Types of Templates

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When you create a campaign in MailChimp, you can select from different template options to create your email campaign on the Template step of the Campaign Builder. Below, we go over the different types of templates and help you decide which one to use.

MailChimp Templates


Basic templates provide you with blank layouts where you can add and style content to create a customized, mobile-friendly email, all using our Email Designer. Our Basic templates make full use of the Campaign Builder's Drag and Drop Editor, allowing you to fully customize the look and layout of your campaign.

Two template styles are available in the Basic tab: regular and banded. Regular templates default to a single color background with a border. Banded templates include Boxed Text blocks that offer background color options. No matter what template you choose, you can add a Boxed Text block in the Drag and Drop Editor.

To view Basic templates, navigate to the Template step of the Campaign Builder, and click Basic.  

Navigation button for Basic templates


We teamed up with some of the most talented designers on the web to bring you beautiful templates that are simple to use. You don't have to know anything about design or programming to get started. Just pick one of our predesigned themes, plug in your content, and you've got a beautiful campaign. The predesigned Themes offer a number of categories to choose from including Newsletters, Holiday, Sports, Coupons, Music, and more.

The Themes section contains both Drag and Drop templates as well as what are considered Classic templates. Classic templates are less flexible than our Drag and Drop templates, with only their content and colors as editable options within the Email Designer. It's also good to note that some themes were created by specific designers with specific designs in mind, so editing controls can be limited even on some Drag and Drop themes layouts. Some of the images used in themes templates are part of the background design and cannot be changed. You'll see the available controls ( remove or use text, for example) if the image can be removed or changed.

To view Themes templates, navigate to the Template step of the Campaign Builder, and click Themes.  

Navigation button for Themes templates


AutoConnect templates in the Themes section let you promote products you're selling on iTunes, pull in information from Twitter or Facebook, and send surveys or event invitations by connecting to these applications and pulling the info right into your campaign. Autoconnect templates are also available for ecommerce platforms like eBay and Etsy.

The AutoConnect templates use a built-in integration to pull in data to populate your campaign. Due to the nature of the integration, AutoConnect templates must be selected and customized each time they are used, as replicating a previous AutoConnect campaign will break the integration.

To view AutoConnect templates, navigate to the Template step of the Campaign Builder, and click Themes. Next, click the drop down menu and choose AutoConnect.

Navigation drop-down menu for Autoconnect Templates


Use our RSS-to-Email templates to easily increase reader engagement and help people get your content the way they'd prefer it. We'll send newsletters whenever you publish new content to your blog daily, weekly, or monthly. You can also use RSS merge tags to build your own template or customize how your content appears. RSS-to-Email is the best way to publish a consistent newsletter without having to spend a lot of time creating new content.

To view this template type, create an RSS-Driven Campaign. On the Template step of the Campaign Builder, select a Basic or Themes RSS-to-Email template.

Code Your Own

If you want more control over your email design than our templates offer, you'll want to look at creating your own custom template. Designers have the ability to import HTML that includes MailChimp's template language to create an editable template inside our app. This is a great feature for web designers who want to upload a template for a client, and create editable, repeatable, and hideable sections within the content area.

To view or add a Code Your Own template, navigate to the Template step of the Campaign Builder, and click Code Your Own.

Navigation button for Code Your Own templates

Which Templates to Use

If you don't see a template that's specific to your needs or to your industry, this list will help you decide which template to use.

Request Template Options
I want to use my brand on my template. Basic
I want a basic layout with a lot of control.
  • Basic
  • Themes > Newsletters > Simple Newsletter
  • Themes >  Postcard
I want a really fancy newsletter, but I don't know HTML. Themes
I want repeatable sections, with multiple columns. Basic
I'm promoting an event. Themes > AutoConnect > EventBrite or Facebook Events
I need to include a map. Themes > AutoConnect > EventBrite
I have a date-specific campaign that isn't an event. Themes > Birthday or Reminders
I have products to sell. Themes > eCommerce or AutoConnect
I run a local business. Themes > AutoConnect or Coupons
I'm in a band. Themes > AutoConnect > iTunes Music or Amazon Books
Themes > Music
I want to send a flyer. Themes > Art > Postcard
I want to send a holiday campaign. Themes > Holiday
I want a simple text campaign with links and a logo or header image. Themes > Stationery > Slim & Trim
I have a coupon.
I'd like to target my subscribers who use mobile devices.
  • Basic
  • Themes > any Drag and Drop

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