With almost 50% of all emails being opened on a mobile device, and with that percentage expected to rise rapidly over the next few years, the importance of using a responsive template for your email marketing campaigns has never been higher.
As you will probably already know, designing simple cross-client HTML emails is difficult (looking at you Outlook!) in itself. But designing emails that work well across all email clients and also work on all of the various mobile phones and tablets currently available, is even harder. Much harder.
Thankfully there are a bunch of designers and developers out there that have done most of the work for you, by creating a collection of easy to edit and free responsive email templates that work across all clients and are readable on any device. We have split the templates into two categories, ‘Bare-Bones’ and ‘Pre-Designed’, here they are:
Pre-Designed Responsive Email Templates
Litmus Responsive Email Templates (7 Templates)
Litmus have realeased a bundle of seven pre-designed responsive email templates that been thoroughly ‘Litmus-tested’. They also come with the PSD source files.
Green Village HTML Template
Green Village is a minimal and pre-designed email template that is suitable for multiple purposes. The download package includes both layered PSDs and the HTML source.
Responsive Email Template from Email on Acid
Released by Email on Acid, this pre-designed template offers three "layouts" which trigger based on the width of the screen. By default, it supports 1-3 columns and as you trigger each media query conditional statement, it converts to a one a column layout for mobile devices.
Basic Responsive Email Template from Derek Punslan
Simple Responsive HTML Email
Based on a Tuts+ tutorial, this simple pre-designed responsive HTML email uses minimal media queries and a fluid width approach to ensure maximum compatibility.
Responsive Email Template by Marco Lopes (Includes PSDs)
Bare-Bones Responsive Email Templates
Responsive Email Blueprints from MailChimp (6 Templates)
MailChimp have released a collection of six bare-bones responsive templates, entitled Email Blueprints, that can be used as a solid foundation and starting point for designing email newsletters. They do include some MailChimp specific template language elements, but they can be easily removed if you are not a MailChimp user.
Ink – A Responsive Email Framework (4 Templates)
Ink is a responsive email framework from ZURB that includes a 12-column grid and some simple UI elements for rapid email prototyping. Ink also has four responsive email templates available, with each template already having Ink included in a style tag at the top of the file.
Antwort Responsive Email Layout Templates (2 Templates)
Antwort offers minimal and bulletproof responsive layouts for email, with extensive documentation, that both fits and adapts to client widths. The templates work perfectly on mobile (Mail on iOS and Email on Android), and also works in all major dektop clients. It even works in Outlook (2000+).
Salted, A Responsive Email Template from Jason Rodriguez
Salted, based on the code that Litmus uses for their own email newsletters, is a template that offers a simple base for building responsive HTML emails.
A Table-Based (but Responsive) Email Template
This template has been based on the Email Blueprints (see above) from MailChimp and the Email Boilerplate from Sean Powell. It is a responsive table-based email template that already includes MailChimp merge tags (these can be removed if you don't need them).
Respmail Responsive Email Template
Respmail is an improved version of MailChimps Email Blueprints, with more row options, re-defined structure and many fixes for Outlook, Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail… It has been tested and thoroughly reviewed for compatibility and is very easy to customize and make changes.
Based on ZURB’s Ink templates (above), rwdemail is a project that allows you to automate everything, from SASS precomiling, CSS Inlining, CSS/HTML and image minification, S3 image hosting and Litmus email testing. With the help of INK templates and its CSS boilerplate, designing emails of any kind is a breeze.
Future-Proof Responsive Email Template Without Media Queries
What if you could build an email template that was responsive, even in environments with the poorest support for modern CSS? The method is called the fluid hybrid method, sometimes referred to as the spongy method of email development. Grab the template here.
Further Newsletter Design Resources
- Responsive Email Patterns – A Collection of Patterns & Modules for Responsive Emails.
- Cerberus – Solid Patterns for Responsive HTML Emails.
- Really Good Emails – The Best Email Designs in the Universe.
- Responsive Email Resources – A Collection of Tools & Resources for Responsive Email Design.
If you’re looking for free HTML5 templates, check out this post: 50 Free Responsive HTML5 Web Templates.