HTML Emails Which Don’t Suck

Designing HTML emails is as if the human race has spent millions of years and kazillions of joules of energy evolving from sickening frog-violating chimps to complex, skilled, advanced intelligent beings capable of accomplishing life-altering feats, and then suddenly, out of nowhere, choosing to cut off their opposable thumbs.

It’s frustrating.

Don’t get me wrong, if your idea of heaven is inline styles, stacked tables and plain text I’m sure you’re not alone, but you may need medical attention.

But it's not all doom and gloom.

There have been some patient designers who have overcome the frustration and created some designs which actually don’t suck, so I thought I’d share some of them to inspire others into tackling creative HTML email.


Pixel Creation’s MK Geek Night

MK Geek Night Design

Clean and to the point.

The palette is effective and the content area is as clear as a four year old’s skin, and the code is so straightforward!


Envato Mail

Envato Mail Design

Simple layout design allows great information digestion and the simple and consistent icon design adds to the design quality.



The Music Bed New Music Tuesday

The Music Bed Design

The tables are set out simply but the coherence of the design allows the eye to flow between each element with ease, like it would in print.



Typetec Mac Update

Typetec Mac Update Design

Stylistic plagiarism aside, the bright accents give great design feel.

The mixture of alternating image cells and text is eye-catching.



Litmus Design

The pastel colour palette and well cut design are in-keeping with their branding.

The clean-cut sections enable better eye tracking.


Although the table layout can be quite messy, again (no surprise, CSS is disallowed like an olympian on crack) in these cases, it has been worthwhile.

But watch out for tricky designers who simply use stacks of image to create goodness- that’s cheating, and SPAM filters are likely to punish them. Whilst creating this post I stumbled on quite a few extremely pretty emails, but alas- on closer inspection, they had fallen into this very trap.

If you are absolutely bewildered by ‘coding like it’s 1999’ (look, I did a Prince joke) then have a little cheat and base your designs on some of these beauteous templates and try, if you dare, to have fun!

About missellieish

I have a varied and broad experience in many aspects of the marketing industry including graphic design, web design, social media , market research, press releases, branding, strategies and promotions .

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