Custom Design Your Email Templates

Cedric Jackson

Oct 14 2018

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Designing an email template for advertisements, promotions, or newsletters is a vital part of any business’s marketing campaign. The format of your marketing emails is part of the overall communication of your company’s message and branding. Customers will make judgments about your business based on your email template without even realizing it. Therefore, it’s important to use professional, sleek, and modern templates for your promotions. But should you use a custom-designed email template or a freebie with an existing design?

If you do a quick internet search, you will find a seemingly limitless number of options for free email templates available for any business to use. However, some business owners may prefer to design their own unique template, giving them more options for creativity and personalization. If you want to take your marketing campaign to the next level and improve the look and feel of your company’s emails, you may find that premade email templates won’t do the trick. For businesses that prioritize creative control, owning their email templates and having design flexibility are crucial. Self-designing a unique template allows companies to set their marketing communications apart from the competition.

Limitations of premade email templates

Lack of distinction

One of the fundamental problems with using a premade email template is that blends in with many other marketing emails your audience will receive. This means your emails may have little or no distinction from others people receive. This is because free templates are available to anyone and are often quite similar in appearance.

One of the most crucial factors in customer retention is the ability to distinguish a brand. If your email marketing campaign does not stand out from the competition, it will make it much harder for your audience to remember and patronize your business.

Limited customization

You will probably notice that premade templates offer a limited number of customizable features. Simply put, they are not going to offer the ability to make every change you want. This limits your ability to customize your marketing campaigns and distinguish you from other companies.

Lack of ownership

Using premade email templates also means that you do not actually own the template but instead are using a design that belongs to someone else. Therefore, you may need permission or assistance to make changes. You also might not be able to update the design as you would like. This can bog down your productivity by bringing in a third party — the designer.

Platform limitations

A serious hang-up with premade email templates is that they are limited to the platform you use to edit. This often means there can be rendering issues when templates are viewed on other devices or browsers. This can especially become a problem when you consider that over half of all internet traffic is on mobile devices, such as cell phones and tablets. These platforms require different rendering than traditional PCs. If you want to make edits, you often will have to change every individual instance of the template for different devices and platforms, which wastes valuable time and effort on what should be a simple task. The wider your customer base, the more this will be a problem.

Benefits of Designing Your Own Email Template

With fully customizable email templates, your business can set itself apart from the competition with its own striking and unique branding. Having full control over your digital email marketing campaigns will allow you to be instantly recognizable, maintaining and growing a customer base that knows and trusts your name above the rest. When customers remember your company (and, of course, the content of your email outreach), they are more likely to patronize your business over other companies that offer similar services.

Complete Control

Building your own custom-designed template also allows you to have complete control over its customization and design. This is key because you can add the features that are important to your digital marketing campaign and ensure that your various templates meet all your media needs. This sets apart custom-designed templates from premade ones, which can leave you with fewer options for modification. In this way, your team will have the freedom to vary your email outreach with distinctive designs for announcements, promotions, and any other messages you want to send to your customer base.

Total Ownership

When you design your own email template, you have full ownership over it. Owning a template is invaluable because you can make changes without recourse to an outside designer for permission or assistance. This gives you complete latitude to edit your template according to your needs, without spending extra time contacting a template owner.

Good rendering

Designing your own email template also means that you can be sure that it will render properly across all platforms, browsers, and devices. This will save you work in the long run by eliminating the need for extra testing as you make changes or additions to your template.


Above all, the benefit of custom-designing your email template is that your emails are not going to be just another one of the bunch. Rather, you can reach out to your customer base with unique messages that are completely tailored both to your business and to your audience.


Digital marketing is all about reinforcing your business’s brand, and email outreach should be no different. With a top-notch, self-designed custom email template, you can make sure that your company’s message and personality are presented to your customers in a way that they will connect with and remember when it comes time to seek out services in your industry.

Tips for Customizing Your Email Templates

Focus on content

Email template design is vital, but it should always be reinforced by top-quality content. Looks are only part of what keeps customers engaged. You should never prioritize design qualities over the substantive part of your message, whether that be a promotion, a special offer, a company announcement, or anything else. Instead, make sure top-notch design goes hand in hand with solid and meaningful body text.

Use multiple paragraphs

Keep the text short and concise, breaking it up into multiple paragraphs of just a few sentences. It’s easy for readers to become visually tired if they are forced to look at long paragraphs. It’s also possible that they will lose interest before they get the full scope of your message. Make your body text easy on the eye to keep your customers engaged to the very end.

Bullets and numbering

Another way to break up content is to use bullets and numbering. These also help readers follow the flow of your message by giving visual breaks. In addition, it helps emphasize specific points in a way that are easy for the reader to follow. This is especially the case for when you want to get across short, key messages before a reader’s attention strays elsewhere.


Although the content is important, customers also react viscerally to the first impression they get when their eye meets your email. Keep the colors tasteful and attractive (and, of course, matching one another). Choose a color scheme rather than a wild assortment of shades, and stick to it throughout the entire template. This is also another way to reinforce your brand: ensure your color scheme makes your customers immediately think of your company.


The size and style of your font is another vital part of the design that gives readers a first impression of your brand. Bear in mind that your customers will view your emails on a wide variety of platforms and devices, so be sure to choose fonts that work for each one of them and do not warp in rendering. Although less is usually more in design, when it comes to the font size, more is more: A large type will make the text easier for customers to read and follow, so opt for at least a 16-point font.

Keep it simple

Lastly, stick with what works. Do not try to make your custom-designed email template overly complicated. Rather, keep your design simple and striking, so your customers recognize you and want to engage more with your company. Complicated designs mean a lot of future work and updates as you make changes for new promotions and events at your company.

Both ActiveCampaign and Robly offer great tips for how to organize striking and original email templates that will allow your campaign to catch your customers’ attention.

Why consider custom-designed email templates?

Using custom-designed email templates in your digital marketing campaign offers you creative freedom and the chance to distinguish your brand from the competition, especially if your competition uses premade email templates.

Designing your own email template gives you many opportunities to customize your look and message based on your company’s brand and your marketing outreach needs. It is also a way to ensure your entire customer base can connect easily and memorably with the current events in your business.


Many businesses find their needs are met by premade templates, and that’s great. However, for businesses who are looking to take their digital marketing campaigns to another level, premade templates might not offer the creativity and customization options they need.

If you feel your digital marketing campaign could use an upgrade to improve your memorability and customer outreach, you should consider trying self-designed email templates. Will a little bit of design effort, you’ll find that custom-designed email templates offer a world of variety and are powerful tools for expanding your customer base.

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