A responsive email framework is a set of pre-designed templates, tools, and guidelines that help create emails that automatically adjust and look good on different devices and screen sizes. In simpler terms, it’s like a kit that makes it easier to create emails that look great on any device, whether it’s a computer, tablet, or smartphone.
To give you a better understanding, let’s break down the concept of a responsive email framework into simpler components.
- Responsive design: When we say an email is responsive, it means that the email’s layout and design elements automatically adapt to fit the screen size and orientation of the device it’s being viewed on. This ensures that the email looks good and is easy to read, no matter which device is being used.
- Email framework: A framework is essentially a pre-built structure or blueprint that helps you create something more easily and consistently. In the context of a responsive email framework, it’s a set of pre-defined layouts, design elements, and code snippets that allow you to quickly create responsive emails without having to start from scratch.
This article is focused on the currently most popular frameworks for this particular use case. There have been many such frameworks over the years, but very few have kept up with the times to implement features such as accessibility and adapt to the latest HTML5 standards.
Foundation for Emails
Foundation for Emails, formerly known as Ink, is an open-source framework for creating responsive HTML emails that work on any device size. It was created by ZURB, a product design company known for creating tools that help businesses design and develop better products, websites and services.
With Foundation for Emails, you can quickly create beautiful responsive HTML emails that are optimized for different devices without worrying about coding from scratch. It provides you with pre-designed templates and snippets to make the process even quicker.
Key Features ⚙️
1. Responsive Design
Foundation for Emails allows easy creation of responsive designs that adapt to different screen sizes for seamless user experience.
2. Customizable Templates
It comes with customizable HTML email templates that can be quickly modified to match your branding without starting from scratch.
3. Pre-built Components
The framework comes packed with pre-built components such as menus, call-to-action buttons, social media links and more making it faster to create professional-looking emails.
4. Modular Design
The modular architecture of Foundation for Emails enables developers to reuse code snippets across different projects easily.
Accessibility is an essential feature in any software product or web application; with Foundation for Emails, accessibility is taken into account, making it easier to create emails that everyone can read and comprehend.
6. Ease of Use
Foundation for Emails is easy to use, even for beginners, and requires minimal coding experience.
- Provides an intuitive drag-and-drop UI that helps users create responsive emails quickly.
- It’s open-source, which means it’s free to use and modify.
- Comes with pre-designed templates and components that can be customized to match your branding.
- Responsive design ensures that your email adapts to different screen sizes seamlessly.
- Modular architecture enables developers to reuse code snippets across different projects easily.
- Accessibility is taken into account while designing the email templates.
- Limited design options compared to other email frameworks.
- The framework has a steeper learning curve compared to other email frameworks due to its modular approach.
As an email marketer or developer, there are numerous practical applications of using Foundation for Emails, including:
- Creation of Responsive Emails. With Foundation for Emails, you can create responsive HTML emails that look great across all devices without spending too much time coding from scratch.
- Creation of Customized Templates. The framework comes with customizable templates that can be easily modified to match your branding without starting from scratch.
- Ease of Use. Foundation for Emails is user-friendly, making it easy even for beginners with minimal coding experience.
- Accessibility. With accessibility in mind while designing the email templates, you can create emails that are readable by everyone regardless of their device or disability.
When looking for a responsive email framework, there are various options available in the market. Some popular ones include:
- Bootstrap Email
Compared to Bootstrap Email, which offers more design options, Foundation for Emails is more accessible and easier to use. MJML, on the other hand, provides a more extensive set of components and templates, making it easier to create emails quickly. Lastly, compared to Antwort, which is quite similar in terms of design features and ease of use, Foundation for Emails has better documentation and a larger community support.
While Foundation for Emails may not offer as many design options as some of its competitors, it more than makes up for it with ease of use and accessibility considerations. Overall, we highly recommend this framework for anyone looking to create beautiful responsive HTML emails quickly and easily!
MJML stands for “Mailjet Markup Language.” It’s an open-source framework that allows developers and designers to create responsive emails quickly and easily. MJML provides a set of pre-designed components that can be customized, making it easy for users to create beautiful emails without much coding knowledge.
