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

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.


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 promotional email using the master template

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 promotional email for The Mandalorian TV show using the master template

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 sales promotion email using a slight variation of the master template

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.

Design document for the email including the links to the website, text, and specific Hex colour codes for the email design example

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.

The create a custom design box on Canva, 900 by 900 pixels

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 menu search tab, search for square gradient

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

Gradient added to the design page

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

Colour options panel

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

Design panel showing how the gradient colours have changed to maroon and black, as well as the gradient being rotated 90 degrees

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

Inserting a picture from a folder into Canva

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

Image of shoes being added to Canva

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’.

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’.

Design page after inserting “back in stock” text and making adjustments

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.

Building the Email in Klaviyo

Within Klaviyo, click on “Select Template”.

“How would you like to design your email?” menu in Klaviyo, cursor selecting “Select Template” option.

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.

Klayivo basic template options, selecting the 1 Column option

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

Klayivo email building webpage, Header / Link Bar menu, blank

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

Example ‘Jump Shot’ logo placed into header of email design

Using the Klayivo 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.

Header with a transparent background, and adjusted navigation buttons for the example design

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.

Header / Link Bar menu in Klaviyo, with the URLs correctly linking buttons to corresponding website locations

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.

Browse for Image menu in Klayivo, uploading hero image designed in Canva

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.

Image block menu for hero image with alt-text

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.

Image Block menu for hero image with the back-in-stock call to action link added

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

Email design page with blank text block added below the hero image

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.

Text Block menu, right-click dropdown menu selecting ‘Paste and Match Style’ to insert text into blank text area

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.

Email design showing the adjustments made

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

Email design page with a new button added below the text 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.

Button Block menu with button text and link URL matching our design document

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. 

Email design with changes to the button made

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

Email design page with blank text block added below the button

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

Email design page with the footer styling adjusted

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.

Email design with a horizontal line added between the button and the footer

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.

If you enjoyed this tutorial, you might enjoy the other tutorials on our YouTube channel or blog. Please press the ‘Subscribe’ button on our YouTube channel if you want to be notified when we make new tutorials.

Good luck, and we look forward to seeing what you make.


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.