Thursday May 27, 2021 By David Quintanilla
Build an HTML Email Template From Scratch

Final product imageFinal product imageFinal product image
What You may Be Creating

One of the best ways to know any course of is to hold it out your self, from the bottom up. In the present day, we’re going to just do that with electronic mail design, by constructing a easy HTML electronic mail template from scratch.

“The earlier you cease preventing the quirks of electronic mail, the earlier you should utilize them to your benefit.” – Caity G. O’Connor

Fashionable HTML Electronic mail Templates on Envato Parts

When you’re on the lookout for a ready-made, skilled answer, seize one among our popular HTML email templates on Envato Parts. We have now tons of of responsive choices all included along with your Parts membership, with easy-to-customize options to get you began.

popular HTML email templates on Envato Elementspopular HTML email templates on Envato Elementspopular HTML email templates on Envato Elements
Fashionable HTML electronic mail templates on Envato Parts

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For a restricted time, your first month on Envato Parts is free. So you may spend 30 days downloading as many electronic mail templates as you need, with out paying a cent. Plus you may obtain inventory photographs, fonts, graphics, and different skilled design assets to make your mail newsletters look superior. You solely pay in case you resolve to proceed previous the primary month.

Free email templates on Envato ElementsFree email templates on Envato ElementsFree email templates on Envato Elements

To be sure you get your 30-day free trial, you will want to enroll utilizing this special link or enter the next code on the sign-up web page:


Not what you’re on the lookout for? No downside, this tutorial will train you learn how to construct your personal!

The HTML Electronic mail Template We’re Constructing

Right here’s the HTML electronic mail we’ll be constructing, be happy to fork the pen and use it your self. Keep in mind that after we’re viewing this template via an online browser we’re a lot much less prone to run into issues than with electronic mail purchasers.

1. Start Your HTML Electronic mail Doc

To start with, it’s price mentioning the place I pulled among the assets from.

Now, as we mentioned within the previous tutorial, you’ll want to start your HTML electronic mail template with an HTML doctype, and the proper language to your subscribers. On this case we’re going to use the HTML5 doctype, set our language to English with <html lang="en">, and in addition embrace the XML and Microsoft Workplace namespaces (the xmlns bits). We’re going to want these a number of strains down, as I am going to clarify.

There are fairly a number of issues within the code above, however it’s the naked minimal that you must guarantee your remaining electronic mail renders fantastically in every single place.

Firstly, we have now a number of meta tags to make sure the appropriate textual content encoding, viewport scaling throughout completely different cell gadgets, and one to cease Apple from adjusting the dimensions in a wierd manner of their mail apps.

Beneath the <title></title> tag you will see some code between <!--[if mso]> and <![endif]-->. Putting code inside these two tags implies that solely Microsoft Outlook on Home windows will apply it (mso = ‘Microsoft Outlook’). And in there, we have now a small quantity of XML that may be certain that PNG photographs show on the proper measurement in Outlook on Home windows. The xlmns settings that we put within the html tag ensures this code will get interpreted correctly.

Beneath that, we have now a model tag with simply a few CSS guidelines. The primary units the font for all our important parts, and that is for the advantage of Gmail webmail, which can override our font settings until we embrace this. If you find yourself altering your fonts later, you’ll want to make the change right here too.

Lastly, we’re together with desk, td {border:2px stable #000000 !vital;} which can draw a border on all the pieces. That is purely in order that we will see what we’re doing as we construct, and we’ll take away it on the finish.

With that sorted, we will start constructing the remainder of the construction.

2. Create the Physique and Fundamental Desk

First, we’ll add an total construction for our electronic mail, beginning with a <physique> tag. Add the code beneath immediately beneath the </head> tag:

You possibly can see the margin and padding on the physique tag are set to zero to keep away from any surprising area.

We’ve additionally added a desk with a width of 100%. This acts as a real physique tag for our electronic mail, as a result of the physique tag is usually eliminated by electronic mail purchasers. Apply any ‘physique’ background color that you simply wish to this desk tag.

All our tables might be set to position="presentation". This makes them extra accessible, because it tells display readers to deal with it as a visible desk, not a knowledge desk.