Some key features of MJML include:
- Easy to use: MJML has a simplified syntax that makes it easy for anyone to create responsive emails.
- Pre-designed components: With a variety of pre-designed components, users can quickly create emails without having to design everything from scratch.
- Responsive design: Emails created with MJML are optimized for all types of devices, including desktops, tablets, and mobile phones.
- Customization options: While pre-designed components are readily available, users can still tailor them according to their brand guidelines or preferences.
- Compatibility: Emails created using MJML are compatible with all major email clients such as Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Apple Mail, Outlook, etc.
- The syntax used in MJML is simple enough for anyone to grasp even without technical knowledge.
- With pre-designed components available in the library, users can quickly put together an email in less time than starting from scratch.
- By nature of its design principles being based on responsiveness across all platforms and devices as standard means you don’t need to worry about how your email will look on different devices, it will always look great.
- MJML is compatible with all major email clients, which ensures that emails created using MJML will work across all platforms.
- While users can customize pre-designed components, there are limitations on the extent of customization allowed. This can be an issue for those who need more control over their designs.
- Though MJML is easy to use overall, it still has a bit of a learning curve for beginners who want to create something that doesn’t fit perfectly within the pre-designed components.
- Compared to other frameworks, the development community supporting it is still relatively small, which may limit the level of support and resources available.
MJML can be used in various scenarios such as newsletters, transactional emails, and promotional campaigns. The framework comes with a variety of pre-designed templates and customizable components that can help users create professional-looking emails in no time. Thus it is ideal for businesses that want to save time without sacrificing quality while creating newsletters or promotions.
MJML is an excellent option for anyone looking to create responsive emails quickly and efficiently. Its simplified syntax and pre-designed components make it easy for anyone to create professional-looking emails within minutes.
Cerberus is an open-source email framework created by Ted Goas. The framework boasts of being lightweight and straightforward to use, making it ideal for those who want to create responsive emails without spending too much time coding or struggling with complex features.
Key Features ⚙️
Cerberus has several key features that make it stand out from other responsive email frameworks:
- Responsive: Cerberus allows you to create emails that look great on all devices, from desktops to tablets and smartphones.
- Modular: The framework is made up of individual modules that you can mix and match to create customized email layouts.
- Easy-to-use: With Cerberus, you don’t need to have extensive knowledge of HTML or CSS to create beautiful and functional emails.
- Browser compatibility: Cerberus works seamlessly across all major browsers, ensuring your emails will be accessible by a broad audience.
- You don’t need advanced coding skills to create beautiful responsive emails using this framework.
- The modular design allows for flexibility in creating custom templates.
- The framework’s small size ensures faster load times for your recipients.
- It’s open-source software available for anyone to use at no cost.
- Limited support for interactive elements such as forms
- Not as customizable as some other frameworks
- Lacks advanced features such as pre-built templates
Cerberus is suitable for a wide range of email marketing applications, including:
- Promotional emails
- Transactional emails
- Signup forms
Comparison with Other Frameworks
Compared to other email frameworks, Cerberus stands out in its simplicity and ease of use. The framework is lightweight, making it ideal for those who want to create responsive emails quickly. However, Cerberus may not be the best option if you need more advanced features or if you require more customization options.
When compared with other frameworks such as Foundation for Emails and MJML, Cerberus lacks some advanced features and pre-built templates. Still, it makes up for this with its easy-to-use modular design that allows users to create custom templates easily.
In conclusion, Cerberus is an excellent option for those who need a straightforward and easy-to-use email framework to create responsive emails. Its modular design makes customization simple and straightforward, while its lightweight nature ensures faster load times for your recipients.
Antwort is an open-source, responsive email framework that offers a modular structure for designing customizable and mobile-friendly emails. It was created to provide developers with a simple, easy-to-use framework for building responsive emails that look great on any device.
Key Features ⚙️
- Open-source: The framework is free to use and can be customized as per individual needs.
- Modular design: The modular design allows developers to pick and choose specific components to build their email templates.
- Mobile-friendly: Emails built with Antwort are optimized for all devices, from desktops to mobile phones.
