How to Create HTML Email With and Without Coding (Full Guide)

Emails are a great way to reach out to any audience. But inboxes get crowded. If you’re going to have the impact you want, you need your emails to stand out from the crowd. 

You need your emails to look great as well as read great.

How do you do that? You design them using HTML code. The same way you design and build a web page.

Great if you have the programming skills to code an HTML email. But here’s the good news. You can create an HTML email from scratch without any code at all.

In this article, I’m going to walk you through both methods. Building HTML emails with code, and without code.

What is an HTML Email?

An HTML email is an email created using computer code. Like web pages, HTML emails are built using so-called ‘markup’ languages HTML, CSS, and XML. HTML stands for hypertext markup language. It builds the structure of a web page or email. 

CSS stands for cascading style sheets. This language styles how things look on screen. XML is short for extensible markup language. It helps different computer platforms read the same data.

More simply, an HTML email is an email with a clear visual design. Go to your inbox and open a standard email from a friend or colleague. What can you see? It’s mostly just text. This is called a plain text email.

An HTML email is different because it contains more than just text. Look in your inbox again for an email from a company. Something like a newsletter or a promotional email. Does it look different? It’s more than just plain text, right?

An HTML email is built to look great and grab attention. There’s colour. There are images and graphics. There’s eye-pleasing formatting and style. HTML emails are mostly used by businesses for marketing. Emails are key to how many companies manage customer relationships. But to work, emails need to have an impact. Businesses use HTML email to stand out and grab attention.

Companies need marketing emails to trigger a response. That’s why HTML emails often include ‘calls to action’, or CTAs. It’s not enough if recipients just open and read the email. Businesses need subscribers to act. Click through to view a special offer. Sign up for a new service.

An HTML email is a vehicle for these CTAs. Create a pretty email. Grab attention. Get your audience to act. Let’s look at how it’s done.

How to Create an HTML Email without Coding

HTML without code? Isn’t that a contradiction? Not if you have a drag-and-drop editor.

Website platforms like Wix and Squarespace have been using them for years. They were real game-changers in web design. With a drag-and-drop editor, anyone can build attractive, functional websites. You don’t need to have coding skills.

The same has happened with emails. If you use an email marketing service (EMS), chances are it has a drag-and-drop email builder. It’s how you make great-looking newsletters and campaigns, fast. Like their web editor cousins, they’re super easy to use. You only need basic IT skills.

For this article, I chose to use Beefree. It’s one of the best email template builders. Not only can you build great-looking, responsive emails fast and simply. It’s also free to use. And did I mention how easy it is?

Beefree free email editor builder signup start

Beefree lets you save bits of design to use again on future projects. If you’re part of a team, you can add comments for colleagues to see. Let’s see how it works. 

1: Select a template or start from scratch

Beefree HTML email templates

Beefree has more than 1250 free HTML email templates. That’s huge! Whatever type of business you’re in, you’re sure to find an HTML email template that fits.

To help you find the right one, templates are grouped by industry and usage. I find the usage category most useful. Here you can find 155 different newsletter templates. Or 286 templates for promoting an event. There are some cool niche categories, too. Want to tease your contacts with an HTML email that gets them guessing at what comes next? Choose from one of 15 ‘mystery’ templates!

Seasonal templates are also handy for tying a promotion to the time of year. And then there are ‘automated’ templates. These don’t build themselves (watch this space, though). They’re for things like password reset emails or order confirmations.

You don’t have to choose an HTML email template. If you’d rather go it alone, just choose the ‘Start from Scratch’ option. That’s what I did to build the email template below. And I’ll walk you through exactly how I did it.

sample html email template Beefree

Browse 1250+ HTML email templates

2. Customize your email

Whether you choose an existing HTML template or a blank canvas, the process is the same. The Beefree editor lets you customize layouts, text, images, and colour schemes. And you use the same tools to build designs from scratch.

Creating the layout

Beefree email template editor start from scratch

This is what the editor looks like with a blank template. I could have started to pull content blocks in from the right straight away. But I wanted a little more help with structure. So I went to the Rows menu to look at some suggested layouts. I decided to pull in a single-column option. 

