Creating an email template and creating an experience – that’s the difference between working with ready-made email templates and custom HTML emails.
The latter offers benefits to the extent to which it is maneuvered by intention. “Intention” is the keyword here.
To illustrate: when you are working on Mailchimp email templates, you are trying to build exactly what your business demands. You intend to deliver a positive experience. This is something that cannot be fully realized in the case of pre-made templates.
That’s really the overarching benefit of custom coding email templates from scratch. In this post, we will explore the rest of its facets. Let’s roll!
Custom Templates Save Production Time
You don’t need to build a new custom template for every campaign. Having customized your first template, you need to be able to use it over and over for making small, campaign-specific changes.
The look and feel of your email will remain consistent across time, speeding up production. In addition, having finalized design elements like navigation, header and footer, etc., no other member on your team will be able to make any changes, thereby reducing the scope of render issues.
Custom Templates Allow Personalization
That’s the point, right? To the extent that personalization facilitates brand consistency, it’s one of the great advantages of custom coded templates. You exercise total control over the design and layout of your email, ensuring that the final product is consistent with your brand style and brand identity.
Custom Coding Can Handle Dark Mode Limitations
One of the lesser-discussed benefits of custom coding is that it allows you to offset the impact of Dark Mode on your email templates.
Dark Mode can alter the way your email looks. In the absence of optimization, it can make a fine mess of your brand and font colors, affecting viewability. Using custom coding, you can optimize your email template for Dark Mode.
Custom Templates Allow Hosted Fonts
Custom coding allows you to incorporate hosted fonts into your email templates.
It is important to bear in mind that not all email clients support embedded fonts or web fonts. Before employing a hosted font, you need to know how many in your audience use the following email clients:
- Apple Mail
- Google Android
- Outlook (app)
These are the email clients that allow the use of hosted fonts.
Custom Coding Ensures Higher Compatibility
Since you are custom coding, you can maneuver CSS and HTML hacks to ensure compatibility across major, if not all, email clients.
You can also use a wide range of responsive design hacks and media queries to accomplish device optimization as well as OS-specific targeting.
Custom Templates Are Available across The Board
Whether you want to create Mailchimp email templates or are looking for any other popular email builder, almost all platforms support custom-designing your email from scratch.
The functionalities may vary from one email builder to another. There may also be minor differences in the overall cost-effectiveness of these platforms. But these are not limitations as such. You can easily find a good email builder and custom-code your template right from the get-go.
Custom Coding Can Reduce Load Time
You cannot change the code of a ready-made email template. And if it turns out to be a rather “weighty template”, so to speak, it will significantly affect the load time of your email when the recipient opens it.
Custom coding eliminates such a threat. You can easily optimize the code so that your email loads quickly, resulting in progressively higher open rates and lower spam scores.
Flipping The Kaleidoscope – The Other Side
Almost all drag-and-drop email builders in the market are pretty intuitive to use. However, depending on the unique needs of your brand, you may want to do more than just drag and drop, in which case you need to have more than just basic technical understanding.
Suppose you are designing a welcome email and you want to incorporate carousels, AMP games, drop down menus, etc. into your template.
The more complex your design needs, the more advanced your technical expertise will need to be. If you are not an expert yourself, you will need to add tech-savvy members to your team. You will need technical expertise on your team anyway, since you are custom-coding your email from scratch.
Our recommendation is that you should go for custom coding if, and only if, you have email specialists on your team. If not, drag-and-drop builders are obviously the better alternative.
As we implied at the outset, whether you want to go for drag-and-drop builders or custom templates, it depends on your unique needs and motivations as a brand.
It also depends on your goals. If you are looking to design and deliver memorable experiences, custom email templates should be your go-to choice.