Marketing with Modular Email Templates: Why They Work and How to Build Them

email marketing template example

From interchangeable parts to Lego to Minecraft to podcast production, modular means modernization. 

So, why not emails? 

Email generates an ROI of $42 per every single dollar invested but it is the most challenging part of the content marketing funnel. Despite being 40x more effective than social media marketing on Twitter and Facebook, email marketing is a more labor-intensive way to handle lead generation

It can take a week to turnaround one email design. A tweet takes minutes or seconds.

Add time for QA and A/B subject line testing, and the effort to output ratio becomes enormous. 

In this post, I’ll share my modular approach to designing email templates so you can see how they are turning the tables for businesses.

Problems Faced In Designing Emails From Scratch 

According to a study conducted on over 3000 marketers, it took one week to roll out a single emailer against 8-10 hours of actual work. 

This difference arises due to bottlenecks that tend to derail the process. 

Minor problems like font sizes can also pose serious problems. If you use your custom fonts and their size differs from the default fonts accepted by ESPs, it takes a serious toll on your text alignment. 

This same problem was solved by Mashable. Have a look at this image:

They used an image to display their brand name “Mashable” to retain the aesthetics without muddling the overall alignment. 

This is because even a single typo would require the template to be redone by designers, developers, and QA testers. 

Imagine such errors happening over and over again in the middle of executing your email marketing strategy. 

It will surely cool down all your leads. 

Deleting, adding, resizing media, and changing the position of elements are all regular jobs. 

All of these parameters make scaling up/down next to impossible. 

Due to event dependabilities, design inconsistencies, and the cost factor, the need for a sensible approach becomes evident.

What Is Modular Design In Building Email Templates

When we consider the modular approach, the first thing is to think of each element as a distinct entity. You can better understand this by the example of lego blocks: 

A modular approach emphasizes self-contained blocks. 

Once they’re built, the designer can choose which one to use and which to skip while finalizing the layout. 

The designer also gets full control over arranging and rearranging the block elements. 

That’s why it’s kind of like building with Legos. 

Based on your target audience and requirements, you can snap on new different modules as you go. 

How can modular email design help?

Modularizing can help on multiple fronts as it bypasses most of the limitations caused due to the conventional process. 

The ultimate vision is to foster adaptability and create variations without compromising functional output. 

It allows you to customize your layout as per the preferences of ideal customer profile while removing the logistical bottlenecks from the workflow. 

An HTML email developer can work wonders for your modular template. 

Adopting modular design can improve your email quality and consistency, while speeding up your daily output.

6 Benefits of Modular Email Templates

  1. Branding Consistency

The ability to build editable HTML email templates and element blocks has a tremendous positive impact on brand consistency. 

You can incorporate all of your brand elements. 

Since the smallest of details like hex code is preloaded in the custom content blocks, all messages carry consistent branding identities. 

Regardless of the templates built, each gets the same detailing narrowed down to padding and each pixel. 

You can lock-in the parameters and store it in the content block library for using it endless times in the future.

  1. Cater To Last Moment Requirements

Marketing teams work on tight deadlines, which means lots of last-minute changes. 

Under these conditions, more mistakes happen. 

A newsletter might require a complete overhaul without dislodging its brand persona. 

Pre-built modules make it easier to get everyone’s suggestions and changes done in tight time frames without messing up the branding. 

  1. Reusability

Once you develop a module library, it can be used to create and alter the designs with the help of email generators. 

Making revisions in the module library will help you make changes in all your future campaigns with much less effort. 

Modular design also helps make even the most drastic changes faster and less expensive. 

Do your work once and utilize it as many times as you want.

  1. Facilitate Quick Rendering of Designs

Marketing teams face challenges testing modular templates in different marketing automation and email marketing platforms.

Modular email templates can be rendered quickly in most ESPs like Mailchimp, Pardot, Marketo and thus, your team can have a quick look at all the proposed versions. 

Editing also becomes safer since making a change in any particular portion wouldn’t put the entire team’s efforts in jeopardy.

  1. Legal Compliance

Businesses have to follow certain rules and regulations like GDPR and CCPA compliance requirements

All this can be handled once in a modular email template, essentially nullifying all the complexities involved in one off email compliance. 

Compliant modules minimize the risks of fines and penalties.

  1. Future-Proofing With Modules

Modules allow you to duplicate and edit your templates. 

Most large organizations have an encyclopedia of guidelines and modular designs streamline adherence. 

You can create any number of iterations without any technical backlash. Future-proofing your work is a great advantage since you have to make a couple of changes in your library. 

The future roll out and turnaround periods become quicker and safer.

Free Drag-And-Drop Email Editors List

Here’s a list of some free email editors for you to check out modular responsive email building hands-on:

  • Postcards
  • Chamaileon
  • Topol
  • Moosend Email Editor
  • Coffeecup
  • BEE
  • Mail Designer 365
  • Mosaico
  • Stripo


One thing that I’ve observed since the very beginning of my email marketing career is that email marketing is not less popular because of new digital communications channels like social media and content marketing.

It’s less popular because it takes a lot of time to get it right. You can run an ad on Facebook in a few clicks. But building an email takes much more time. 

Use the tools, tips, and processes in this post to implement a modular approach to email marketing and significantly reduce the time investment required.

Author Bio

Kevin George is Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, an email marketing agency specializing in crafting professional email templates. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz, and eats and breathes email marketing.

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