Beefree email editor adding rows template

I’d also recommend clicking the Show Structure icon at the top of the page at this stage. This makes it clear what you’re working with. I now have a simple HTML email template with four parts. A header, a main body, a CTA button, and a footer. The Designed by Beefree footer can only be removed if you sign up for a paid plan.

The purple header section is just an empty placeholder. To fill any row or section, you go to the Content menu. I pulled a Title block to the top of the page. 

Beefree add content blocks email template

I decided I also wanted to add a main image to the layout. So I dragged and dropped an image block underneath the CTA Button. It’s that easy to customize your layouts. Just click and drag the content blocks where you want them to go.

What about adding some colour to the HTML template? To set a colour scheme for the whole email, go to the Settings menu and click Background Colour. I chose a solid plain black to match an image I wanted to use.

Beefree edit row background color design email

There are two options to set the background colour. First, click on the box with a HEX colour code in it. You can type in the code of the colour you want, if you know it. Or you can click on the visual colour chart that appears to find a colour you like. 

Even when you use the colour chart, the code appears in the box next to it. This is important for matching the colours you use elsewhere on your HTML template.

Adding text

Next it’s time to add our text. HTML emails can be as text-heavy or light as you wish. It all depends on what you want to achieve. But I always think it’s a good idea to grab attention first. Focus on eye-catching design and short, clear messages. You can always add more detail further down the email.

It’s super easy to add or edit text in Beefree. All you have to do is click on a text block and type.

Beefree text formatting email editor builder

I started with the Title block. When you click on a text-type block, two formatting menus appear. You can change the font type, size, and colour in both. But the menu under the text box has extra options. Things like adding special characters and emoticons, or hyperlinks. In the menu to the right, you can change the alignment and layout of the text itself. 

I wanted my title to stand out more. So I increased the Line Height and then the Font Size. Then I changed the alignment to centre. I also changed the colour, again to match the image I had in mind. 

I repeated the same steps with the other two text boxes. This time I went for white text colour to contrast with the black background. And changed the font size.

Beefree moving content blocks email layout design

When I was done, I realised the layout didn’t look quite right. So I swapped the position of the title and the first text block. This made the main title stand out more in the middle. It’s easy to move content around any time you like in Beefree. You just click in a block and drag from the crossed arrows icon. I love that flexibility. You can tweak layouts all the way through as you build. 

Drop your images

Beefree makes adding images to your HTML email easy. When you add an image block, you will see a ‘Browse’ button in the centre. Just click on this to find your image.

Beefree image options email design photos add

You can add your own images using the Upload and Import buttons. Use Upload to find picture files stored on your own computer or hard drive. Or Import to link pictures from the web. This includes pulling in images from social media, Google Drive and Dropbox. 

The third option is to search Beefree’s own free stock image library. This is a brilliant resource. There are over 500,000 images available through Pexels and Pixabay. Images are key to making great HTML emails. If you don’t make an HTML email visually appealing, you might as well stick to plain text emails, right?

All images then get stored in your own File Manager. Once added, you’ll see all your image files every time you click the image block browse button. Just click Insert to add an image to your email.

Beefree adding image email customize width

Back in the editor, click on the image block to edit it. I wanted to resize my image. The easy way is to disable the Auto-Width. Then use the slider to change the size.

I wanted to crop my image, so there wasn’t such a big gap below the CTA Button. To do this, you click Apply effects and more. Here you find more options for changing the size and layout of your image. You can also apply filters and add text to your image.

Get started with Beefree for free here

Include your CTA

So onto the final piece of the design, the CTA button.

Beefree customize button blocks buttons email editor drag and drop

To customize your CTA button, click on the block in the editor preview. Again, you see two menus of editing options. The horizontal bar in the main window gives you text formatting options. The menu to the right is where you can format the button itself. And most importantly, paste in your destination URL.

After typing my CTA and adding my link, I wanted to change the colour of my button. I copied and pasted the colour code of the background to make my button black. And then did the same with my title font colour to make the button text match.

3. Export your HTML email

Your no-code HTML email is made. Now for the important part. Sending it!

Beefree isn’t an ESP or an email marketing platform. So you can’t send directly from Beefree. But it’s really easy to export your design to different email marketing software. 

Beefree export email template send email marketing tools

Every design you make in Beefree has an Email Details page. You can get here from your Projects list by clicking View Details next to a template. When you’re ready to use your design, click Export.

