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Guide to Creating Engaging and Responsive HTML Email Design

Published: 21st March, 2024

Tapash Kumar Mahato

Web Development Consultant at almaBetter

Learn how to create engaging and responsive email templates using HTML. Enhance your reach and impact with expert tips and best practices for HTML email design.

In today's dynamic digital marketing scene, email marketing remains a potent force for connecting with your audience. Developing engaging and responsive HTML code for email templates is akin to outfitting your messages with superhero gear – it's essential for ensuring they capture attention and leave a lasting impression. Think of your emails as the Iron Man suits of your marketing strategy; getting the HTML code right is like Tony Stark perfecting his tech, combining style with power. This guide delves into the ins and outs of HTML email design, unveiling the elements that transform your messages into impactful moments, much like the Avengers strategically planning their missions to make a lasting mark in the digital world.

What is HTML Email Design?

HTML email design involves creating visually appealing and functional email templates using Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). Unlike plain text emails, HTML emails allow for the incorporation of images, links, and styling, providing a richer and more engaging user experience. This method enables marketers and businesses to convey their messages effectively, drive conversions, and build brand identity through customized and visually appealing content.

Why Opt for HTML Email Design?

Visual Appeal: HTML emails allow you to use colours, images, and layouts to create visually striking content that captures the recipient's attention.

Interactivity: With HTML, you can embed interactive elements such as buttons and forms, enhancing user engagement and encouraging actions.

Brand Consistency: HTML emails enable you to maintain consistent branding by incorporating your company's logo, colours, and overall visual identity.

Responsive Design: HTML facilitates the creation of responsive email templates that adapt to various devices and screen sizes, ensuring a seamless experience for recipients on desktops, tablets, and smartphones.

How to Create Email Templates in HTML

Plain text emails indeed have a lot of advantages, but many people prefer using HTML emails to engage their audience. This happens because you can use HTML emails to present your content clearly and visually appealingly. Plus, images or videos can keep your audience’s focus on key parts of your email body, thus improving engagement since people scan your content more efficiently.

  1. Understand Email Tag in HTML

To kickstart your HTML email design journey, familiarise yourself with essential email-related tags. The <email> tag in HTML, along with other tags like <header> and <footer>, helps structure your emails and ensures proper rendering across different email clients.

  1. Write Clean HTML Email Code

Crafting clean and well-structured HTML code is crucial for email deliverability. Avoid excessive use of styles, and use inline CSS to ensure compatibility across various email platforms.

  1. Design a Simple HTML Code For Email Template

Keep your email template design in HTML simple and focused on the content. Use a single-column layout to enhance readability and reduce the likelihood of your emails being marked as spam.

  1. Implement Responsive Design

Given the diversity of devices used to access emails, prioritise responsive design. Use media queries in your HTML code to adjust the layout based on the screen size, providing a consistent and user-friendly experience.

  1. Utilise HTML Email Forms

Include interactive elements such as forms within your HTML emails to gather feedback, conduct surveys, or enable users to subscribe to newsletters directly from the email.

  1. Optimise for Accessibility

Ensure your HTML email templates are accessible to a diverse audience. Use descriptive alt text for images, provide text alternatives for interactive elements, and ensure a logical reading order for screen readers.

How to Make an Email Template in HTML

  1. Use an HTML email builder

The easiest — and most popular — way to create HTML emails is to use an HTML template builder. These tools can help you design professional-looking emails using pre-made templates with zero coding abilities required. With an HTML email visual builder, you can save time and resources as you stop designing emails by hand; all you need to do is choose a ready-made template and customize it to fit your email campaigns.

  1. Use HTML email templates

Three types of HTML emails are available; let’s talk about each.

  • Pre-designed templates: add them to your library and use them to craft new email campaigns whenever desired.
  • Customizable templates: reuse this type of email multiple times for different email marketing campaigns by adding different text or images.
  • Responsive HTML email templates automatically adjust to any screen resolution so people can easily read emails on their device of choice.
  1. Code it yourself

Of course, if you have any coding experience, you can craft your email templates using HTML code from scratch.

Typically, HTML emails need to contain the following:

  • Header — the first thing your recipients see when they open an email.
  • Email body — where you present your main message.
  • Call to action (CTA) button — since each email has a goal, you should put a corresponding CTA button that motivates the reader to act.
  • Footer — the last part of the body where you can provide email addresses, phone numbers, and social media links so recipients can contact you.

Creating emails without specialized software can be challenging, but collaborating with a web developer enables you to design templates that effectively convert and reflect your brand identity.


Mastering HTML email development is both challenging and fulfilling. It presents boundless opportunities for creativity, as long as you're prepared to navigate its intricacies. By adopting the appropriate strategies and utilizing the right tools, you can craft emails that are not just visually appealing but also highly impactful. In this guide, we’ve also included an alternative and a much easier way to build your custom emails without giving up on the best part of HTML emails: interactivity. You can learn more such insights in our free HTML Tutorial!

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