The Best Free Mailchimp Templates for Newsletters

December 2, 2020

Mailchimp is by far the most popular email marketing platform used by news sites and other online communities. In fact, in our recent review of 100 independent local news sites, Mailchimp was used by almost 2 / 3 of all sites that had email newsletters.

One of the reasons Mailchimp is so popular is it makes it very easy to get started sending emails for free – but it can be challenging to make your voice stand out from the crowd with the basic email templates offered by the platform.

Thankfully Mailchimp gives you the ability to create your own email templates and import custom templates that others have coded in html. There are lots of custom Mailchimp email templates out there, but many of these are more suited to an ecommerce business or a design agency. As a news site, or anyone else looking for a simple newsletter email template with a clean and interesting design, you can easily get overwhelmed by all of the templates that don’t quite work for your emails.

That’s why we decided to create our own email newsletter template that is made especially for sharing news. Our Mailchimp compatible email template is fully responsive and has a simple design focused on getting your newsletter content out to your readers in a clean and engaging way.

Epilocal Free Mailchimp Template

(By the way, we created our free Mailchimp email template as part of our Email Blueprint package that gives you step-by-step help building your business around email and newsletters, so be sure to check that out as well.)

Apart from our own email template, we like to look at custom email templates made by others to get inspiration and to mix and match some of the best design elements. We’ve gathered for you a collection of the best free Mailchimp email templates that we could find that we think have good design elements you could be using in your email newsletters. They won’t have everything you need in one template, so you’ll have to throw some things away but they are a great place to start and to get some inspiration.

All of the email templates are responsive and can be easily uploaded into the Mailchimp editor so you can replace photos and content with your own without editing the email html.

Scroll through and see what we like about each email template and think about how you could make use of some of their components in your own email newsletters.

1. Newsletter by Pook

What we like about it:

It’s not a complete email template out of the box, but everything is useable here. It has a nice clean header that you can replace with your own background image and it has a simple list of stories with images and descriptions. Needs a bit more more added to it, but not a bad responsive design to start your email newsletter from.

Newsletter by Pook Template

2. Lamda by MailBakery

What we like about it:

This email template has an artistic header and footer that has big potential if you’ve got a creative streak for your email branding. Great sections for individual story links and upcoming events. Might be tough to make your own without getting into the email html, but for a free template it has a lot of potential.

Lambda by MailBakery Template

3. Newsletter by Zurb

What we like about it:

Classic newsletter look giving you most of the design elements you need out of the box for your emails: header with a space for your logo, a hero image and story, and a list of several stories with thumbnail images. This email template might not have the most modern looking design, but it has a lot you can work with in the Mailchimp editor right out of the box.

Newsletter by Zurb Template

4. Summer by MailNinja

What we like about it:

This email template is geared more towards an ecommerce business, but if you skip over the e-shop section and scroll down to the stories you will find some nice components you can be using in your emails – it has a nice long-form story with picture section as well as a good way to present two stories side by side. It also has an interesting section to present the picture and bio of an author or your editor.

Summer by MailNinja Template

5. Valentine’s Day by Pixelbuddha

What we like about it:

Nice header that you can replace with your own picture if you use a background photo in your branding. We also like the way this email template displays stories with alternating photos in a grid layout, good for anyone using lots of curated posts in their emails. Replace the Happy Valentine’s Day with your own call to action for subscriptions or donations.

Valentine's Day by PixelBuddha Template

6. Shop Session by MailBakery

What we like about it:

This email template is another that is more geared towards an ecommerce business, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be using any of its elements in your email newsletter. It has a clean header and footer that give this free email template a great minimal branding. Replace the shop now button in the top block and you have a nice container for a big story. The Coupon section makes a nice call-to-action for subscribers or for donations.

Shop Session by MailBakery Template

7. Stories by ColorLib

What we like about it:

Simple and clean header and grid for displaying multiple stories at once in your email. This email template needs a lot of work to personalize it, but it has a couple of nice components you can use in your newsletter.

Stories by ColorLib Template

8. Local News by Epilocal


As you’ve seen, even with the best free Mailchimp templates we’ve found around the web, they’re not going to give you everything you need right away in 1 email template, and in many cases you will have to modify some html yourself. That’s why we created our own email template designed specifically for news sites and easily modifiable in the Mailchimp editor.

It has an intro note from the editor followed by a large attention-grabbing image. After that it is followed by a space for a big story and then a round-up of smaller stories with alternating images. Then there is a section for upcoming events with a closing note from the editor and a button to encourage donations. Just drop in your own text and images in the Mailchimp editor and you are ready to get started right away!

Local News by Epilocal Template

Get designing

We hope you’ve been inspired by this collection of free Mailchimp email templates. As always, we want to give you hands-on tips that you can use right away and improve your newsletters – let us know any other templates or tool that you’ve found useful and we can share with others.

Want more email marketing tips for small publishers?

We are planning additional content coming soon so be sure to subscribe to our mailing list.