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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.

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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