able to see the first frame of your GIF. So, always try to design your GIFs in such a manner that the first frame itself conveys the most crucial bit of your message. 

2. CSS3: CSS3 lets your craft responsive email templates with ease. This is because, with CSS3, developers are spared from writing different codes for different platforms. Using CSS3, you can elevate your backgrounds, add captivating borders and images, and spruce up the overall visual aesthetic of your campaigns. However, because multiple email clients don’t support it, CSS3 animation is yet to be used at large.

3. APNGs: Animated PNGs or APNGs are, conceptually, similar to GIFs- a sequence of images. But, with APNGs, the images are exclusively in the PNG format. And that makes all the difference. GIFs generally permit up to 8 bits per pixel. This means you can have 256 colors at best. In the case of APNGs, however, you can exhibit millions of colors, thanks to the PNG-24 format. Therefore, APNGs tend to be visually richer than GIFs. 

Additionally, APNGs are more dark-mode friendly as well. Why? Because they comprise PNGs which, as we have discussed earlier, support transparency. What’s more, APNGs are supported by a host of major email clients, too, including Apple Mail, Samsung Mail, iOS,, AOL, and Yahoo. Across Gmail, Gmail app, and Outlook (Windows), you will be able to see just the first frame.

Here are a few email examples where brands have made masterful use of animation.

Image Source


Email design isn’t just about dialing up the visual appeal of your emails. It is also about amplifying your storytelling. This is where illustrations come in handy. They are excellent for communicating abstract and conceptual ideas. As they have an element of imperfection about them, they are effective at disarming your subscribers’ defenses. And we all know that customers warming up to your communication always augurs well for your brand reputation. 

There are various ways in which you can use illustrations in your emails. Take a look.

Take a look at these examples to get your creative juices flowing.


Image Source
Image Source


The gradual blending of two or more colors or of various shades of one color is called a gradient. Immensely versatile in nature, gradients lend depth to your design. Emails that have gradients as backgrounds are incredibly eye-catching, calling readers attentions effectively to the message they hold. Want to include an element of visual intrigue in your email template? Look no further than gradients!


Introducing interactivity into your emails is a surefire way of inviting audience engagement. The greatest virtue of interactive elements, possibly, lies in the fact that it lets your subscribers complete certain actions without quitting their inboxes. Examples include making purchases, RSVPing to events, booking appointments, and rating products or services. For high traffic times of the year, such as the holiday season, many brands embrace gamification- including a simple, interactive game in their emails. Goes without saying, such campaigns fetch them tremendous results. 

The only caution that you need to exercise while dealing with interactive elements is this: Ensure that you aren’t implementing interactivity simply for the sensationalism aspect of it. They must be in tune with your overall message, and more importantly, offer value to your audience.

Critical Design Components of an Email Template 

A standard email template consists of multiple constituent parts. In order to craft a pixel-perfect specimen, you have to ace the design of every single component. Let us take a closer look at them.


Your email header is the first thing that readers notice upon opening your email. Want to effortlessly familiarize audiences with your visual identity? Hit all the right notes with your header.

The following points illustrate how you can go about it.

(178 Pixels)
(110 pixels)


If your subject line gives readers a sneak peek into your email, the preheader builds upon it, providing additional context to your subscribers. 

Here are some things you should keep in mind to craft a winning preheader.

Logo and Colors

Your logo and color scheme are both an integral component of your brand identity. Listed below are some best practices you should take into account while dealing with them. 


Every marketer out there loves punctuating their emails with images, and well, why wouldn’t they? They infuse an incomparable energy into campaigns, help create an emotional connect with readers, and enhance your copy’s appeal (among other things). 

That said, one must keep the following things in mind while using images.


The manner in which you present your copy goes a long way toward shaping your engagement and interaction. Implement the following techniques to get best results. 


The CTA button of your email is arguably its most crucial component. And designing a high-performing CTA is a task and a half. Keep the following pointers handy to ensure smooth sailing. 


Sure, the email footer might be the last component of your template, but it is just as important as the rest. A meticulously designed email footer secures your credibility, helping you cast a positive impression in your audience’s minds. 

Here are a few things you can do to make your email footer eye-catching. 

Mobile-friendly Design- Why You Should Embrace it Now

With nearly half of all emails being accessed from a mobile device at present, failing to make your communication mobile-friendly will significantly hamper the reach and visibility of your campaigns. 

So, how can you optimize your emails for mobile? By taking stock of the following tips and tricks. 

Tricks Email Designers Can Pick from the Book of Web Developers

Wrapping It Up

The next time you sit down to design your email template, we hope that the insights shared above are able to guide you!

Exit mobile version