If you’re new to coding HTML email or short on time, our 30+ free email templates are a great place to start preparing a campaign. In this post, we’ll go through the fundamentals of downloading and editing a template, then uploading your email masterpiece to a campaign. We’ve tried and tested our email templates in all the major email clients, so most of the hard work has been already done for you.

Although this walkthrough requires no assumed knowledge, we highly recommend that you understand the fundamentals of coding in HTML and have experience using a visual HTML editor. Check out our help topic for more information.

Lets get started

Getting started with a template is easy. Simply visit our template gallery and download your template of choice:


You will notice that when you download a template from Campaign Monitor, it will come with an assortment of other files – don’t worry about these for now. Simply open ‘template-basic.html’ (or similar) in your HTML editor of choice and enjoy the show:


For the purposes of this guide, we’ll be using Adobe Dreamweaver as our HTML editor.

Editing the template

You have two options when it comes to editing our templates – you can either use your own HTML editor, or once you have set up tags, our WYSIWYG editor, however we’ll stick to the former option for now.

In your HTML editor, you will either be able to view the email template visually, or as lines of HTML code. If you are not confident with HTML code, we recommend viewing the template design as a visual layout (called ‘Design view’ in Adobe Dreamweaver):


In most visual HTML editors, you will be able to type directly over the existing text and even drag-and-drop images into your layout. Play around with text and color… Just don’t forget to save your work regularly:


At this point, it’s essential that you delve into the code – you will see that we’ve used a few of our tags to add the ever-important ‘unsubscribe’ and ‘forward-to-a-friend’ links. You can edit the existing tags in the HTML code, or add some of your own:


Once you’re happy with your template, compress all the images and CSS files you need for the campaign into a .zip file (don’t zip ‘template-basic.html’) and login to your Campaign Monitor account.

Adding a template to your campaign

To add your updated template to a campaign, simply create a new campaign in Campaign Monitor, define the campaign details and sender, then when you reach ‘Step 2.2: Define the HTML content for this campaign’, select, ‘Import the campaign from my computer or network’. At Step 2.3, choose ‘template-basic.html’ as your HTML page and check, ‘Move a copy of my CSS inline’. Also, select your new .zip file in ‘2. All other files in zip format’:


Once you click, ‘Get my Campaign’, you will be able to preview the campaign, continue or re-import it. If you’re satisfied with the result, click the ‘Next’ button, edit the plain text version of your email using our editor and you’re done!

This is our first post in a series on getting started with Campaign Monitor’s templates.
In the next tutorial, we’ll look at tags and consequently, creating templates for use in our WYSIWYG editor.

Want to do more with our templates? This post covers the quickest and most simple way to set up an email campaign using our free templates. If you’re after something more advanced, please take a look at our comprehensive resources, or even create your own email template.

  • 1off

    Guys, these templates are great and have helped me out a lot but they have been around for a while now and I think it would be really nice to see them updated.

  • Mathew Patterson

    Thanks for the feedback, and no doubt we will add more templates in the future.

    The real benefit of the templates is the base code that we’ve tested in the major email clients, rather than the straight visual elements – since Campaign Monitor is aimed at web designers who typically have the design part down.

    Getting a solid structure is a much more time consuming job though. Have you checked out our gallery for inspiration? https://h2.campaignmonitor.com/best-email-marketing-campaigns/

Want to improve your email marketing? Subscribe to get tips on improving your email marketing delivered to your inbox.

Join 150,000 companies around the world that use Campaign Monitor to run email marketing campaigns that deliver results for their business.

Get started for free
1-888-533-8098 0800 161 5300