In this best practice guide, we’ll be showing you how to create a custom MailChimp template. Email marketing is essential for engaging your subscribers, driving traffic, and growing an audience. But generic email layouts and formatting can make your messages look somewhat unprofessional. Crafting your own custom email templates through MailChimp will keep your email marketing looking sleek, professional, and on-brand whilst also standing out from the crowd.

Whether you want to share blog updates, promotional offers, or exciting company news with subscribers, a polished and personalised Mailchimp template elevates your outreach. But where do you start when configuring the perfect template inside Mailchimp’s platform? Don’t worry, with this beginner’s guide you’ll master setting up and customising an email template tailored for your brand.

Follow along as we create a professional, on-brand Mailchimp template together! Whether you’re a solopreneur, small business marketer, or growth specialist at a large company, this guide will teach you how to level up your email game. Let’s dive in!

Choosing a Template

With MailChimp, there’s a few template options to choose from. Let’s go through some of them:

  • Simple Text: This is a great starting template and would be particularly beneficial for beginners or those who want to send out text-heavy emails. This works perfect for basic newsletters but there aren’t many customisable features.
  • Coding Your Own: For those with a little more expertise in email marketing, this option is perfect as it allows you to customise just about anything and everything. With this option, however, you’ll need to be skilled in coding and have plenty of time to invest.
  • Start from Scratch: Probably the most popular option within MailChimp and what we’d recommend for those who want some customisation. Coding isn’t necessary here but you still get plenty of control. You can choose from pre-designed template formats and then completely modify it by adding images, arranged content blocks, adjusting colours, etc. We’ll be using the powerful and intuitive “start from scratch” builder in this tutorial.
Image of the mail app on an iPhone (MailChimp template)
We recommend choosing the

Now that you have an understanding of the types of email templates available, we can dive into the template configuration steps. 

Image of Gmail app on laptop

First, you’ll select “Create Template” and choose the “Start From Scratch” option to leverage Mailchimp’s user-friendly builder.

Crafting the Perfect MailChimp Template

After selecting “Start From Scratch”, you’ll be taken to the MailChimp template builder. This is where you can start customising and structuring your email layout. This is the important part because content is king and this is what will make or break your email campaigns!

When first opening the builder you’ll get a basic single column layout. Begin personalising by:

  • Adding images: Upload brand images like your logo, featured photos, etc. Drag and drop these into existing blocks.
  • Formatting text: You’ll want to format your campaign text to your branding to stay consistent; pay special attention to fonts, colours and sizes and organise these into the sections.
  • Arranging layout: The benefit of the drag and drop feature is you can swap things about and customise your campaign to make it your own!
  • Configuring mobile: Make sure to take a peek at the Mobile Preview every so often; being mobile friendly is incredibly important today.
  • Incorporating merge tags: Use the “Audience” tab to insert merged dynamic fields like first name, links, order numbers etc.
  • Clickable buttons: Make pictures, headlines, text clickable so they can be linked to your website or socials.
How to create a custom mailchimp template: best practice guide
Personalise your MailChimp template so that it’s on brand and resonates with your target audience.

Spend time thoroughly customising the MailChimp template builder until you have a well-branded layout reflecting what you want subscribers to see.

Next we’ll go over the all-important step of testing your MailChimp template prior to sending any campaigns.

Testing and Troubleshooting Your MailChimp Template

You’ve put careful effort into crafting your email template masterpiece. But before sending out to hard-earned subscribers, rigorous testing is crucial for identifying issues in rendering, responsiveness, and formatting.

After structuring your template inside Mailchimp’s builder, thoroughly test by:

  • Sending out test emails: We highly recommend sending out test emails to yourself or friends and family so you can see if your template looks exactly the way you want it to. Have a look at things such as:
    • Deliverability: Did the email arrive? In the right inbox?
    • Visuals: Are images displaying correctly? Layout consistent across devices?
    • Links: Do they lead to the intended landing pages
  • Mobile optimisation: Make sure to take a look at your email on a phone. This is how many email users check their emails so it’s important that your template has been optimised for mobile use.
  • Check the links: Links can be a really effective tool within email marketing; if these don’t work, however, it doesn’t look professional. Make sure to test that all your links are working and that there are no broken links.

Common MailChimp template issues to double check for include:

  • Broken images if hosting externally vs Mailchimp servers
  • Formatting problems or styling inconsistencies
  • Unsubscribe link not prominently displayed (this is law so it has to be there)
  • Text content bleeding together from single column mobile layout
Image of someone looking at their phone
One of the most important elements to test is mobile-friendliness as many email users check their emails on the go

Remember: testing and troubleshooting are ongoing processes once your campaign has been sent out. Monitor campaign performance, analyse open rates, click-throughs, and unsubscribes to identify areas for improvement. Adapt your content, subject lines, and sending times based on data insights. With regular testing and adjustments, your Mailchimp campaigns will soar over spam filters and land smoothly in your audience’s inboxes.

Adding Some Final Touches to Your MailChimp Template

You’ve structured your Mailchimp email template’s layout, customised colours and images to match your brand guide, made it mobile-friendly, and tested across all devices. Now it’s time for several final touches so your template looks sleek and professional.

Within Mailchimp’s template editor, navigate to the “Settings” menu for additional options like:

● Saving Brand Assets: Store centrally linked assets here like your logo, header images, or repeating footer icons that can easily sync across templates. This will be great to keep your campaigns looking clean, sleek and consistent.

● Configuring Defaults: Set pre-selected font styles, colour palettes, and default social media icons. 

● Personalising Footer: Customise the footer text if needed to prominently display your company details, engage audiences to follow social accounts, and link to your website, contact info etc. This can help your email subscribers to find you across your entire online presence.

Take time to explore and take advantage of powerful features within the “Settings” section to level up your template’s visual impact and save custom elements for reuse in future communications.

Image of Gmail app on laptop

Key Points on Creating a MailChimp Template

So there you have it! This article hopefully was a useful step-by-step guide on how to create a custom MailChimp template! We first introduced email marketing and the importance of a custom template; we then gave you some of the template options that MailChimp provides; after recommending the “start from scratch option”, we talked about personalising and customising this template based on your brand; we went on to discuss troubleshooting and testing; and finally, we talked about best practices for putting the finishing touches on your email campaign.

In summary, the article outlines a process for leveraging MailChimp’s template builder to easily create a customised, on-brand email template optimised for subscribers by following key steps of structuring, personalising, testing, troubleshooting, and adding final polish.

We hope you found this useful! Watch the video below for more email marketing tips and advice.

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