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How to Build an Email Marketing Design Workflow in Adobe XD

You know you need to up your email marketing game to keep your subscribers engaged, but designing beautiful, on-brand emails every week can feel like a chore. What if there was an easy way to set up a seamless design workflow to crank out gorgeous emails in no time? With Adobe XD, you can build a simple yet powerful email marketing design system to streamline your creative process.

In just a few steps, you’ll be designing professional emails that get real results. Forget struggling with clunky design tools and messy workflows. With XD, you can focus on what really matters: connecting with your audience. This step-by-step guide will show you how to create an email marketing design workflow tailored to your needs. Before you know it, you’ll be designing emails faster and smarter than ever before.

How to Build an Email Marketing Design Workflow in Adobe XD

Set Up Your Email Canvas

To design an effective email marketing campaign in Adobe XD, you'll first need to set up your email canvas.

Open Adobe XD and select the “Email” template to get started. This will give you an email canvas sized at 600px by 800px, which is a common mobile size and a safe bet.

Next, think about your email layout. Do you want a single column or multiple columns? Images on the left or right? Aim for a simple, uncluttered design that’s easy to read. For most emails, a single column layout works well on mobile. You can add columns for desktop versions later.

Now it’s time to add your content. Drop in any images, text, buttons or other elements you want to include. Make sure your text is large enough to read, around 16 pixels for body copy. Use a simple, clean font like Arial or Helvetica.

Leave plenty of white space around and between elements. White space helps make the email feel open and breathable, and it leads the reader’s eye through the content in the intended order.

Use basic HTML and CSS to add color, spacing, and styling. In the Layers panel, you can view the code for any element. Copy and paste that code into your email marketing service to replicate the design.

Test and preview your email in multiple email clients and on mobile to ensure it displays properly before sending. Make any final tweaks to the content or design needed.

With some simple planning and design, you'll have an email marketing campaign ready to connect with your subscribers in Adobe XD. Keep testing and optimizing to improve your open and click-through rates over time.

Create Reusable Email Components

To design effective email campaigns, you need reusable components. In Adobe XD, it’s easy to create elements you can use again and again.

First, build a library of elements like buttons, icons, images, and color swatches. For buttons, design a few sizes and styles. Save each as a component so you can quickly drag and drop into any design. Do the same for icons, creating a set of social media, navigation, and other icons.

For images, save photos, illustrations, and logos as components. That way you can reuse them at any size without quality loss. You should also make a swatch component for your brand colors. This ensures color consistency across all emails.

Next, create templates for different types of emails like newsletters, promotions, and product announcements. Include spaces for headers, hero images, body copy, buttons, and footers. Turn each section into a component. Now you can assemble new emails just by dragging in components and customizing the content.

Finally, build a stylesheet to define styles for headings, paragraphs, links, and other text elements. Set up character and paragraph styles for easy updating. Include these text components in your templates and library.

With a solid library of reusable elements and templates, you'll be able to quickly design on-brand emails that engage your subscribers. And when styles change, simply update the components and templates to refresh all your emails. Using components in Adobe XD, you can build a workflow to boost your email productivity and results.

Build Your Email Structure

To build the structure for your email marketing campaign in Adobe XD, follow these steps:

Choose a column layout

For most email clients, a single column or two column layout works best. A single column is clean and simple, while a two column layout gives you more space to add images and text. I would recommend starting with a single column layout for your first campaign. You can always switch to two columns for future emails if needed.

Add header and footer

Include a header at the top for your logo, company name, and any navigation or call-to-action buttons. Add a footer at the bottom for your company info, social media links, and an unsubscribe link. Make sure any links you include work and direct readers to the right pages.

Include images

Images help to visually engage your readers and should be included in your email. Add a large hero image at the top to capture attention, and include 2-3 smaller images throughout the body of the email. For the best results, use high quality images that are 600-800 pixels wide. Alt text must be included for accessibility.

