Nuno Sancha
Author: Nuno Sancha  |  

Hipster Marketer with a passion for SaaS. Dreams about becoming a full-stack marketer but for now I just want to test software and write about them.

Read more posts by this author.

We all have this sensation… you need to launch an email campaign. You want something well designed, well crafted in order to impress the people that will open your message. Besides the message content, you think that looking professional is a must as well.

The problem?

You don't have a designer on your team, and you are not a good designer yourself. Well, that can be solved, since you can find anything on the internet these days. You decide to look for a freelance designer online that can create an email template that goes well with your brand, but soon you find out that the good ones can be really expensive for your small SMB pocket.

That's it, I will send it in plain text and forget about this all design thing.

Sure, you can do that. And there is nothing wrong with a plain text email, and usually, I prefer them. But don't forfeit your dream of having a well-designed email template just yet. We may be able to give you a few tips that will put you into Nike mode - just do it.


There are three ways you can achieve that:

  • Using the newsletter templates that Mailchimp already offers you in your account.
  • Looking for sites that you can buy cheap and beautiful designed Mailchimp templates.
  • Or even look for free alternatives on the web, since there are plenty of resources out there.

And in this article, we will explore a little bit of these three options..

Mailchimp's Own Templates and Examples

Why choose the templates that Mailchimp already provides you? They are already a step further than where you are sitting right now - you have none. And if you are already paying for the service being a small business this could help keep the budget in control, since you get them for free.

Another strong motive is that if you are not a tech-savvy you can still pull it off, you just have to select and modify the fields by selecting them and change what you need to be changed with your own words and pictures - easy money!

Depending on what you are going for with your newsletter, Mailchimp gives you 30 templates examples that you can choose from.

As you can see, it is just a matter of taste or the type of design that you think that approaches more to the final result you are looking for. After that, you are the designer in charge, change what you want and re-use it whenever you feel like it.

Just a quick note before we advance to the Mailchimp newsletter examples and templates that you can buy from the internet. I talked about paying for the service because when you use the Free account your template selection is limited.

Now that we talked about using the newsletter templates that Mailchimps offers you, we must assume the possibility that you won't like any of them. Now what? Well, there are other options for you on the internet.

Websites like Envato Elements, Theme Forest from Envato Market and Creative Market got you covered.

And we will analyze what they have in store for you, so you can make an informed decision when you are choosing your Mailchimp newsletter template.

Envato Elements

With a lot of resources for designers, creators or people that are none of those but who can tweak work that already been done by others, Envato Elements is a great place for you to find a well-designed template for your Mailchimp campaign.

One thing that can be a deal-breaker for you is the fact that they run on a subscription business model. If you are looking for that one Mailchimp newsletter template for you to buy and start using this may not be for you. Theme Forest and Creative Market may be more your style since they allow you to create an account and purchase the item you want without having to pay a monthly fee.

In my opinion, Envato Elements have the most beautifully designed Mailchimp templates from those three options. Maybe a premium subscription may not be a bad idea after all.

Theme Forest

Part of the Envato Market, the Theme Forest has one particularity, it allows you to choose what you want to buy, you pay for your Mailchimp newsletter template and you can walk away, no commitments asked from you - one time buy and that's it.

If you are low on a budget, or if you just want to look for that one Mailchimp template to tweak and turn it into the face of your brand, by all means, try to find something here. I still believe that the designs you can find at Envato Elements are far superior but as the Portuguese saying goes - "He who doesn’t have a dog hunts with a cat".

Creative Market

Very similar to Theme Forest and Envato Elements, Creative Market has a collection of Mailchimp templates from professional designers that most likely will give you that touch of a respectable brand that you are looking for.

Similar to Theme Forest, you can buy the item you like without having to commit to a subscription account like Envato Elements.

One thing that Creative Market is known for is their bundles, instead of just buying an item you can buy several in a package usually with a great discount - assuming that you buy them one by one.

This means that you can acquire a pack with different styles of Mailchimp templates and have options to choose from or you can buy a pack with templates that are "similar", with that same "brand" look and feel, which is awesome. You can vary your newsletters without compromising the consistency of your design.

Some Free Newsletter Templates for your Mailchimp

Now that you know where to buy some templates at reasonable prices, its time to move onto the free alternatives, since not everybody can afford to buy templates, especially if you are in your early stages of business, where every single dime counts.

Colorlib 4

The first on the list is Colorlib 4.

With a clean design, this is for sure a great template to use on your newsletter, elegant and sophisticated with a few "moving parts" which makes your editing and tweaking easier. If you use it to promote the articles on your blog, the creator has made the process very simple as well. Here you can see the template in action and you can go here to download it.


A collection of email templates that varies from Welcome emails, progress, thank you, birthdays and so on. Not as elegant as the Colorlib 4 template but you get a bundle, so no more thinking about how to change the template to adapt to the context you need it.

Just choose one that already fits into your situation, and modify it towards your needs, click send.

Explorational template

More a layout than a proper email template, but the designer already did all the work for you, it comes with a wireframe in Sketch and an HTML version that you can tweak to your needs, or just populate it with content.

I don't know, but the Ikea effect can play a huge role in this one, and you may end up liking this layout more than those previous templates.

Get your explorational template.


Created by ZippyPixels, this is a beautifully designed responsive template that will give you that satisfaction of sending something that will make your subscribers think "wow, their designer is really good, I wish they have such talent in-house". Of course, we both know the truth. It's just a template you downloaded here and modified.

SendX Never-ending Free Resources

SendX is the ultimate resource for people looking for free email templates online, why?

Let's start with one of their resources that I have no doubt that will provide you with a lot of templates to choose from. 1500+ Free Email Templates, that's right, not five, not ten, not a hundred email templates, but 1500+.

Calm down, I know that the paradox of choice is real, and you may get overwhelmed with that amount of free templates, that's why I will point you to another resource that SendX offers you for free.

Their collection of 20+ Premium Responsive templates. I bet this will narrow down your choices:

And since we are talking about Newsletter templates, check this out:

I think it is time to stop because I don't want this to become a looooong article. So, if you want to check more of the SendX's Free Resources, just follow this link.

A quick note about plain text vs Mailchimp newsletter templates

We all want to show people how cool our brand is, and how sophisticated we can be by sending those fancy HTML emails, but sometimes it is better to put our effort on the content instead of on the looks.

A relevant message will have a better impact on your business, it doesn't matter if you write it in an informal way, without capitalization and send it as text only.

Have in mind that even when you are using HTML Mailchimp templates you should avoid putting your core message as an image, make sure that you make it as text because a lot of people will have email filters activated or even their email provider can choose to block your images, and if you rely on that beautiful image to convey message, guess what? You just waste money and effort because they didn't see it.

Use plain text, use HTML templates, use whatever works for you. But content is more important than looks.

Final words

I don't have really much to say here, I just hope that I could help you find good alternatives for not having an in-house designer, or for your lack of design skills.

If you decide to subscribe to Envato Elements, or just buy one Mailchimp newsletter template at Theme Forest or a pack of them at Creative Market or even search the web for free resources, it is indifferent to me, as long as the path you choose works for your needs, and helps you and your business.

As a reminder, you can always use this never-ending resources from SendX to make your business prosper.