3 steps to create beautiful and engaging emails with Google Docs

When your email really matters, there are certain things you want to get right. Format, phrasing, structure, content: all the things that are hard to do in the cramped writing window from Gmail.

In this article, I’ll show you how to beautify your Google emails, create email templates in Google Docs, and even add headers, content margins, and footers, all with alignment and the perfect style to engage your audience. .

Sample email created in Google Docs

Exit window Gmail compose for Docs will also give you tools like comments and suggestions, so you can better collaborate with coworkers or review your work. Let’s get started 👏.

Learn how to create an email like this by integrating Gmail and Google Docs

If you’ve been wondering how to create an email template on Gmail or if you think you need a designer, HTML, CSS, or an expensive email marketing tool like Mailchimp to create a great email, think again. I’m going to show you how to create an email like this, with nothing more than simple tables, alignment, and formatting.

An email outline, organized as a series of tables for layout
Learn how to create this email in Google Docs

Things to consider when creating emails with Google Docs

  • Beautiful doesn’t have to mean complicated. Stick to simple design principles like proper alignment, white space, and color (all of which we can do well in Google Docs).
  • Design in a way that easy to achieve by relying heavily on block layouts.
  • Maintain readability for all users by making sure your content looks good on small screens. Advanced responsive design requires other tools.

Three Steps to Creating Your Perfect Google Docs Email Template

Let’s review the steps of creating your email. Create a header, create the body and close with a footer. If you’ve been wondering how to decorate a Google Doc, you can apply the same principles as well.

For this process, it helps to think of your email as a stack of tables, each of which plays a key role in email design. This email can look anything you want, but we’ll demonstrate it with the following simple layout.

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The page setup screen in Google Docs with margins set to 0 and paper size set to legal

Before When you start, use the page setup to optimize the size and margin of your document.

It is better to set the page margins to 0 and create a large canvas with which to work. This is not a required step, but it will make it easier to create your email.

  1. Open the File menu and select ‘Page Setup’.
  2. Set each margin to 0
  3. Set the paper size to Legal
An email is being created in Google Docs with an image header

Step 1: Start your email with a header

We’ll use a table with one row and one column to serve as our email header. A couple of different layout options will work well for this step. You could:

  • Use a solid block of color to frame the email.
  • Use text combined with a small image (like your logo, for example).
  • Use a wide, well-cropped image (which is what we’ll demonstrate here).

If you don’t have a huge selection of images to work with, try one of the many great resources at line for free images like Unsplash.com.

The Google Docs table properties screen showing the necessary settings
This is what your email will look like at the end of step 1

Follow these instructions to complete step 1:

  1. Add a table with one row and one column
  2. Right-click to open ‘Table Properties’
  3. Set the column width to 5 inches
  4. Set the e l table border at 0 pt
  5. Set the ‘Cell Vertical Alignment’ to ‘ Middle’
  6. Set the ‘Table Alignment’ to ‘Center r’
  7. If you use a text header, we recommend adding a cell padding. Start with 0.15 but try different options to get the look right.
  8. Insert your image into the cell.
  9. If your image doesn’t crop correctly or if it didn’t automatically resize , use ‘Image Options’ to correct things.
An email is being created in Google Docs with an image header and body

Sizing for different devices: As you progress, keep testing your content on both mobile and desktop devices to ensure it is readable. An email designed for a desktop experience will not look the same on mobile devices. This demo uses a 5″ width for its tables. For an audience of primarily desktop, a width of 7 or even 8″ might be optimal. 5″ is a happy medium that works well on both, but your experience may vary depending on your content.

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Learn more about mail merge from YAMM in Google Docs

Step 2: Create Your Email Body With Content Containers

The next step is to create centered tables of contents with blank spaces on each side.

Two Content types work well with this layout and can be combined to suit your needs.

  1. Single column, which works best for displaying text.
  2. Two columns, which can be can be used to highlight important items one by one, each with an image. Column widths can vary, if you want them all to be the same or one slightly larger to accommodate different content.
A fully designed email created in Google Docs
This is what your email will look like at the end of step 2

Follow these instructions to complete step 2:

Single column table for content of text

  1. Add a table with one row and one column
  2. Set the column width to 4 inches
  3. For the remaining options , use the same table properties as before
  4. Optional: set cell padding to 0.15 for a more balanced look
  5. Add your text content

Multiple columns to display images along with other content

  1. Add Create a table with two columns and one row for each pair of images and content. In our example, we use 2 rows and 2 columns.
  2. Using the table properties, set the width of the first column to 1.5 with a cell padding of 0
  3. Set the width of the second column to 3.5 with cell padding of 0.15
  4. Add your images and text content.
  5. For images, use the Image options, try resize images to get the right look. In this demo, our icons are 1″ in size. This will center them in the 1.5″ column.
  6. For text, style appropriately with bold headings and links.
  7. Remember to check the vertical cell alignment to make sure everything is set to the middle.

Step 3 – Close your email with a clean footer

A screenshot Google Drive interface by opening a Word file
This is what your email will look like at the end of step 3

Follow these instructions to complete the Step 3:

Start with a Blocked Footer</p

To visually block the bottom of your email, a simple table can be used with 1 cell and 1 column with a solid color background. Alternatively, you can repeat the same steps from our header to include an image here.

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Add the necessary information to the bottom of your email

Continue adding any required text below the footer. To avoid distracting from your email, try small, focused text for details at the bottom of emails, such as an unsubscribe link, your business address, and links to customer service.

Useful resources to improve your email content


Other styling tips

Experiment with your fonts: try different combinations of font size, typeface and color, if you see something you like online or in another email, use the inspect element tool in your browser to find out what it is.

  • Plan for dark mode: A few simple tweaks to your email can ensure dark mode compatibility without too much work. Swap out white images or icons for colored ones or just add an outer glow with a tool like Pixlr or Photoshop. If you haven’t heard of dark mode and the challenges that come with it, you can read about it here.

Sending your email with Gmail

To create an email template email in Gmail and send our email, now we simply have to copy and paste the content of our Google Doc in Gmail. While this may sound “too easy”, in most circumstances email should transfer exactly how you want it to.

If you’re having trouble with this step, try adjusting the width of your tables, the padding and content size to ensure nothing is cut off or misaligned.

Bonus: Edit Your Existing Word Documents in Google Docs

Prefer to compose in Microsoft Word? Is your content already in Word? Try opening it with Google Docs before pasting it into Gmail, which can greatly reduce formatting issues.

Follow these simple steps:


  • Upload your document to Google Drive and select ‘Open with Google Docs’.
  • A .DOCX file opened in Google Docs
    1. Look for this .DOCX icon , which confirms you are working with a Word file and not a Google document.
    3 steps to create beautiful and engaging emails with Google Docs


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