Write your content

The content and messaging in your email is the most important part. Focus on educating and providing value for your readers. Explain the benefits and key features of your product or service. Use an enthusiastic and friendly tone to connect with your audience. Include a clear call-to-action like "Learn More" or "Get Started Today" to encourage readers to take the next step.

Review and test

Carefully review your email for any issues before sending. Check that all links work, images are displaying properly, and there are no spelling or grammar errors. Test how your email looks in different email clients and on mobile devices. Make any final tweaks needed to ensure your email is ready to send and achieve the highest open and click through rates possible.

With some time and practice, you'll be designing beautiful, high-converting email marketing campaigns in Adobe XD in no time! Email me if you have any more inquiries.

Add Content and Style Your Email

Once you have the basic wireframe set up, it’s time to add content and styling to your email. This step requires balancing creativity with consistency.

Add Relevant Content

Include the key details and call-to-action for your campaign. Keep sentences short and scannable, around 2 to 3 lines max. Use bullet points for lists of 3 or more items. Images, graphics and icons are also helpful for visual learners and to break up blocks of text.

  • Write an attention-grabbing headline and subheadline.

  • Include a brief, benefit-focused product description.

  • List key features and specifications.

  • Add testimonials or social proof from real customers.

  • Insert a strong call-to-action button for readers to click.

Choose a Stylish Yet Consistent Design

Select colors, fonts, and other styling that align with your brand guidelines. Keep styles consistent across email clients by using web-safe fonts like Arial, Verdana or Helvetica and hex color codes.

  • For color schemes, use complementary colors or analogous colors that are harmonious.

  • For fonts, pair a sans serif option like Arial with a serif font such as Georgia. Use the sans serif font for headlines and the serif font for body text.

  • Add subtle touches like rounded corners on buttons or a thin border around content blocks.

  • Use the “preview” option in your email service to check how the email will appear across different devices and clients. Make any necessary tweaks to the styling.

An email that balances great content with consistent, stylish design will capture your readers’ attention and drive more clicks and conversions. Keep testing and optimizing your emails over time based on open rates, click-through rates and other key metrics. With regular feedback, you'll gain valuable insights into what resonates most with your audience.

Review and Export Your Email

Once you’ve designed your email template, it’s time to review and export it so you can start using it. Double check that:


  • All text, images and links are displaying properly.

  • There aren't any mistakes with the grammar, punctuation, or spelling.

  • The content is optimized for mobile devices and small screens.

  • Your call-to-action buttons are prominently placed and lead the reader’s eye.


  • Resize your email preview to see how it looks on different devices.

  • Make sure all content adjusts well and the layout is still balanced.

  • Check that no elements overlap or get cut off at smaller sizes.


  • Review the HTML code to ensure there are no errors.

  • Confirm all styling is inline and there are no CSS files (to comply with email client support).

  • Double check that all images have “alt” attributes for accessibility.

Once everything looks good, you're ready to export your email. In XD, go to File > Export. Select the “HTML” file type. This will export your email as an HTML file you can open and review. It will also export all images used in the email in a folder named “images”.

To use in your email marketing service (like Mailchimp or Campaign Monitor), you’ll upload the HTML file. The images folder should also be uploaded to your email service so the images can be hosted and displayed properly.

With your email template exported and uploaded, you now have a custom, responsive email design ready to use in your email marketing campaigns. Be sure to test thoroughly across different email clients and devices to catch any last minute issues before sending to your full list. With some testing and tweaking, you’ll have a polished email marketing workflow using Adobe XD.


So there you have it, a step-by-step guide to building an email marketing design workflow in Adobe XD. By setting up your artboards, creating components, using repeat grids, and establishing a review process, you'll be designing and sending beautiful, cohesive email campaigns in no time. 

The best part is, once you have your workflow in place, you can reuse it again and again, tweaking as needed to keep improving your process and results. What are you waiting for? Open up Adobe XD and start designing your next email campaign today. Your subscribers will thank you.