A pop-up menu appears with four options:

Beefree email template export options

Get HTML and Images downloads your code and images as a ZIP file. This method will work for any ESP, and it’s free. Check to see if your ESP has an HTML import option. If they do, great. You can upload the ZIP file, and send campaigns with your custom template.

Another option is to copy the HTML code. You can paste HTML into any ESP. But you have to use online images in your design. Otherwise, they won’t appear. Beefree will host images for your email. But you have to pay for it.

Beefree push to email marketing software sending system export

Push to your sending system is the easiest option. It uses integrations to export your HTML email straight to your ESP. This is available for platforms like ActiveCampaign, Sendinblue, Hubspot, MailUp, Constant Contact, and Mailchimp.

Try Beefree for free here

4. Import your HTML email templates to your email marketing tool

Beefree has a direct connector that exports HTML email designs straight to multiple email marketing platforms. This is available for:

For all other email marketing platforms, you can export and directly import. Some examples are GetResponse, Moosend, Benchmark Email, and AWeber. Check out our reviews of free and cheap email marketing tools here.

Export your HTML from Beefree as a ZIP file, as explained above. Then check to see if your email marketing service can import ZIP files. If not, you can copy your HTML email code over and host your images online.

Another option is to use Zapier. Zapier is a service that connects web applications. Most email marketing tools are available on Zapier. By connecting to Beefree, you can send your email code straight over.

How To Code An HTML Email

On to our second method for creating an HTML email. Writing the HTML code yourself. For this, you need to know HTML and CSS. 

Why do that if modern no-code editors are so easy to use? HTML programmers argue that coding gives them more freedom and control. Drag-and-drop editors are easy to use. But you’re always using pre-formatted templates and content blocks. Yes, you can customize it all. But there are limits to what you can do.

If you create an HTML email by coding, you take those limits away. You build the templates, the content blocks, and the overall designs completely from scratch.

So how do you do it? You don’t need special software to code HTML. You can use a simple plain text editor like NotePad. Once you have written your script, upload it to your email platform.

But it’s a good idea to use an HTML editor. They come with many useful features, such as highlighting errors in your code. Some even show you the design your code is creating as you write it. Most professional web developers use HTML editors these days. There are lots of options. Read our guide to the best HTML editors to help make your choice. 

For this project, I went for CoffeeCup. It’s a WYSIWYG HTML editor. Which stands for “what you see is what you get”. That means you see that you code as you write it. It also has useful features like HTML code templates you can use. It’s a good ‘in-between’ option. It gives you more control than a drag-and-drop editor. But it helps you out if you’re not a coding expert.

1: Doctype

The first stage in coding an HTML email is to set a Doctype. This tells the software reading the code that it’s dealing with HTML. And also what version of HTML you’re using. This is important, so email clients know what tags to expect and interpret them correctly. 

Every piece of HTML code should start with the <!DOCTYPE html> tag. 

For a long time, the recommended version of HTML for coding emails was XHTML 1.0 Traditional. This is a hybrid language that covers both HTML and XML syntax. XML makes it easier for different services to interpret data consistently. This is important if you want your emails to look good across lots of different email clients.

These days it’s best to use HTML 5 to code emails. HTML 5 is the latest version of HTML and also covers XML syntax. This makes life easier as you only have to use the <!DOCTYPE html> tag. The software assumes you mean HTML 5 by default. If you want to use another version of HTML, you have to specify this.

CoffeeCup quick start options to set up an HTML template.

In CoffeeCup, you can set the Doctype using the Quickstart option. That gives you a choice of HTML versions in a drop-down menu. HTML 5 is the default.

The <!DOCTYPE html> tag alone doesn’t set you up to start coding. You also need a pair of opening <html> and closing </html> tags. All code you write for your email has to sit within these tags. 

You should also use the <html> tag to set the language for your email. The tag for English, for example, is <html lang=”en”>.

Again, the Quick Start option in CoffeeCup lets you set this automatically.

2: How to prepare Your HTML <Head> template

There’s a lot of prep work when coding HTML. You spend as much time setting up your document as you design and add content. The Doctype and <html> tags are just the start. After that, it’s time to add an entire section of code that is all about setup. The <head> section.

