Email Layouts

Email Layout Examples That Help You Create Engaging Campaigns

Experienced marketers who frequently send out email campaigns learn to rely on email layouts (and email templates) in order to speed up their work and take advantage of the best practices for creating engaging and effective emails.

Read on to learn more about what is an email layout, how it differs from a template, what expertise it brings in play, and eventually how to choose the right email layout for your specific use case and content. All that with the purpose of helping you easily create your own successful marketing emails. And if you’re new to this, check out our guide on getting started with email marketing for some extra help.

What is an email layout?

The email layout is the outline of your email – it organizes the placement of the different elements of the email – sections, text, CTAs, images, videos and more so that they all look balanced and visually appealing together.

The main purpose of the email layout is to help you build an engaging and effective email easily, taking advantage of the best practices for organizing email content. Selecting the layout of your email is half the work done. All you need to do after is insert your own text, CTAs, images and videos in the predefined layout positions and you are done!

What is the difference between email layout and email template?

An email template is a customized email layout. In short, here’s the difference between these two terms:

  • An email layout is the structure and the base for an email template or your custom message. The email layout consists of empty building blocks, which you can fill in.
  • An email template includes the predefined building blocks from the email layout, but here they’re already customized with inserted images, selected color palette, specific content, and others. A well-crafted email template helps you save even more time and resources by minimizing the work needed to design and write a marketing email thanks to the colors, text and images, which can all be used out-of-the-box. And if you’re interested in getting extra tips on crafting effective messages, check out our guide on how to write marketing emails.

Here’s a comparison example of both an email layout and an email template:

Popular Email Layouts and Examples

Email layouts can be divided into several categories, based on the following characteristics:

1. All-text vs. visual layouts

All-text layouts

All-text layouts are text-only emails that do not include any images or other types of multimedia.

All-text layouts are perfect to use for welcome emails or different types of transactional emails, such as password reset emails, user invitation emails, receipt emails, order confirmations. 

Plain-text email layouts can be appealing, but you have to follow a few rules when customizing them:

  • Use well-formatted text with short sentences and short paragraphs;
  • Include headings and subheadings to break up text, where appropriate;
  • Bold important phrases to catch and keep the customers’ attention;
  • Have a strong storytelling element to engage your readers.

Visual layouts

A visual layout includes plain text as well as visuals – images, graphical elements, videos. Here’s what to keep in mind when using such email layouts:

  • Customize the visual elements to correspond to your product and brand guidelines;
  • Arrange them in a way to make your key message stand out.

These campaigns are ideal for promotions, product launches, feature updates, and similar where you need to catch the eye and make the message emotionally appealing.

2. Layouts based on the number of columns

Column layouts can be broken down into three main types, depending on their purpose with your audience:

One-column layout

As the name suggests, this type of layout includes only one column that has all the content and visuals in full-width, in certain hierarchical order.

Usually, single-column layouts follow this order: sender’s brand name and logo, a header image, text content, a call-to-action button, followed by a footer (including the company’s physical address, plus an unsubscribe option).

These layouts are easy-to-navigate and predictable, thus readers know where to find the information they need and expect. Other key benefits include that these are fully responsive on mobile, and the format makes it easy for the reader to spot the call-to-action.

Single-column layouts are great for short newsletters, welcome emails, promotional emails and transactional emails, as well as re-engagement emails.

Two-column layout

Two-column layouts include the information and visuals in the email message across two columns.

This double-column design layout has a distinctive separation between the two columns and highlights the different kinds of information successfully.

These layouts are perfect for when you need to cover different topics, information-heavy content, or have multiple call-to-actions. Two-column layouts are great for sending promotional email campaigns or newsletters, both internal and external. For more on creating effective promotional emails, check out our guide on ecommerce email marketing.

Hybrid Column Layouts

Hybrid column layouts have the best of both worlds – they include elements from both one-column and two-column layouts. They allow you to break content into sections to discuss different topics, products, or features. 

Some of the main benefits of these layouts are that you can include more information in less space, as well as incorporate multiple call-to-action buttons to drive more conversions.

An important thing to keep in mind is that this layout might not be fully responsive on mobile devices. With email marketing, it’s always best to take a mobile-first approach. Therefore, make sure to preview your email design on different devices in order to produce fully responsive email templates on various mobile devices. 

Multiple-section layouts are very useful for regular newsletters, informational email campaigns, or product announcement.

3. Email Layouts Based on Reading Patterns

The way you arrange the texts and graphic elements in your layout will influence your users’ experience. The visual hierarchy you use facilitates and guides your readers through your emails. Depending on the user’s reading pattern, there are three main commonly-used types of email layouts:

The Inverted Pyramid

The inverted pyramid layout pattern follows a straight-forward visual hierarchy – the top of the email catches the reader’s attention with an appealing visual or catchy content, then it gradually narrows down the user’s focus towards the main goal of your email – your call-to-action, which may be a product feature, special offer, or similar.