We have now set border-collapse to collapse, and each border and border-spacing to zero to keep away from any surprising area within the desk.

You may discover we’re utilizing <td align="middle">, and in case you’re already conversant in HTML you is perhaps questioning why, since align is definitely a deprecated HTML property. We use it as a result of electronic mail purchasers range so extensively of their stage of CSS help, and infrequently we nonetheless want to make use of deprecated HTML to make sure all the pieces shows correctly in every single place. On this occasion, it’s as a result of Outlook for Home windows doesn’t obey margin:0 auto; in CSS to middle issues.

Lastly, be sure you at all times set the padding in your desk cells to zero within the inline types, e.g. <td model="padding:0;">, in any other case electronic mail purchasers will all add their very own quantity of padding. After we do add padding ourselves, we will modify this worth, but when there isn’t any padding to be utilized to any of the edges, you have to explicitly set it to zero. 

Our first HTML email layout sectionOur first HTML email layout sectionOur first HTML email layout section

A Word on Utilizing CSS Padding Shorthand

When utilizing CSS padding on desk cells, you may reliably write it 3 ways. Both specify one worth, e.g. padding:20px which can apply 20 pixels of padding to each facet of your cell (prime, proper, backside and left), or specify padding in pairs, i.e. padding: 10px 20px, which can add 10 pixels padding to each prime and backside, plus 20 pixels to each left and proper. If neither of these are appropriate, you need to declare each facet, i.e. padding: 10px 10px 0 5px. In all circumstances you have to set every worth, even when a few of them are zero. Moreover, solely specifying three values can have unpredictable outcomes throughout electronic mail purchasers. 

Padding works reliably on desk cells in all electronic mail purchasers, however in case you are having hassle with padding, there isn’t any must resort to spacer GIFs. In a pinch you should utilize spacer divs or spacer cells. Simply embrace a non-breaking area character (&nbsp;) inside, set an identical peak and line peak, and you’ll want to embrace mso-line-height-rule:precisely which can guarantee Microsoft Outlook for Home windows renders it on the pixel-perfect measurement. (In case you are creating horizontal area, that you must specify a width as a substitute of peak, and should must additionally add font-size:0;.) Right here is an instance or a spacer cell inside a row:

And here’s a spacer div:

Including the Fundamental Desk

Now let’s place a desk of 602 pixels huge contained in the container desk.

600 pixels is a protected most width to your emails to show comfortably inside most desktop and webmail purchasers on most display resolutions, and we’re including 2 pixels so we will have a 1 pixel border across the exterior, which provides a pixel on both facet.

We’ll substitute our little ‘Good day!’ greeting with this desk. 

Nice! Now we have now our outer desk, and our important content material desk sitting inside, prepared for some rows of content material.

The container table for our HTML email layoutThe container table for our HTML email layoutThe container table for our HTML email layout

3. Create the HTML Electronic mail Template Construction and Header

In our electronic mail design we will see that the structure is split into a number of logical sections, so we’ll create a row for every.

Let’s duplicate the one row within the final desk we added in order that we have now three in whole, by copying all the pieces between (and together with) the <tr> and </tr> and pasting it two instances beneath.

I’ve modified the ‘Good day!’ textual content to learn Row 1, Row 2 and Row 3 so it ought to now appear to be this:

Extra rows in our HTML email layoutExtra rows in our HTML email layoutExtra rows in our HTML email layout

Now we’ll color them in response to the design by including a background CSS property to the model tag. At all times keep in mind to make use of the total six characters of a hexadecimal code like #ffffff, as three character shorthand like #fff gained’t at all times work in all electronic mail purchasers.

Colored rowsColored rowsColored rows

Okay, subsequent up in our electronic mail design we’re going to concentrate on Row 1. On the cell, let’s change the padding from 0 to 40px 0 30px 0. Then contained in the cell we’ll insert our picture:

At all times specify the width of your photographs utilizing the HTML width attribute moderately than CSS, e.g. width="300" as seen above, moderately than model="width:300px;". When you do not, Microsoft Outlook for Home windows will show your picture at its bodily measurement. 

We have now additionally set the picture peak to auto to keep away from any squishing, and show to block, which prevents gaps from showing beneath it in some electronic mail purchasers.