Don’t confuse this with the header of your HTML email. The header is the top section of your email’s content. The <head> section of your code isn’t anything you see in your design. It sets metadata for the rest of the document. Like the Doctype tag, metadata tells the email client important information. This includes more details about how the code should be read. But it’s also where you set style and formatting rules for the document.

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
  <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width,initial-scale=1">
  <meta charset="utf-8">
  <title>Sample email template</title>

All metadata has to go between <head> and </head> tags. Here are 2 common meta tags you will want to use:

  • Viewport: Every email head should contain this tag: <meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0″>. This fixes the visible area of your email to the width of the device screen.
  • Charset: Computer software can’t read text characters directly. They need codes to interpret them. The character set tells a software which code library to use. UTF-8 is the most common.

You can also give your HTML email template a name. Type the name between the <title></title> tags. If someone opens your email in a web browser, the title will display in the tab.

3: How to style your email HTML

The <head> section is also important for styling your HTML email. It’s where you set style rules for the whole email. 

HTML is styled using a different coding language called CSS. You use CSS to set colours, font types, sizes, and layouts. 

<style>
    body {
      color:#000000;
      background-color:#FFFFFF;
      background-image:url('Background Image');
      background-repeat:no-repeat;
    }
    a  { color:#0000FF; }
    a:visited { color:#800080; }
    a:hover { color:#008000; }
    a:active { color:#FF0000; }
  p1 {font-family: Arial, sans-serif;}
  </style>

CSS style rules can be added to any part of an HTML code. But there’s one very good reason to add CSS to the <head> section of an HTML email. Gmail ignores CSS in the body script. Some of your subscribers are bound to use Gmail. It’s the world’s most popular email service provider. If you don’t set CSS rules in the <head> section, your email won’t look right in their inbox.

All style instructions go inside <style></style> tags. In the above code, I set the following style rules. 

First, I set the default font colour (“color”) to black (#000000). And the background colour to white (#FFFFFF). I also created a space for adding a background image from a web URL. The ‘no repeat’ instruction means any background image will only appear once.

Under, the “a” tags set text colours for unopened and opened links. Then the <p1> tag sets the default paragraph font type. You could set different fonts for different sections using <p2>, <p3>. And you could do the same for headings using <h1>, <h2>, <h3> etc.

Media Queries: Coding a responsive email template

You have to think about how your design will look on different devices and in different email clients.

Different screen sizes and different software change the way the same email looks. Your aim is to make a single design look as good as possible on every platform. This is called responsive design. 

HTML and CSS give you tools to do this. We’ve already seen the viewport meta tag. Making sure the visible area of your email changes with different screen sizes is a good start. But there are other differences you have to consider. Like screen resolutions and browser window dimensions etc.

CSS media queries tell different email clients and devices how to display your email. Here’s an example:

@media screen and (max-width: 600px) {
  .column {
    width: 100%;
  }
  div.example {
    font-size: 30px;
  }
  }
  @media screen and (max-width: 900px) {
  .column {
    width: 50%;
  }
  {
  div.example {
    font-size: 80px;
  }
  }
  </style>

This code changes the layout depending on the size of the screen. The ‘max-width: 600px’ rule applies to screens less than 600px wide. Such as mobile devices. On these screens, my email will display with a single column and default 30px font size. On screens up to 900px, it will have two columns and bigger text.

4: Final email <head> code example

So that’s the <head> code finished. Here’s how mine looked:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
  <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width,initial-scale=1">
  <meta charset="utf-8">
  <title>Sample email template</title>
  <style>
    body {
      color:#000000;
      background-color:#FFFFFF;
      background-image:url('Background Image');
      background-repeat:no-repeat;
    }
    a  { color:#0000FF; }
    a:visited { color:#800080; }
    a:hover { color:#008000; }
    a:active { color:#FF0000; }
  p1 {font-family: Arial, sans-serif;}
  @media screen and (max-width: 600px) {
  .column {
    width: 100%;
  }
  div.example {
    font-size: 30px;
  }
  }
  @media screen and (max-width: 900px) {
  .column {
    width: 50%;
  }
  {
  div.example {
    font-size: 80px;
  }
  }
  </style><!--[if IE]>
    <script src="http://html5shim.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/html5.js"></script>
    <![endif]-->
</head>

I should stress that this is a simplified version. A genuine <head> section for an HTML email can be much longer. It seems a lot just for setting up your HTML email template. But this stage is essential. It makes sure different platforms display your email the way you want. And it also gives you complete control of style.

