Here's a great example of how our free professionally-designed templates can serve you well for inspiration. Ryan Lascano and Justin Kuntz of Creative Soapbox took cues from Newism's Natural template, especially the big one-column table of contents section up top, They then made a warm and inviting design that's all their own.
There are no background image tricks here, just smart code that degrades really nicely in the email clients which don't support background images. The headers are images, but no worries—the subheadings are actual text keeping the email readable without them. It's an email Sprowt's Idaho-based designers will approve of.
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