Lastly, in case your picture accommodates vital data that is not talked about in your electronic mail’s textual content, you’ll want to add an outline of it to the alt tag in order that it will likely be introduced by display readers to these utilizing them.

Word: Photos do not at all times load and alt textual content isn’t at all times visually displayed as a fallback, so any essential data ought to at all times be included as stay textual content in your electronic mail moderately than being embedded in a picture.

And that’s our HTML header executed!

The html email header along with imageThe html email header along with imageThe html email header along with image

4. Create the Content material Space

Shifting on from the header, let’s now focus on our HTML electronic mail’s content material space. First off, we’ll add some padding to the Row 2’s cell in order that the desk inside has some area round it, as per our design, in order that it now appears like this:

Added padding to the middle cellAdded padding to the middle cellAdded padding to the middle cell
Added padding to the center cell

Now we’ll substitute the ‘Row 2’ textual content with one other desk to nest our important content material inside. When constructing HTML electronic mail utilizing tables, we have to nest them as a result of colspan and rowspan should not extensively supported throughout electronic mail purchasers.

We’ve set the width of this desk to 100%. It’s good follow to make use of proportion widths moderately than utilizing a pixel worth wherever attainable as a result of it will allow you to additional down the observe if you wish to make your electronic mail responsive, and even in case you merely want to regulate the width of your electronic mail in a while. Share widths will mechanically adapt to a brand new container measurement, whereas pixel widths would all have to be individually up to date.

Two nested rows for our main contentTwo nested rows for our main contentTwo nested rows for our main content
Two nested rows for our important content material

Now we’ll add our content material to the highest row, which is a heading, a paragraph of textual content, and a remaining paragraph with a hyperlink inside. At this stage, we aren’t including any styling in any respect to those parts.

Added content and padding to the top rowAdded content and padding to the top rowAdded content and padding to the top row

Exchange the ‘Row 1’ textual content with the next:

Subsequent we’re going so as to add our two columns of content material to Row 2. As a result of we wish a niche in between these two cells, we’ll create a three-column desk with an empty cell between the 2 outer columns. There are a number of methods to create this structure, however this one is essentially the most dependable for our functions.

As a lot as I like to stay to percentages, when you’ve content material that may be a particular measurement, it may be tough to transform it to a proportion (on this instance, the columns could be 48.1% which might develop into complicated). For that reason, since our two photographs are 260px huge, we’ll create columns which are additionally 260px huge, with a 20px margin cell within the center. (This may whole 540px, which is the 600px width of our desk minus the padding of 30px on both facet.) Remember to zero your font-size and line-height and add a non-breaking area character &nbsp; within the center cell.

We’ll additionally set the vertical-align to prime for each cells in order that they’ll vertically align to the highest, even when one column has extra textual content than the opposite. The default vertical alignment is center.

Exchange ‘Row 2’ with this desk:

Two columns to content row twoTwo columns to content row twoTwo columns to content row two

Now let’s add our photographs and content material to these columns. Margins are very effectively supported on <p> tags throughout all electronic mail purchasers, so we are going to wrap our textual content and pictures in <p> tags and modify the spacing between them utilizing margin later after we add all our textual content styling.

Let’s add content material to Columns 1 and a pair of in order that the entire desk now appears like this:

Right here we’ve set the width of the photographs utilizing the HTML width attribute once more, similar to we did after we inserted the header picture.

Images in the columnsImages in the columnsImages in the columns
Photos within the columns

5. Type the Electronic mail Template Footer

Now we’ll add our padding to the footer row.

Padding to the footer rowPadding to the footer rowPadding to the footer row
Padding to the footer row

Inside that cell, we’ll substitute the ‘Row 3’ textual content with one other desk to get two columns, every 50% huge, with the left set to align="left" and proper to align="proper" in order that the content material in every might be pinned to these sides and provides us a balanced electronic mail design.

Two columns for the footerTwo columns for the footerTwo columns for the footer
Two columns for the footer

Exchange ‘Left Column’ with a paragraph of textual content:

We’ll create one other little desk for our social media icons, because it’s the easiest way to get essentially the most exact spacing that renders correctly in every single place. Exchange the ‘Proper Column’ textual content with the desk beneath.

