The Basics, Tips and Tricks of an HTML Email Design

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Email design can be a tricky business. You have to consider that email clients will render your message differently and that some users will block images by default. In this article, we’ll go over the basics of HTML email design, so you can create beautiful, responsive messages that look great on any device.  

The 2 Types of Email Clients 

The first thing to understand about email design is that there are two types of email clients: web-based and desktop-based. Web-based email clients include Gmail,, and Yahoo! Mail. Desktop-based email clients include Microsoft Outlook and Apple Mail.

Each type of email client renders HTML differently. This means you have to design your email using HTML and CSS that is compatible with each email client type.

The Common HTML and CSS Elements

The good news is that there are some common HTML and CSS elements that most email clients support. These include:

– Tables

– Images

– Headings

– Links

– Buttons

When designing your HTML email, you should structure your code using these elements. This will help ensure that your email looks great on any email client.

1. Tables

Tables are the most common way to structure an HTML email. This is because they are the most compatible with email clients. Most email clients will display a table-based email correctly.

2. Images

Images are another common element in HTML email. However, you have to take care when using images. This is because some email clients will block images by default. To avoid this, you should use small images embedded in the HTML code. You can also use alt text to describe your images.

3. Headings, Links, and Buttons

Headings, links, and buttons are also common elements in HTML email. These can be used to add structure to your email and to make it more interactive.

HTML Email Design: Tips and Tricks

Here are tips and tricks for designing HTML email templates that look great and function well.

1. Keep It Simple

When it comes to HTML email design, less is usually more. In other words, don’t try to cram too much information into your email template. Stick to the essentials and make sure your design is clean and easy to read.

2. Use a Single Column Layout

A single-column layout is the easiest to read on mobile devices, so it’s a good choice for your HTML email templates.

3. Avoid Using Too Many Images

Images can make your email look more attractive, but they can also make it slow to load and difficult to read. Use images sparingly and ensure they’re relevant to the content of your email.

4. Use Alt Text for Images

If you do use images in your email, be sure to include Alt text. This will help recipients who have images turned off in their email client to still understand your message.

5. Use a Clear Call to Action

Your HTML email should have a clear call to action, whether it’s asking recipients to click on a link or buy a product. Make sure your call to action is easy to find and understand.

6. Test Your Email Template

Before you send out your HTML email, be sure to test it first. Send a test email to yourself and a few other people to see how it looks and ensure there are no technical issues.


Designing an HTML email can be a daunting task, but with a few tips and tricks, it can be a breeze. First, use a simple, clean design. Second, use a single-column layout. Third, avoid using too many images. Fourth, use Alt text for images. Fifth, use a clear call to action. And finally, test your email on different devices and programs to ensure it looks how you want it to. 

By following these tips, you can create an HTML email that will get noticed and get results.

Looking for a digital marketing company in Calgary? Look no further than Marketing Marvel. At Marketing Marvel, we are constantly evolving, and one of the best ways to keep up with the latest trends is to ensure your HTML email design is on point. We offer email marketing services that can help you design HTML emails that get results.  

We’ll work with you to create an email marketing strategy that meets your goals and budget. Reach out to us today to get started!

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