5: How to build your email <body>

Now to create the HTML email content. Everything you want to be visible in your email has to go between <body></body> tags.

If you have experience coding websites, a couple of things you should know at this point. By now you might expect to have set the style rules for your entire page in the <head> section. But it doesn’t quite work like that when you create an HTML email. You end up doing a lot of styling in the body, too.

Why? A lot of ESPs are really bad at reading CSS layout rules. To get around this, it’s safer to build HTML email layouts using tables. But you still have problems if the ESP strips out style rules for your tables in the <head> section. So it’s safer to style tables ‘in-line’ as you build them.

Here’s an example:

<body style="margin:0;padding:0;">
  <table role="presentation" style="width:100%;border-collapse:collapse;border:0;border-spacing:0;background:#ffffff"></table>
  <table align="center" style="width:600px;border-collapse:collapse;border:1px solid #cccccc;border-spacing:0;text-align:left;">
    <tr>
      <td align="center" style="padding:0;">Email Vendor Selection</td>
    </tr>
  </table>
</body>

This creates a ‘nested table’. Or a table within a table. The first is a containing table. It becomes the background for the rest of my design. I set the width to 100%, so it fills the screen on any device. And set a background colour, because this table will now overlay my body background. The role=”presentation” code tells the client the table is for visual display. Not data.

The second table is now my content area. The <tr> tag creates a row. The <td> tag creates a cell. For now, it will just display the text ‘Email Vendor Selection’. 

Notice this time I fix the width of my table to 600px. This remains the standard width for content elements in HTML emails. It’s based on how most desktop email clients display emails so is a little out of date. But if you get your CSS media queries right it will render easily to mobile.

Also notice that values for margin, padding, and border spacing are set to zero. This is because lots of email engines will add their own margins to tables. So you could end up with lots of white space you didn’t plan for. It’s safer not to add any yourself.

So far I’ve coded one section of my template. This will sit at the top of my page, so call it the header. To add more sections, I just repeat the code for the nested table. By repeating the table twice more, I now have a three-part structure. Header, main body, footer. A simple HTML email template.

<body style="margin:0;padding:0;">
  <table role="presentation" style="width:100%;border-collapse:collapse;border:0;border-spacing:0;background:#ffffff"></table>
  <table align="center" style="width:600px;border-collapse:collapse;border:1px solid #cccccc;border-spacing:0;text-align:left;">
    <tr>
      <td align="center" style="padding:0;">Email Vendor Selection</td>
    </tr>
  </table>
  <table align="center" style="width:600px;border-collapse:collapse;border:1px solid #cccccc;border-spacing:0;text-align:left;">
    <tr>
      <td align="center" style="padding:0;">Logo</td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
      <td align="center" style="padding:0;">Header 1 Text</td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
      <td align="center" style="padding:0;">Header 2 Text</td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
      <td align="center" style="padding:0;">Image</td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
      <td align="center" style="padding:0;">CTA</td>
    </tr>
  </table>
  <table align="center" style="width:600px;border-collapse:collapse;border:1px solid #cccccc;border-spacing:0;text-align:left;">
    <tr>
      <td align="center" style="padding:0;">Footer</td>
    </tr>
  </table>
</body>

Next, I added more rows and cells to the middle table or main body. I created placeholders for text and images. This is how my email looks so far:

basic outline for a html email structure

Plain, yes. But now I have a structure, I can start to add content. I can format each row and cell as different elements. I can set different heights and widths to shape them. I can format colors and text types and sizes. From a basic layout, I now have full control over my design.

It takes a lot of coding to turn this plain outline into a completed email. Here’s what I did next to my header section:

<body style="margin:0;padding:0;">
  <table role="presentation" style="width:100%;border-collapse:collapse;border:0;border-spacing:0;"></table>
  <table align="center" style="width:600px;background:#000000;border-collapse:collapse;border:1px solid #cccccc;border-spacing:0;text-align:center;">
    <tr>
      <td align="center;">
        <h1 style="font-size:18px;margin:10px 0 10px 0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;color:#ffffff;">Email Vendor Selection</h1>
      </td>
    </tr>
  </table>
formatting the header section of an html email template

I used the <background> tag to turn the table black. Because I’m using nested tables to structure my email, I will have to do this for every table. Then I changed the text colour of the <h1> tag to white. Setting the colour of every text element separately gives you more flexibility.

