How Custom Layouts Work In Gmail Emails

Google continues to add functions to Gmail, and some of these are designed specifically as work tools for professionals and small businesses, with the possibility of sending marketing emails or newsletters.

So with the launch of the new Workspace Individual account last year, the Mountain View house introduced the ability to customize email layouts with templates, perfect for professional-looking newsletters, with your own logo, colors, and links . . So let’s see what Gmail layouts are and how they work in 2022, who they are for and how to best use them, as well as some third-party alternatives.


  • Who are Gmail custom layouts reserved for?
  • What are Gmail custom layouts
  • How Gmail custom layouts work
    • How to use a layout
    • How to customize a layout
    • Change the default style
    • How to change the layout style
  • The alternatives to create custom layouts

Who are Gmail custom layouts reserved for?

Before starting to describe the custom layouts, it is good to reiterate immediately that they are not intended for ordinary users, that is, those who use Gmail for free and, from 2021 also some Google Workspace services.

But the announcement a year ago also decreed a novelty perhaps little publicized but important for Google services, the new Google Workspace Individual plan reserved for professionals and small businesses. The plan offers premium services such as

  • longer video calls, with the possibility of recording and noise filtering
  • scheduling appointments with Calendar
  • marketing emails with customized layouts (subject of this article) and the possibility of multiple sending

As you can imagine, the new plan costs 8.99 dollars per month which becomes 7.50 with annual billing, but Google offers the possibility to try it with a free trial period of 14 days. In case you are interested, all you have to do is go to this address and click on the blue Get Started button. You will be asked to log in with your Google account (in case you have not already done so) and you will have to confirm that you want to start the trial.

However, the Workspace Individual plan isn’t the only way to customize the layout of your emails. Since August of this year, Google has in fact extended the function to other paid plans, excluding only the cheaper Business Starter from 5.20 dollars per month. Here is the list of Google Workspace plans that allow you to use customizable layouts :

  • Workspace Individual
  • Business Standard
  • Business Plus
  • Enterprise Starter
  • Enterprise Standard
  • Enterprise Plus
  • Education Standard
  • Education Plus

Google warns that if you don’t see the feature, you may need to contact the Google Workspace administrator.

What are Gmail custom layouts

Now that we’ve clarified what Gmail custom layouts are for, let’s see what they are. Do you need to create a newsletter, ad, or another marketing message with your company branding? Customizable layouts meet this need.

With one click you have access to several predefined templates that will make your emails professional and unique.

Not only that, but thanks to the numerous customization possibilities, you can add logos ( like creating a logo for free ) and adjust formatting such as colors, fonts, and images to make the email uniform with the style of your brand.

Sounds great, right? So let’s see how to make the most of this function.

How Gmail custom layouts work

But how do Gmail custom layouts work? Using them is very simple, here are the steps to follow.

How to use a layout

  1. Start the browser of your choice on your computer and go to the Gmail page
  2. Create a new message by clicking on the Write button at the top left
  3. At the bottom of the window, in the last positions on the right, you will see an icon in the shape of a split box, it is the button to access Layout
  4. The first time you use the function, you will be shown a short description. Click on Customize the style. From now on, to access the models, just click on the icon
Browse Layouts
Browse Layouts

How to customize a layout

Now a window will open with a selection of templates and by moving the cursor over each one, you will be shown the usage.

If you select it, a preview will appear on the right, giving you an immediate idea of ​​what the email will look like. Here are the different types of models, each also available in an inverted color version.

  • Call to Action
  • Simple text
  • Announcement
  • Newsletter
  • New service 
  • Referrals

At the bottom, you will see a small writingDefault style. If you want more control, click on it.

Select a layout
Select a layout

Change the default style

You can customize the layout by changing:

  • Logos
  • Colors
  • Characters
  • Images
  • Footer details
  • Link

Logos, colors, and fonts can be changed from the same tab. Upload your logo to use as a header for the templates, select a color palette and choose the font you prefer.

Edit layout preferences
Edit layout preferences

To include your company name and contact information in the footer, select the Footer Details item and use the text editor to enter and format the text. Finally, select Links to include links to an email addresswebsite, or social network.

Select the Choose drop-down box for the type of link and add the address in the box to the right.

