headshot of Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Feb 14, 2023
x mins to read

What is an email design system?

Simply put, an email design system is a library of HTML code snippets that combine in infinite ways to create email campaigns. It gives you all the building blocks you need in an easy to use, intuitive format with clear guidelines. This empowers even non-graphic designers to produce accessible emails, all within your brand guidelines.

Email design system components

The modular component system unique to an EDS provides the structure and efficiency of a template with the freedom to mix and match these components, creating countless combinations and beautiful, effective emails, all while keeping your overhead low. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

What can an EDS do for you?

Avoid the pitfalls of outsourcing to agencies or using conventional templates

Anyone who has worked in or around email design knows that it usually falls into one of two categories: custom and expensive, or boxy and cheap. Everyone loves a thoughtfully designed email with good copy and an enticing Call To Action (CTA), but traditionally that’s only achieved using internal departments or outsourcing to agencies or freelance designers. These options are resource-heavy, incur ongoing costs, and require the management of additional people and relationships . Not ideal! On the flip side, there’s an abundance of affordable email template options that either integrate with or are provided by your ESP, but their static and impersonal natures limit your team. Instead of conforming to your visions, you’re forced to fit your ideas into their rigid boxes, and any features you ask for will rarely be implemented, nor will your feedback result in action. These options leave a lot to be desired and make it feel like you have to choose either high-quality or cost-effective email design, with no in-between.

What if we told you there’s a better option? An EDS takes everything you love about the different options on the market and rolls them into a neat, personalized package. The result is a blended mix of custom building blocks that you own and can utilize to produce beautiful email sends without the sustained overhead that is traditionally required to achieve that level of quality. With a small internal team you’ll be able to handle the same send volume as an agency, with the control of a large in-house team, and the agility of a freelance team. As you evolve, so will your aesthetic, and your EDS can evolve right along with it.  At EmailDesignSystems.com, our design systems are built in figma and vanilla HTML, keeping them agile and easily updated, with the option to add new, custom modules that may be needed for new products or campaigns.

An email being built in Stensul with design system components

Confidently streamline your email production

An EDS is a responsive design system that allows for copy edits without needing to realign or rebuild the design. That means when a last minute copy change occurs after the design is completed, there is no need to call up the designer and have them implement the change: anyone in the team can jump in and make the change, without forcing an email back through multiple channels it had previously cleared, slowing turnaround time.

No one enjoys the monotony of digging through your brand guidelines for color schemes and fonts. An EDS equips you with preloaded, custom template components that allow them to effortlessly create emails that seamlessly align with your brand. Imagine knowing with confidence that every version coming across your desk will meet your brand guidelines!

Reduce decision fatigue and unleash your team’s creative potential

The design and review stages of traditional email marketing often feel like reinventing the wheel, which leads to a lot of wasted time. An EDS allows you to identify the building blocks you’d like to see in your campaigns up front, so when it comes time to convert an idea into a send, you can hit the ground running. When your team is no longer tied down making tedious decisions that can be automated, that time and brainspace is freed up for higher level creative thinking. Instead of nitpicking text alignment or the size of a CTA, your team can focus on producing killer copy, picking awesome assets, and masterminding your next brilliant email marketing campaign!