You may discover we aren’t specifying a desk width, and that is in order that the width of the desk might be decided by the cells inside. They’re every 38px huge (the width of our icons) plus 10px padding on the left.

Table for social media iconsTable for social media iconsTable for social media icons
Desk for social media icons

And there we have now it; our HTML electronic mail template structure is full!

6. Type the Textual content

Styling the textual content inside our HTML electronic mail template is a very vital step. First, let us take a look at the highest row of content material with our h1 and introductory textual content. 

Necessary Word when utilizing Paragraph and Heading Tags

When utilizing paragraph and heading tags (p, h1, h2, and so forth.) you have to specify your prime and backside margin settings, in any other case every electronic mail consumer will apply their very own wildly completely different default margins to those parts. You additionally want to ensure your prime and backside margins are set to zero if you don’t need any in any respect, by which case you’ll set your heading to margin:0;. When you solely desire a backside margin, you need to nonetheless set the highest margin to zero, e.g. margin:0 0 10px 0;

With that in thoughts, we’ll set our desired margins on all our tags, and we additionally wish to set the textual content color to be #153643, which we will apply to the cell, as all the pieces inside will inherit that color. After these adjustments, the entire cell appears like this:

You may discover above that we have now additionally set the font-family on each particular person h1 and p factor, and also you is perhaps questioning why we won’t simply set this on the physique or desk tag. It’s because some webmail purchasers will override your font in case you do not set them inline on every paragraph or heading factor. There are different issues and approaches to this challenge, however for simplicity’s sake and to make sure our electronic mail renders completely in every single place at this stage, we are going to set it inline on every factor.

Now, shifting right down to our two-column space, add the shade to every of the 260px huge cells in order that they each appear to be this:

As above, we’ll add some textual content styling and margins to our paragraphs and hyperlinks, and set a base font measurement to the complete desk. All collectively, the desk now appears like this:

Lastly, we’ll model the footer. Firstly, we’ll add some font styling to the primary footer desk, inside our pink footer cell with the 30px padding, in order that it now reads:

Within the left column of this desk, we will replace our paragraph and hyperlink to incorporate model and color:

And on our social media icons, we’ll model every hyperlink to be white, in order that if the photographs do not load, any alt textual content might be seen on the pink background. Alter every hyperlink in order that they appear to be this:


Almost thereAlmost thereAlmost there
Virtually there!

And there we have now it! The whole lot is in.

7. Run Some Checks

At this level, it is a good suggestion to run your HTML code via an electronic mail testing service like Litmus, or Email on Acid. Leaving the borders on all of the tables and cells could be useful to see what’s occurring in every electronic mail consumer. (Relying on how you’re testing your electronic mail, you would possibly must remotely host your photographs first, and insert the total distant URLs for every picture into your code. Check with your testing service’s web site to discover ways to take a look at your HTML.)

Listed below are a few of my take a look at outcomes from Electronic mail on Acid:

Now it is time to flip off the borders and see the e-mail design wanting lovely. Within the model tag within the head, take away the road that reads:

Borders turned offBorders turned offBorders turned off
Borders turned off

And that’s it! 

You’ve Created a Easy HTML Electronic mail!

Earlier than we name it a day, if in case you have used any feedback in your CSS within the head of your file for any purpose, eliminate them. Some electronic mail purchasers can choke on CSS feedback so it’s wisest to not embrace them.

Now is an effective time to do a remaining take a look at with Litmus, or Email on Acid, after which your HTML electronic mail is able to ship!

Obtain Electronic mail Templates

When you want extra choices, then one among our responsive email templates could also be simply what you want. Subscribe to Envato Parts and also you’ll be given limitless entry to tons of of customizable electronic mail templates, in addition to inventory pictures, icons, graphics, and lots of different inventive belongings to your initiatives.

Study Extra About HTML Electronic mail

To take what you’ve realized to the following stage! Try our Mastering HTML Email studying information for extra tutorials on HTML electronic mail templates, electronic mail design, coding responsive electronic mail, accessibility, advertising, transactional electronic mail, electronic mail service suppliers (ESPs), improvement workflow ideas, and extra!

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