Select the Choose drop-down box
Select the Choose drop-down box

Once finished, click Save Changes. Note that style changes only affect the new email layout.

How to change the layout style

At this point, you are back to the templates page. Choose one and click the blue Insert button, which will insert a layout into the body of the email to customize. At this point, you can enter the details to create your custom design, such as adding text, swapping images, editing the header, removing sections, and adding links to buttons. Note that the options available vary depending on the model you choose.

How to change the layout style
How to change the layout style

Let’s see how to carry out the various operations.

To insert text, select the placeholder text and type your own.

To edit an image or header:

  1. Select the image to view options
  2. Click Change Image
  3. Select your image and upload it
  4. Click on Next
  5. Trim the image according to your needs.
  6. Click on Insert.

You’ll also see options like Add LinkEdit Alt Text, and Remove Section for images and header.

Google always recommends that you include alt text, in case an image doesn’t appear. Alt text also allows people to use a screen reader to better understand your brand.

Change Image
Change Image

If you include buttons, Google recommends that you make sure you set up a link that links them to your site, blog, subscription form, or email address. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Select a button
  2. Click on Change
  3. Choose the type of link in the pop-up window
  4. Add the link 
  5. Click  OK
Set up a link
Set up a link

To remove any element, such as an image, section, or button, select it and select Remove SectionRemove Button, or Remove Header.

Once finished, send the email with the Send button. As you’ve seen, Gmail’s custom layouts let you create professional-looking emails effortlessly and in minutes.

The alternatives to create custom layouts

But what if we can’t or don’t intend to subscribe to one of Google’s paid plans? Fortunately, there are third-party (free) alternatives.

Let’s find out what they are.

Add custom layouts to emails with CloudHQ

One of the most used alternatives to insert custom email layouts for Gmail is a CloudHQ extension. Compatible with Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge, the service offers more than 1,000 templates to choose from and offers two plans:

  • Basic one, free for individuals, with a limit of 3 emails per month
  • Premium one, which allows you to have unlimited emails, the ability to share models within a team, and access customer support, and costs $ 9.99 a month.

To use it:

  1. Install the Gmail Email Templates by cloudHQ extension in the browser store
  2. Sign up for an account with CloudHQ
  3. Switch to Gmail on the web
  4. Click Write to see a new insert template icon just to the right of the Submit button (it looks like a blue document ).
  5. Then you will be shown all the models to choose from. You can use the drop-down menu at the top to select a specific category of layout (such as Invitations ), and if you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can use a search box. 
  6. Click on any template to drop it into the new message and start customizing it
  7. Click on the texts to insert your own
  8. Use the formatting options to change the font and size of the text and add bold or italic letters
  9. If your chosen layout includes buttons, you can click on them to change their appearance and set the link.
  10. Select any image in the template to change it to the one of your choice via the Upload Image button
  11. When done, click Close Editor and send the message

How to personalize emails with Stripo

Stripo is also a widely used tool for creating personalized emails, compatible with several clients including Gmail.

Stripo works by drag-and-drop in the browser, meaning you simply drag and drop the elements you want to include in the email and customize them as you wish. 

Pricing ranges from free to premium from $ 95 per month, with the free plan limited to a single user, a template limitation, and up to 4 layouts per month.

To use it:

  1. Go to the Stripo website from your browser
  2. Register and choose a plan
  3. You can create the layouts from scratch or choose from one of the more than 1,200 templates provided by Stripo, via the search function, by category, sectorseason, or by their characteristics.
  4. When you find a template you like, you can edit it in your browser, with a number of formatting and customization options available to include elements like social buttons and animated GIFs.
  5. Once you’ve prepared an email layout you like, save it and export it so it’s ready to use in Gmail.
  6. With a model open, click Export at the top
  7. Select Gmail
  8. Enter your Google credentials
  9. The layout will appear as a draft in your Gmail account, and you’ll be able to use the platform’s built-in tools to make other basic changes (like formatting, for example) before sending it.

Read more about How Gmail Confidential Mode Works

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Abram left his e-business studies to devote himself to his entrepreneurial projects. In 2017, he created the company Inbound Media and wrote articles about high-tech products for his Chromebookeur site. In 2019, Chromebookeur was renamed Macbound and became a general purchasing advice site. Today, Abram manages the development and growth of Macbound, surrounded by a young and talented team.

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