Notice that I also set margins for the <h1> tag rather than for the table. This stops email clients applying default margins around text. If they do, your email will look different on every client. The font size and margins also control the height of the row.

6: HTML email newsletter footer

You might think the bottom-most section of your email is not very important. Does anyone look all the way down here, anyway? But paying attention to the footer of your newsletter is important. 

It’s where you include contact and subscription information. This should include details about how the recipient subscribed to your newsletter. And how they can unsubscribe. This is a legal rule in most countries now.

Some things to include in your email template footer are:

  • Company details.
  • An email to send queries to.
  • Social media icons. Give subscribers a chance to follow you elsewhere.
  • A reminder of how the person signed up to receive your emails.
  • An unsubscribe link
  • Copyright details.

As for creating your footer, again the easiest way is to nest tables. This time I added a new table within the existing ‘footer’ cell. This meant I could create 2 new cells to make columns. By setting the cell width to 50%, you automatically get two columns.

<table align="center" style="width:600px;border-collapse:collapse;border:1px solid #cccccc;border-spacing:0;text-align:left;">
    <tr>
      <td align="center" style="padding:0;">
	  <table role="presentation" style="width:300px;border-collapse:collapse;border:0;border-spacing:0;">
	<tr>
		<td style="padding:0;width:50%;" align="left">
			<p style="font-size:8px;margin:5px 0 0 0;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;">&copy Email Vendor Selection 2024</p>
		</td>
		<td style="padding:0;width:50%;" align="right">
			<a href="url" style="font-size:8px;font-family:Arial,sans-serif;">Unsubscribe from this newsletter</a>
		</td>
	</tr>
</table>
	  </td>
    </tr>
  </table>
formatting the footer section of an html email template

Then I set style rules as before. The <a href> tag creates a hyperlink for my unsubscribe option. You should create a dedicated unsubscribe page on your website. Paste the URL next to the href tag. People can then use this link to opt out of your emails. You can even set this up so the opt-out happens with a single click. 

List-unsubscribe header

Your email footer isn’t the only place you should have an unsubscribe option. It’s good practice to have a link in the email client header. This is where the subject and email sender are displayed when someone opens an email. 

You may need some help setting up a list-unsubscribe header. If you send emails through an email marketing service, you should be ok. Most will have list-unsubscribe as an option. Some make it default.

But to send through normal email clients, you will need to contact the administrator. They will have to enable list-unsubscribe on your emails. 

You can use a landing page URL as explained above. This is called an HTTP list-unsubscribe header. Another option is to give your ESP an email address. This is called a mailto unsubscribe header. When someone clicks the link, it will send an email to the address you give. You will then have to unsubscribe them manually.

7: Test your email template code

I’m leaving testing to the end, but you shouldn’t. It’s important that you test HTML emails right the way through development. You need to know straight away if something doesn’t work right. Leave it until after you finish coding, and you could face a huge job fixing it.

One of the reasons I use CoffeeCup is that you can preview your code with a single click. This is great for checking your HTML email looks the way you want as you work. But it doesn’t tell you how your emails will look on different email clients or browsers. Or how it will render on mobile devices.

For this, you need a dedicated testing tool. Some popular options to try out are HTML Email Check, Litmus, or Email on Acid

Use Your HTML Email Template Code in your ESP

So you’ve tested your code, and it looks great on all platforms. Now the important part. Sending it.

How you add HTML code to an email depends on the ESP. In Gmail, there’s a simple trick. You don’t need to add the HTML code to your email. Instead, save your code as a .html file. Then open it with your browser. You should see the completed design of your email. Copy and paste this into the Gmail Compose window and hit send.

In Outlook, you have to change the message format to HTML. In Settings, there will be an option called ‘Compose message in format’. Click on this, and select HTML. Now you can paste your code into the Compose window. Outlook will convert it when it sends.

Most email service providers and CRMs with email marketing will let you import HTML code to create a new template. You can then use this to send a campaign. How you add HTML will be different on every platform.

Conclusion: Creating an HTML email

Code or not to code? That’s the big question when you create HTML email. In this article, I’ve run through both options. But which is right for you?

