Guide to Creating Custom Mailchimp Email Layouts (For Designers)


Sometimes we work with other design agencies or companies that have in-house designers that already have a template design but require assistance converting it to a Mailchimp compatible format.

That’s where we come in.

We introduced the Orangutag package which is designed to be a tag team effort between our agency and yours. You supply your Mailchimp ready artwork and we code your design into a Mailchimp compatible template complete with all the bells and whistles. We can make modules repeatable, hideable, editable, and more.

Although we freely share this document on our website (in PDF format) and as a download for Orangutag package purchasers, the information is worth repeating.

So I present you with our Guide to Creating Custom Mailchimp Email Layouts.

Follow our best practices checklist below and you are sure to create awesome email layouts that your clients will love.

  • Your email layout should be no wider than 600 pixels for best viewing in various email clients.

¤ Avoid using the following in your template design:

¤ Avoid use of nonstandard fonts as outlined below for best viewing in various email clients.*

Important: Any decorative font elements will be converted to graphical elements to preserve font style in the conversion process and therefore will not be editable.*Our templates now include Google Fonts CSS support with standard alternative font family.

  • Arial
  • Comic Sans MS
  • Courier New
  • Georgia
  • Lucida Sans Unicode
  • Tahoma
  • Times New Roman
  • Trebuchet MS
  • Verdana

¤ Avoid use of tiny fonts which can trigger spam filters. Fonts should be no smaller than 10 pixels in size.

  • Use this wonderful reference created by our friends at Campaign Monitor to see what CSS is supported in major email clients.
  • It’s a good idea to limit the number of editable spaces in the template to keep things simple.
  • Editable images should not be placed within an editable content container.
  • Be creative with the use of merge tags.
  • Be sure to include the required CAN-SPAM info in the footer of your design.
  • Include a link for users to update their subscription preferences and one to unsubscribe if they are so inclined.
  • Include a link to allow users to view your email in their favorite browser.
  • Include a link to your website.
  • Feature the forward to a friend link somewhere prominent to encourage sharing of your campaign(s).
¤ For faster turnaround avoid providing us with a flattened version of your email layout. Ideally, you will supply your layout design in PSD (Photoshop) format with layers intact. This allows our experts to easily grab font styles, line height, letter spacing, sizes, and colors to ensure best results.


Ideal artwork format
  • Editable PSD with layers intact
Acceptable artwork formats
  • PDF
  • JPEG
  • EPS
  • TIFF
  • GIF
  • PNG