How do I use your free email templates?

If you know HTML, our free email templates can be a great starting point for your own design. Just download a template, tweak the design in your own HTML editor, then import the new version into your account.

This page is a guide to downloading a free template and importing it into your account to use. It does not include complete instructions for editing templates but we've included some links to resources that will help you if you have a little experience already.

Tip: If you don't know HTML, use our template builder to create your own template. No coding necessary!

Adding one of our free templates to your account

Follow the steps below to code your own email template, starting with on one of our free template designs as a base.

1. Download a free email template

If you haven't done so already, visit our template gallery to preview the options and find a design that suits your needs:

We've tested our templates in all the major email clients so, in their current state, you can be sure they'll render correctly (although, of course, they won't look identical in every inbox). If you're planning to rework the design, check out our Will it work? guides.

2. Customize the template

Here's a description of the files you'll get with your template download:

  • Photoshop file (.psd) – This is the original design. Experienced web designers can use this to make significant graphical changes to the template. If you don't have web design experience, this is best left alone.
  • Folder named 'html_with_cm_tags' – The .html file in this folder includes Campaign Monitor tags. Use this one to create a reusable template that you, or a client, can add content to with the content editor in your account.
  • Folder named 'html' – The .html file in this folder does not contain Campaign Monitor tags. Use this if you want to add content to the template in your own HTML editor then import it as a complete campaign.
  • Folder named 'images' – Inside the HTML folder you will find a folder of images that are referenced in the .html file. You might, for example, keep background images and social media icons, and just replace the logo with your own image.

Note: Some of the templates have multiple layouts to choose from so your download could have three .psd files, like the example below, and three matching .html files in each of the HTML folders.

Open the .html file you want to use in your chosen HTML editor. This is where you can make changes to the header and footer copy, replacing the information with your own. If you don't have an HTML editor, we've listed a few popular options below.

Be careful not to change Campaign Monitor tags that will allow you to add content to the template and personalize it. To see how our tags work with the content editor in your account, check out the video on Our Template Language page.

Important: Including a single-click unsubscribe link in your emails is a requirement of using this tool. See our help page on unsubscribe tags for information on styling your unsubscribe link.

3. Import the template into your account

Templates are imported as two separate files: the HTML page you've modified, and a Zip file containing all other files referenced in the HTML (such as image files or CSS files). You can either select and compress the files themselves, as shown below, or select and compress the folder containing the files, as shown in our guide on zipping files to import a campaign.

When the two files are ready, follow these instructions to import the template into your account:

  1. Open the client's Templates tab and click Add a new template. Then select the option to import your own.
  2. Enter a description in the Template Name field. For example, "monthly newsletter".
  3. Click Choose file to select the .html file you have modified.
  4. Click Choose file to select the .zip file, for example:

  5. Click Add template to upload the files. The files will be scanned and imported, and you will see the new template added to the "Current Templates" page for your client.

Next time you create a campaign for this client, click the Templates icon and select the template you want to open with the content editor:

Brush up on your HTML skills

Here are some good articles at SitePoint that we recommend:

HTML editors

A good HTML editor will make coding your own template a lot easier. We do not recommend using something like MS Word or Publisher because it will add unnecessary code to your HTML, making it very difficult to work with. Here are some much better options:

For Windows:
For Mac: