How To Create Email Templates For Outlook or Gmail

Mariya Postelnyak

Email doesn’t have to be a tedious part of your work routine. Learn how to create an email template in Outlook and Gmail to save up to 4 hours a week on email communications!

If you’re sending out dozens of similar emails weekly, typing out each message is a huge drain on productivity. 

Learning how to make an email template will accelerate your email workflow and help you recover hours of lost productivity. 

In this guide, we’ll show you how to create an email template in Gmail and Outlook in just a few steps. We’ll also teach you how to improve the look and feel of your emails with professional template design.

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What Are Email Templates?

An email template is a reusable email layout or message. Users can save templates and simply swap in relevant text, images, and other content every time they use it.

Instead of needing to build out emails from scratch, anyone can create a template for Outlook or Gmail to fit any occasion. This saves tons of time while also ensuring consistency across all email communications. 

Why Should You Use Email Templates

There are countless benefits to using an email template. And the advantages go well beyond time savings (although that’s a big one). Let’s examine some of the top email template benefits below:

  • They help you free up more time in the work week—Mettler Toledo was able to save 4 hours a week by using ContactMonkey’s email template builder.
  • It becomes easier to create and send emails, which means less stress and more productivity.
  • New employee email templates can help new hires quickly learn how to communicate in your organization.
  • Faster communication means you can deliver urgent messages in a timely manner. 
  • Organizations save more money as employees become more productive.
  • Studies show that automating emails can increase response rates.
  • Templates let you create more professional-looking emails.
  • Automation limits errors in content and design.

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Types of Email Templates

There are many different types of internal email communication templates available and choosing the right one will depend on your email goals and audience. Popular business email templates include:

Whether you want to create an email template in Outlook or create an email template in Gmail, using these popular formats can help you save time during your template design efforts.

How to use email templates with plain text messages

Those using a plain text template would simply need to swap in unique names or details to customize the message. 

Whenever you’re creating email templates with just plain text, you can highlight the areas of the template that need changing so you don’t forget to add in new information.

How to use HTML email templates

Just as with plain text emails, users creating email templates using HTML need only to tweak the template to add relevant details.

However, with HTML email templates, users also have the option to swap images, graphics, and other HTML elements. This allows the template to maintain a dynamic yet consistent look and feel—all while avoiding Outlook rendering issues. This is super important if you’re trying to showcase your employer branding

With ContactMonkey’s email template builder you can design email templates using intuitive drag-and-drop functionalities.

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What Are the Best Email Templates?

Whether you’re dealing with email marketing or internal communications, creating email templates in Outlook or creating email templates in Gmail is a great way for businesses to streamline and scale communications.

The best email templates have several key features:

  • HTML to maximize your design capabilities.
  • Easily reusable to save time on future email sends.
  • Drag-and-drop design to make email design quick and easy.
  • Interactive email content like surveys, videos, GIFs, employee comments.
  • Responsive design to ensure that your emails display perfectly across all devices and email inboxes.

To avoid the costs of employee disengagement, use a dedicated internal communications software when creating email templates. 

How to Create Email Templates for Outlook and Gmail

If you’re creating email templates for business, you’ll want to use a responsive HTML email template. 

HTML email templates let you incorporate text blocks, CTA (call-to-action) buttons, images, and even pulse surveys into your emails. These types of communications are ideal for newsletters, marketing emails, or whenever you need to communicate lots of different information on a single page. 

Below, we’ll walk you through how to make an email template, and specifically, how to make email templates in Outlook and how to make email templates in Gmail using ContactMonkey’s intuitive email builder.

Once you learn how to create an email template in Outlook and how to create an email template in Gmail using ContactMonkey, we’ll walk you through how to send your created email. 

1. Create a ContactMonkey account

Before you can get started creating your email templates with ContactMonkey, you’ll need to create an account.

Navigate to our Sign Up page to start a free trial of ContactMonkey. A member of our team will contact you to help you get set up and show you how to address your specific internal communications pain points with our tool.

2. Sign in to ContactMonkey

Sign in to your organization’s ContactMonkey account to access your user dashboard and the email template library. Not registered yet? Start your free trial to see how it works and to learn how to build an email template. 

3. Select an email template

Click “Emails” in the top left-hand corner of your ContactMonkey dashboard. Then click “Create New Email” to start building a new HTML email template.

From here, you’ll be able to customize existing team templates, select from dozens of sample templates, or start from scratch and create email templates customized to your preference. 

Image of ContactMonkey's email template library

4. Design your email template

Click “Sample Template” to customize one of our ready-made templates OR click “Start from Scratch” in the right-hand corner to begin a brand new template. 

  1. Using a ready-made template: Click “Sample Template” and scroll through our template library to select your preferred template. Hover over the template you’d like to customize and click “Get Started.” Name your new template and click “Save.”
  2. Starting a template from scratch: Click the “Start from Scratch” button on the top right-hand corner. Name your new template and click “Save.”

Use the drag-and-drop controls to customize your sample email template or build a brand new email template from scratch.  

Here you have total creative control over how to build an email template. Use the sidebar menu to add custom rows, headers, images, and graphics. All you have to do is drag the elements into your template and customize how they look using your cursor.

Image of ContactMonkey's email template builder with video tile added.

Transform your newsletter into an interactive experience by embedding surveys and comments. Choose from a range of custom survey response options, including star ratings, emoji reactions, and eNPS (employee net promoter score). 

Image of ContactMonkey's email template builder with eNPS survey added to template.

To make your newsletter even more immersive, try embedding videos and GIFs. Simply drag the elements into your template and upload your media file of choice. 