In this email layout, you place your most important information at the top of the email, you then build your user’s anticipation with less important information, until they reach the call-to-action they’re expecting.

This visual hierarchy pattern follows the natural way readers skim through text. That’s why the inverted pyramid email layout is perfect for promotional and sales emails, but also for newsletters with a single message and a CTA.

Zig-zag Pattern

The zig-zag layout relies on a typical eye movement pattern. Since users read left to right, they tend to jump ahead when scanning content. They start off with the top left side, then proceed to the top right side, moving down towards the bottom left and then bottom right, thus creating an imaginary “Z” pattern (see example below).

An important thing to keep in mind when creating zig-zag email patterns is to place the most important information on the top horizontal line, where readers put the most attention. It should be followed by the diagonal line that leads users to the engaging copy and CTA, while the bottom horizontal line gives them the final CTA and copy. White space can help you separate different sections in the Z-pattern.

This visual hierarchy pattern is an efficient way to keep your readers engaged and make them go through all your email content. The zig-zag pattern is perfect for emails that include lots of information, but still need to be visually appealing, such as weekly updates, product-oriented emails, travel tips emails, and others.


The F-pattern layout is a variation of the zig-zag pattern – it uses the following visual hierarchy: the most important information is at the top, followed by less important information on the left sides below, including the call-to-action at the bottom.

This layout also follows a natural reading pattern, as users tend to read one section at a time, left to right, with CTAs at the bottom of each section, where the reader’s eyes are drawn to. As the content goes, the text on the right becomes shorter, gradually leading to the CTA button. 

The F-pattern layout is good for emails with lots of information that needs to be easy-to-read and mobile responsive. It is best to use the F-pattern for news emails and product announcement emails.

How to pick the best layout for your content?

To help you pick the best layout for your content, we’ve prepared the most commonly used email layouts for the main types of email content:

  • Newsletters usually use a single-column or two-column layouts, as well as Zig-zag and F shapes. Here are some examples of typical newsletter layouts:
  • Promotional layouts most often leverage the single-column layout with an appealing visual, short text and CTA, the inverted pyramid layout, or the zig-zag layout for promoting multiple products. Here are some useful examples:
  • Transactional layouts often use simpler layouts, such as all-text layouts, single-column layouts, or the F-pattern layout for shipping and order confirmation emails, for example. Here are some of the best layout examples:

Pro Tips:

  • Make sure to try and test various layouts in order to figure out which ones perform better for You! 
  • Remember to A/B test also the various elements of your layout, such as the place of CTA buttons and images, the different body content, the colors, or else. To understand how colors can impact your emails, check out our guide on colors in email marketing.
  • Keep statistics which layouts work best for what user groups and create more of those. 
  • When you identify your best-performing layouts, create templates out of them for your next campaign, but stay ready to edit email templates anytime, as email marketing is a very dynamic field.

SiteGround Email Marketing – Effortless Email Design with Best-Practice Layouts

The effective use of email layouts can tremendously improve the performance of your email campaigns, by helping you organize your content in line with best marketing practices for the biggest impact. That is why SiteGround Email Marketing campaign creation flow starts with the selection of an email layout that would best achieve your email objectives. You will take advantage of an intuitive no-code builder packed with all the best-practice email layouts, so you can put your content in the spotlight the right way. Here’s what you get:

  • Pre-built Layouts: Choose from a variety of expertly crafted email layouts that are ready to use, ensuring your emails always look professional and engaging.
  • Pre-built Design Sections: Even if you start from scratch, you can design like a pro using a variety of best practice email sections. These sections are fully customizable, allowing you to tailor each section to your specific needs and branding.
  • Intuitive No-Code Builder: Our user-friendly builder requires no coding skills, making it easy for anyone to create stunning emails. Add design blocks with a click to quickly design your perfect email.
  • Create and Save Templates: Personalize pre-designed email layouts or build your own unique templates from scratch. Save them for future campaigns, ensuring a consistent look and feel across all your emails.
  • Built-in AI Email Writer: Save time and enhance your email content with our AI-powered email writer. It assists in generating engaging and relevant email copy based on your input and the nature of your campaign. 

With SiteGround Email Marketing, you have all the tools you need to create impactful emails that drive engagement and deliver results. Start creating beautiful emails that your audience will love, today!

Wrap Up

Your email layout is the first impression you’ll make in front of your audience. Make sure to always keep it in line with your brand guidelines and business goals. It’s all about figuring out an effective aesthetic that will capture your readers’ attention and make them engage with your content.

Remember that no matter what layout you choose, your email message has two main goals – bringing value to your audience while also encouraging them to take desired actions.

Dilyana Kodjamanova

Digital Marketing Specialist

Keen on burying herself in reading and writing both technical and non-technical content.

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