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Building Email Templates: The Layout

Have you ever found yourself asking why employees are not engaging with your latest newsletter? The answer may be hiding in your email templates. In this article, we’ll look into one of the most important, yet often overlooked, aspects of building an engaging email template – the layout.

Responsive email templates illustration

Responsive Email Templates

According to Pew Research Center, people now spend significantly more time on their mobile devices than stationary computers or laptops. As a result, companies must now pay more attention to how their emails look on mobile devices. Luckily, most internal email tools provide you with the option to preview mobile and desktop versions of your email template before sending it out. If you find yourself constantly having to redesign your email templates to make them look good on mobile, there are a few things for you to keep in mind when creating the original design: 

Email Width

600px – although there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to email width, 600px seems to be the standard for internal and external email templates.

One-column Layout

Transforming a single-column layout into a mobile-friendly version doesn’t require you to move around as much content. That makes the entire process a lot easier. 

Separate Links

Try not to place too many hyperlinks in one place. Some mobile users may find it a little frustrating once they accidentally click on the wrong link a few times in a row. 

Font Size

Keep your font sizes between 13pt and 20pt. Doing so makes your text easy to read without taking up too much space. 

Preview Email

Before sending out your internal email to fellow employees, try sending it to yourself and a couple of colleagues. Have a look at how your email template looks on your mobile device and desktop.

Newsletter content hierarchy

Content Hierarchy

One of the most important aspects of creating a good email template is being able to organize email content based on the order of importance. In that way, recipients can quickly spot your main message (or call-to-action). To plan out how you’ll display your content, you first need to set a goal. The content of your email should go hand-in-hand with what you want to achieve.


Let’s say we want to remind our employees to register for the monthly marketing seminar. As you see in the image below, we have separated the main message from the rest of the email. The scale on the right side of the email template demonstrates the level of importance of the content in that area.

Email content hierarchy


This type of layout makes it clear that our main message is the invitation to our monthly marketing seminar. The CTA (call-to-action) is visible and will likely have a higher CTR (click-through-rate) than the blog articles or the survey that you can see at the bottom of our email template. Although the concept itself is fairly simple, you would be surprised how often it’s overlooked.

consistent newsletters layout illustration

Stay Consistent

Consistently placing your announcements, news or other types of information in the same part of the email will allow recipients to open your email and go directly to the content that’s relevant to them. This is especially effective when it comes to sending out weekly newsletters.  Now that we’ve covered the fundamentals of creating a good-looking and practical email template layout, it’s up to you to try it out for yourself! Did you find any of our tips helpful? Is there something you would add? Let us know via Twitter @EnovaPoint.

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