There’s no doubt that using a no-code drag-and-drop editor is the easiest way to create an HTML email. If you don’t have any HTML coding skills, this is the one for you. Or even if you know how to write HTML, using a no-code editor is still quicker. You can save yourself lots of time.

With a tool like Beefree, you can build great-looking HTML email templates in minutes. They’re responsive by default. And you can use it for free. If you want to check out alternatives to Beefree, read our review of 12 free HTML email editors

So, case closed. No code over own code all the way? No, we can’t dismiss writing HTML code for emails altogether. 

Let’s remember why we want to build HTML templates ourselves in the first place. To get unique designs that reflect our brand. Writing code from scratch gives you greater freedom and control over the design. So if you have the skills and want something very custom, coding still makes sense. Just be aware it’s a technical process.

Create your own email template with Beefree here

How to Create HTML Email FAQ

How do you write an email in HTML format?

To write an email in HTML format, you need to create an HTML template. There are two ways to do this. One is to write the HTML code yourself. The other is to use an HTML email template builder like Beefree or Stripo.

Coding HTML from scratch is what a professional email designer might do. It gives you complete control over the design process. But coding HTML is not easy. You need a decent level of programming expertise to get good results. You can use an HTML editor to help check and test your code. But it will still take time and skill. 

Using a drag-and-drop email editor is much easier and faster. You don’t need any coding skills at all. Most email editors, like Beefree, offer free templates you can customize. These templates are fully responsive, so they will work in any email client or browser.

Get started with Beefree templates for free here

Can I create an HTML email in Gmail? 

No, you can’t create HTML emails in Gmail. But you can send HTML emails. First, build your HTML email in another tool. You can either write the code in an HTML editor. Or use a drag-and-drop email editor to create your design.

Once built, open your script in a web browser. This will show you how your email looks. Now copy and paste everything you see into the Gmail Compose window. We recommend Beefree to create great-looking HTML emails you can send with Gmail. They have 1250+ templates to choose from, a Gmail plugin, and an easy-to-use editor.

Try Beefree for free here

What is an HTML email template? 

An HTML email template sets the visual appearance of an email. Normal emails are plain text and don’t have visual elements. But an HTML email is built to look good.

HTML stands for hypertext markup language. It’s a programming language that controls the visual design of web pages and emails. HTML creates a template for content to be added into. An HTML template controls things like layout, colour, size, and shape of elements.

Email editors like Beefree offer ready-made HTML email templates. These are well-formatted and fully responsive. You can find lots of free email templates online. They make it quick and easy to create an HTML email.

Browse 1250+ free HTML email templates

How do I create an HTML email in Outlook Web?

There are several ways to create an HTML email in Microsoft Outlook. The important thing is to change the message format in Outlook settings. This is found in Tools > Options > Mail Format.

Outlook Web is set up to send plain text emails by default. Change the message format to HTML to create and send designed emails. 
 
Unlike other webmail clients like Gmail, Outlook Web lets you paste HTML code into an email body. Like a web browser, it will turn the code into a visual design. You can also design an email in an email editor and paste it straight in. Or you can add images and other content to create a design in the Compose window. Outlook Web will convert it to HTML.

How to send email in HTML?

All email that has any styling, like bold typefaces are HTML. But generally, when people talk about HTML email, they mean designed marketing emails. With some webmail clients, you have to run HTML email code in a web browser first. Then copy and paste what is displayed into the body of an email.

Others, like Microsoft Outlook, let you paste HTML code into the email body. You have to remember to change the message format settings to HTML.

If you use a no-code HTML email editor like Beefree, you may be able to export your template straight to your ESP. Or you can save your HTML file and images as a .ZIP file. Then upload this to your email client. Most email marketing services let you import HTML email templates to send.

About Paul Newham


Paul Newham is a content writer specialising in business blogging, report writing, software reviews, and online copywriting. He has 5+ years of email marketing, marketing automation and software review experience. He tested over 60 business software including email marketing tools, CRMs, outreach services, SMTP providers, email verification, and AI writing tools.
With a background in journalism and PR, he understands business content from both sides. And knows what makes for great, engaging copy, but also understands that for businesses, the written word is all about driving value.

Enable registration in settings - general
Compare items
  • Total (0)
Compare
0