- Cross-client compatibility: The framework is tested on multiple email clients such as Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo Mail, etc., ensuring maximum compatibility on different platforms.
- Accessibility compliance: It follows accessibility guidelines ensuring that people with disabilities can access and read your email content.
- The modular structure allows developers to create custom designs according to their requirements.
- The framework is tested on various email clients; hence it ensures maximum compatibility on different platforms.
- Being open-source allows developers to contribute code changes or bug fixes making it more reliable over time.
- Accessibility compliance ensures that individuals with disabilities can access the content of your emails.
- Not beginner-friendly – beginners in web development may find it hard to use at first glance
- Limited functionality – compared to other frameworks, it offers fewer functionalities to work with.
Antwort is best suited for developers looking to build responsive emails that are mobile-friendly, accessible and compatible across email clients. This framework is a great fit for businesses that rely heavily on email marketing as part of their marketing strategy.
Bootstrap Email is a framework based on Bootstrap 5 that allows you to create responsive HTML emails quickly. It provides several pre-designed templates and components that can be customized to fit your brand’s look and feel. The framework also includes email testing tools to ensure that your emails look great across different devices and email clients.
Key Features ⚙️
- Based on Bootstrap 5: Bootstrap Email leverages the popular CSS framework, providing a solid foundation for creating responsive emails.
- Pre-designed templates: Bootstrap Email comes with several pre-designed templates that can be easily customized for your needs.
- Customizable components: The framework includes various components such as buttons, images, typography, and more that can be customized using CSS styles or predefined classes.
- Responsive design: All templates and components are designed to be responsive, ensuring that your emails look great on any device.
- Testing tools: The framework includes testing tools powered by Litmus to ensure that your emails render correctly across different email clients.
- Bootstrap Email provides an intuitive way to customize templates and components using CSS styles or predefined classes.
- All templates and components are designed with responsiveness in mind, ensuring that your emails look great on any device.
- The included testing tools help ensure that your emails render correctly across different email clients.
- While the pre-designed templates and components provide a good starting point for creating emails quickly, they may not provide enough flexibility for more complex designs.
- While Bootstrap Email is relatively easy to use, it still requires some knowledge of HTML, CSS, and the Bootstrap framework.
Bootstrap Email is one of the top responsive email frameworks. Here is a brief comparison of some of the other popular frameworks:
- Foundation for Emails: Provides a lot more flexibility in terms of design but has a steeper learning curve.
- MJML: Offers a drag-and-drop interface that makes it easy to create custom emails quickly but may not be suitable for all businesses.
- Cerberus: A lightweight framework that provides good support for email clients but may not provide enough design options for some businesses.
While Bootstrap Email may not offer as much flexibility as some other frameworks, it provides a good balance between ease of use and customization options. Overall, it’s definitely worth considering as part of your email marketing strategy.
HEML is an open-source markup language for building responsive HTML email templates. It was created by SparkPost, a leading provider of email infrastructure and delivery services. HEML was designed to make creating responsive emails easier and more accessible for developers and marketers alike.
Key Features ⚙️
HEML comes with several key features that make it a popular choice among email marketers:
Easy to Learn
One of the standout features of HEML is its easy-to-learn syntax. Even if you have never worked with HTML before, you can quickly get up to speed with HEML’s straightforward markup language.
HEML templates are fully responsive by default, meaning they will look great on any device or screen size. This saves developers time and ensures a consistent user experience across devices.
HEML uses modular design principles, allowing you to reuse code blocks across different templates easily. This makes it easy to maintain consistency across your email campaigns while saving time on development.
HEML templates are compatible with all major email clients, including Gmail, Apple Mail, Outlook, and more. This ensures that your emails will display correctly regardless of which client your subscribers use.
Like any tool, HEML has its pros and cons:
- Easy-to-learn syntax
- Fully responsive design
- Modular design for easy code reuse
- Compatibility with all major email clients
- Limited design options compared to other frameworks
- Limited community support compared to more established frameworks like Foundation for Emails and MJML
Overall, the pros of HEML outweigh the cons, making it an excellent choice for businesses looking to create responsive emails quickly.