Image of ContactMonkey's email template builder with GIF tile embedded.

If you’re creating an email template for Outlook and have an upcoming event, take advantage of our Outlook event management feature. Choose the event element from the sidebar and drag it into your template. 

Image of ContactMonkey's email template builder with event tile embedded.

Employees will be able to RSVP to events straight from your internal emails and you’ll be able to track registrations across all live company events.

create new event email template

Want to brush up on email design best practices? Check out our blog on Gmail Newsletter Templates and our Ultimate Guide to Outlook Newsletters for advice on how create an email template in Outlook and how to create an email template in Gmail.

5. Preview your email template

Click “Preview” once you’re satisfied with your template design. You’ll be able to preview on both desktop and mobile using the switch on the right-hand corner of the preview panel.

You can also check out how your email looks in dark mode:

Image of newsletter template displayed in mobile and dark mode.

6. Save your template

Click “Save and Exit” to save your email template. You’ll now be able to see your newly created email template in your ContactMonkey Email Library. 

In the next section, we cover how to send your ContactMonkey email templates in Outlook and Gmail. 

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Sending Email Templates with ContactMonkey

Once you know how to build an email template, you’re ready to start sending email templates with ContactMonkey through Outlook or Gmail. But the process will be slightly different for each email provider. 

Before we break down the key steps for sending your email template with both Gmail and Outlook, we will show you how to manage which employees or groups of employees you’ll be sending to:

Create and manage distribution lists

Employee distribution lists are easy and effective ways to manage your email recipients and maximize the impact of your emails. With distribution lists, you can easily segment your employees into different categories (location, department, mobile or desktop user, etc.) so you can send them internal communications that specifically pertain to them.

Within your ContactMonkey dashboard, you can use our list management feature to create and edit your distribution lists—all without requiring action from your IT department.

You can even integrate your existing Human Resource Information System (HRIS)—like Workday or ADP, as well as Azure Active Directory—with ContactMonkey so your custom distribution lists will update automatically as employee leave and join your organization:

ContactMonkey's list management feature.

Sending email templates with Gmail

After learning how to create an HTML email template for Gmail, you’re ready to send it to your employees.

1. Navigate to ContactMonkey’s Gmail dashboard: 

Screenshot of Gmail email sending dashboard within ContactMonkey

2. Fill out the fields within the dashboard. You can select distribution lists to which you’d like to send, add personalized text to your subject line via merge fields, and set your tracking options. Then select the email you’d like to send from your created emails:

Screenshot of ContactMonkey's email selection menu within ContactMonkey's Gmail dashboard.

3. After you’ve selected the email you’d like to send, you can either send immediately or schedule your email for a future send time:

gmail schedule on dashboard

5. After you’ve scheduled your email, you’re ready to send and track your email.

Sending email templates with Outlook

1. Install your ContactMonkey add-in for Outlook. You can learn how to do this with our Outlook Quick Start Guide

2. Open Outlook and click “New Email.” 

3. Click the ContactMonkey icon to access the sending sidebar menu. You’ll have full access to your saved ContactMonkey templates.

Image of email template imported into Outlook using ContactMonkey sidebar.

4. In the sidebar menu, select your email template. It will automatically be populated into your new message window. Use the “Search” option to find your template if it doesn’t appear right away.

5. Send a test email to one of your close team members. 

6. You’re set to go: click “Send and Track” so you can get in-depth email analytics for your campaign. Alternatively, you can click “Send Later” to schedule your email for a later time. 

Image of email scheduling options within ContactMonkey's Outlook sidebar.

Tracking your emails

Whether you send with Outlook or Gmail, you’ll be able to track a wide range of email analytics in your ContactMonkey dashboard. These include:

  • Open rates
  • Reading time
  • Survey responses
  • Click-through ratesDevice used for viewing your email
  • Reader location and department (with individual tracking)

Use metrics to understand how your recipients are engaging with your email communications! Now that you know how to make an email template, try out new templates and compare different campaigns to see if reader engagement levels have improved.

Managing Your Outlook and Gmail Templates in ContactMonkey

Now that you know how to create HTML email templates, you can manage your email templates from a single spot—your template library. Here’s how you can edit, manage, and delete Outlook and Gmail email templates with ContactMonkey: 

  1. Access your ContactMonkey dashboard and go to the “Email” tab.
Image of ContactMonkey's email template library.
  1. Go to “My Templates.”
  2. Use the “Actions” dropdown menu to:
    • Edit templates
    • Delete templates
    • Rename
    • Replicate
    • Share
Image of actions menu within ContactMonkey's email template library.

P.S. We’ve recently implemented a search & filter option on our “Create new email” page. This makes it even easier to find pre-existing templates created by your team members. 

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How do you create an HTML email template?

To create an HTML email template, use an email design tool like ContactMonkey’s email template builder. An email template builder can help you create email templates in Outlook and Gmail without knowing how to read or write HTML code.

Speed Up Your Email Workflow with Email Templates for Outlook and Gmail

With today’s modern email template software, it’s easier than ever to automate and accelerate your email communications. Now that you know how to create an HTML email template, you’ll be better equipped for saving time and effort on your internal communications.

Whether you’re an email marketer or internal communications pro, email templates will help you become more efficient, make fewer mistakes, and streamline your workflow. 

Design stunning, reusable email templates with ContactMonkey’s intuitive email template builder. Design pro or novice—it doesn’t matter. Our drag-and-drop controls will let you create the perfect email every time. Book a free demo to see ContactMonkey in action!