How to Create an HTML Email With Free Templates

by Brandy Alexander

Creating HyperText Markup Language (HTML) emails allows you to send dynamic messages to your recipients in an elegant format. How to construct your message can be confusing, but, fortunately, you can employ templates that are already optimized for an email communication so that you can focus on your note. Using a free template on the Internet, you can quickly customize your own HTML email and successfully send out effective messages, without needing to design or code the communication.

1

Access a free email template provider such as CampaignMonitor.com, TemplatesBox.com, HotEmailTemplates.com, CakeMail.com and Interspire.com (see "References" and "Resources" for links). Note the various design choices each service offers to determine the format that is right for you. Further, look for a "Help" or "FAQ" link to read the documentation that specifies how you may use these free templates, including whether you can edit the images and if there are any topics for which you cannot use the template.

2

Sign up for a free account with your chosen template provider if required. Click "Sign Up" or "Create A Free Account" and provide the required information to complete your registration.

3

Download the desired email template by clicking a "Download" button, or by clicking on the design that you want. Double-click the downloaded folder on your desktop and look for a text file called "Readme" or something similar that tells you how to use the template. For example, HotEmailTemplates.com allows you to download the template so that you can customize the file and independently send out your message using your own email application, while CampaignMonitor.com provides tools on their website to edit the template and actually send out your email when ready.

4

Launch an HTML text editor such as Dreamweaver and open the downloaded email template. If using a provider such as CampaignMonitor.com, you may opt to work on your file using the host's WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor, which provides buttons and menus that you can click to control the layout. Change the text in the template by clicking and dragging your mouse over the desired words and then type your personal message. If preferred, you can use your own photos by clicking on the images in the design and using your text editor's "Insert" function to select another photo from your computer. Otherwise, use your host's WYSIWYG method to use your own graphics.

5

Place your customized email template and any associated photos on your web server so that the message displays correctly when you send it out. If you are using CampaignMonitor.com, you can bypass this step because the provider hosts the email template and images used in your message.

6

Create your HTML email using your finished template. If your provider offers email sending, use the instructions provided by your host to send out your message. If you are sending the email using your own application, such as Microsoft Outlook, use your email provider's instructions for inserting your design. For example, in most email applications, you create a new message, click "Insert" and then select the HTML file from the web server. In Mac OS X Mail, use the Safari browser to navigate to the template and then simultaneously press the "Command" and "I" buttons on your keyboard to place the design in a new message.

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About the Author

Brandy Alexander has been writing professionally since 2001. She is a glass artist with a Web design and technical writing background. Alexander runs her own art-glass business and has been a contributor to "Glass Line Magazine" as well as various online publications.