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May 10, 2021

How to Design An Effective Email Template With Klaviyo and Canva For Your Shopify Store

By Shaun Ernst

In this blog, we will show you a bulletproof email design that the world’s biggest brands are using, and how in just 10 minutes, you can make an amazing email with Klaviyo and Canva.

The video below goes through an explanation of the design, how to design the email in Klaviyo, and how to make a hero image in Canva. We suggest you check it out too!

Let's start with the Master Template
So here, we can see the basic underlying design. It has an image, text, and a button. Believe it or not, this is the same layout the world’s biggest brands use. There are two great things about this design:

Firstly, it works. A simple design like this is effective because it’s very easy to communicate one point and easy for the customer to understand the value the email is communicating and act on the email.

Secondly, it’s easy to implement and get going. You will see more complicated designs in your inboxes, but the most effective ones build on this as a foundation. This design is quick to start with, and you’ll be creating emails in no time.

Master template

Effective Email Marketing Template Examples
Here we see Nike promoting their Vapormax. This is an example of a major brand using the template to launch a new product. It includes the three main elements, hero image, text, button, and not much more.

Nike air vapormox email example

Disney is using the same template here. This is to promote a new season of The Mandalorian. It uses the same format, hero image, text, and button.

Disney email example

Here we can see Bellroy using the same template for a sales and promotion email. They have used a slight variation placing the button before the text. However, it uses the same overall principles.

Bellroy email example

Building this template in Canva
Here we will run through how you can make an email with this design. We will be moving through programs as we build the email, so we recommend having these three tabs open:

  1. A Google Doc with the copy we are using for the design of this email. We recommend writing this beforehand.

  2. Klaviyo, where we will be building the email design

  3. Canva, where we will be constructing the hero image.

I have also created a folder where the images and photos I’ll be using for this campaign are stored.

Okay, let’s get designing.

Firstly, I have already prepared the document as shown on the left. Please note that I have included all of the words and colours I want to use in the design.

Words for design

Create the hero image in Canva
Start building the email in Canva. Canva is a design tool that has free features and premium features that require a paid plan. You will only need a free plan to follow along.

In Canva, open a new design and, to start with, make a 900 X 900 canvas. Emails are typically 600px wide, but 900 gives more detail on high resolution and keeps the file size manageable.

Canva screenshot

Canva has a lot of great design layouts that you can begin with and customise. For this example, we will start with a gradient using colours from our design document.

First, we click on Elements in the side menu and search for “square gradient”.

Elements tab canva

We then choose one of the free elements here, drag it into the design page, and expand it to fill up the whole canvas.

Free elements tab canva

By clicking on the gradient and then clicking on the coloured squares in the top left, we can change the colours of the gradient.

Changing the gradient

Here we will take the colours from the design doc and match the gradient to them.

Red and black gradient

Now that the background is done, we will take one of the images from our design folder and drop it directly into Canva.

Dragging design from folder

Once it is uploaded in Canva, we can adjust the image to make it look better.

Adjusting image size

We also want an overlay, which says “Back in Stock”. We can use Canva’s inbuilt text tool for this. Start by clicking on the text menu and choosing from the font options available. For this, we will choose the free font option ‘Workout’.

Choosing an asset from text tab canva

We can then type out the text we need and make any adjustments needed, like moving the text, as well as changing the colour. For this design, we will change the colour to the light orange from our design document. We will make the text larger and slightly tilted. We will also move the text behind the image. This can be done by right-clicking on the text and selecting ‘move to the back’.

Adjust the grapic in canva

Now we have the image, we can download it, and save it to our folder.

Now that our hero Image is complete, we can move to Klaviyo to assemble the email.

Download image

Building the email in Klaviyo
Within Klaviyo, click on “Select Template”.

Klayvio select template

Klaviyo has great starting points, and we encourage you to check them out. Since we have an outline planned for this email, we will start with a blank ‘1 Column’ design.

Select column 1 design klayvio

To start with, I’m going to place a Navigation Header at the top, choosing “Logo Stacked” for the layout.

Selecting logo stacked

We’ll start by changing the logo to our example logo for this email, and setting the ‘Max Width’ to 110 pixels.

Setting max width

Using the Klaviyo tools, we will also make the background transparent, and make the font colour match the maroon from the design document. The header also includes navigation links to your website. We will change these navigation menu options to those from our design document.

Changing nav menu options

We will also make sure these menu options correctly link to our website. We do this by taking the links from our design document and putting them into the URL space in the ‘Header’ options.

Checking links

Now that the navigation menu is finished, let’s upload the hero image we made in Canva. Click on ‘Image Block’, navigate to where you have saved the hero image, and upload it to Klaviyo.

Upload image in klayvio

Once it has been uploaded, we will tick the box to make it “Fill Image Area”,  and align the image to the center. Also, make sure you add ‘Alt Text’ to the hero image to make the email accessible. This will help those who use screen readers, and also make the email legible if the image was not loaded correctly by a user’s email service.

Adjusting image in klayvio

We then take the call to action link from our design document and make the hero image link to that. We also recommend this for any other major images in your email.

Adding a link

With the image done, let’s add a Text Block to the bottom.

Add text block

To ensure no unwanted styling is carried across, copy the text you want to include, and then click “Paste and Match Style” in the ‘Text Block’. This ‘paste’ option will ensure no extra bulky styling comes along with it.

Paste and match style

We can then style the text within Klaviyo. For this example, we will centre the text, and then under ‘Block Styles’, we will make the font white and the background black. We will also increase the font size to 20px, add 50px of padding to the right and left side, and 20px of padding to the top.

Adding padding

Now, let’s add our button using the ‘Button Block’.

Adding a button block

Now we will change the text to say, “Shop the Sale”, and make sure the button links to the back-in-stock section of our website.

Adding button

Then using ‘Block Styles’ again, we will change the background colour to black, change the colour of the button to match the “Back in Stock” text, add some padding, and increase the text size.

Editing block styles

Finally, let’s style the footer. We start by adding a blank text block to the bottom of the design.

Adding text

In ‘Block Styles’, we’ll make the text slightly smaller, make the text white and the background black again.

Changing block style

Finally, we will add a ‘Horizontal Line’ to help add some space between the main body and the footer. All we need to change here is the background colour to black.

Add horizontal line

We have finished designing our email!

Now the email is good to go. As mentioned earlier, the great thing about this template is that we can create all future campaigns as clones of this email. To do this, return to Klaviyo and:

  1. In ‘Campaigns’, click on the menu for the email as indicated by the 3 dots on the right,

  2. Click ‘Clone’,

  3. Edit the content for your next email design.

And there you have it, how to use Klaviyo and Canva to create a bulletproof email design. This is the same design many big brands use. It can be used across campaigns or flows, education content, product launches, sale events, and anything else you need to send out.

You will see more complicated designs that have multiple elements, but even if you decide to include longer elements, we recommend always having the top of your email resemble this design. It forces you, as a marketer, to have a single purpose for each email you are sending, and from that, the customer can understand what they are meant to do with each email they receive.

Check out our YouTube channel, where we have tutorials on how to build up your email marketing. Please subscribe to be notified when future content is released.

Author: Shaun is the Founder of Email Experts. Combining his love of data analysis and his passion for marketing, Shaun enjoys working with marketing professionals to deliver excellent results for ecommerce businesses.