Responsive Emails: Designs, Templates, and Examples for 2023

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Have you ever opened an email on your phone and the image was low-quality, the text was too small, and the call-to-action button was broken? Those are all flaws of static email design. Responsive emails are the answer.

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Given that more than half of U.S. residents look at email marketing messages on their phones, you need to optimize your emails for multiple screens, including mobile and tablet.

Responsive emails use fluid images and tables to remain flexible across different screen sizes. Ultimately, they deliver content designed for each user’s optimal experience.

Though responsive emails can be designed using CSS media queries, you don’t need any coding experience to make one. Creating a responsive email isn’t just a job for coders.

Here, we’ve lined up some best practices and ready-to-use templates, as well as a quick tutorial about the fundamentals of responsive emails.

  • What is a responsive email?
  • Responsive Email Design
  • Responsive Email Design Examples
  • Responsive Email Templates
  • Responsive Email Best Practices
  • Getting Started with Responsive Emails

design an email, and then preview that email on several devices. Most email software will show you how the design will look on multiple devices.

The video below will walk you through how to design an email with a template. In the video, the user is on Klaviyo, but the concepts hold true no matter what software you use.

Coding a Responsive Email

If you’re looking to make elements of your email responsive, you’ll need to work with media queries.

Media queries are a CSS technique. It allows you to set style rules that only appear if certain conditions are true. For example, you can specify what font sizes and image sizes to use when a screen is 600px wide or smaller.

When working with email, you can use media queries to specify what your design should look like on desktops, tablets, and mobile devices. To do so, you’ll need to specify the following:

  • Use the selector “@media” and specify “screen.” This indicates that the code will affect devices with a screen.
  • Set your “max-width” in pixels. This specifies the screen size where the code will take effect.
  • Specify any CSS style guides you want that specific screen to follow.

Let’s take a look at the code below.

@media screen and (max-width: 600px) {

body {

font-size: 30px;



When applied to the CSS of an email, body text will appear at a size of 30px for screens that are 600px wide or smaller.

While this approach can help you make certain elements of your email response, we recommend using a template if possible.

Unless you have comprehensive web design experience, coding several media screens can be time-consuming and frustrating.

If you aren’t technical or want an easier method, try using an email marketing tool with built-in responsive templates. HubSpot’s free email software, for instance, provides drag-and-drop templates that are responsive by default.

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2. The Metropolitan Museum of Art

As seen in the TOMS newsletter, responsive email design helps stack the content in a way that’s visually appealing and easy to digest. This example from the MET is no different.

On mobile, the positioning of the menu changes. Links to different gift shop items fall at the bottom of the page. This keeps the images of available souvenirs front and center.

Responsive email design example from the MET

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3. Mulberry

Again, with a responsive email design, the name of the game is stacking. It’s all about making the content easy to read and visually appealing, no matter how small the device is that someone is viewing the content on.

The alternating photos and text make sense for desktop, while the consistent stacking of photos over related text for mobile, along with the dividing lines, ensures the viewer won’t be confused.

Responsive email design example from Mulberry

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design, my advice is to use a template. They’re a surefire way to make sure your email will look professional and be responsive.

Responsive email templates save you time in designing an email that could’ve been picked out from a selection. For example, HubSpot’s email marketing tool includes over 60 templates just for responsive emails.

Let’s take a look at some template options now.

1. HubSpot

HubSpot offers a couple of free responsive email templates. If you’re a HubSpot customer or a free user, you can download and try them out yourself.

For instance, here’s one of the responsive email templates — notice the sidebar, where you can preview the template on multiple devices.

Responsive email template from HubSpot preview

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Clicking through device types and making sure your email is formatted accordingly is one of the final steps in the design process and is the only step in the responsive email process when you’re using software like HubSpot.

By clicking on the smartphone device for preview, for instance, you can see if your content — including font size and image resolution — is formatted in a way that’s pleasing for mobile.

2. CampaignMonitor

The templates offered by CampaignMonitor are similar to many others, in which responsive email results are shown in the preview tool. For example, here is a CampaignMonitor template:

Responsive email template from CampaignMonitor preview

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You can see the different devices side-by-side so you can compare design elements easily. Tiny edits can be made to create the best experience for all subscribers.

CampaignMonitor templates are often free, so it’s a good choice if you have a minimal budget.

3. Stripo

Stripo offers over 300 free HTML email templates. You can choose templates by industry, season, type, and feature. For instance, here’s a template from their business industry section.

Responsive email template from Stripo previewResponsive email template from Stripo preview

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A good sign of a solid responsive email template is the option to see the preview in both desktop and smartphone variations, as shown in Stripo’s preview mode.

Notice how a single column layout was adopted in the mobile preview to fit the specifications of phones.

Stripo is a website you can visit quickly to find a template that fits your goals. You might consider Stripo if you’re looking to try out responsive emails or want some design inspiration.

4. Constant Contact

Constant Contact offers over 200 professional email templates that are accessible after signing up. From looking at the example below, you can see that the platform offers responsive email templates.

Responsive email template from Constant Contact preview

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Constant Contact’s templates have drag-and-drop editing, the option to add surveys, ecommerce functions, and a photo library tool. These features can all help to create the email subscribers want to see.

It’s helpful to use a service like Constant Contact because the specific tools allow you to maintain consistency, like in the example above. You can tell that the responsive nature of the email doesn’t compromise any of the design elements.

Now that we’ve taken a look at some template options, let’s look at another way to make responsive emails work, along with best practices.

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