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Mastering Responsive Email Design: Unlocking the Potential of MJML for Developers

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Challenges in Email Design/Development
  • MJML for the Rescue
  • How MJML Helps Tackle the Challenges
  • Different Ways to Use MJML
  • Example with Source Code
  • Conclusion


Email design and development can be a challenging task, especially considering the wide range of devices and email clients available today. To tackle this complexity, we implemented MJML in our company, a powerful tool that simplifies the creation of responsive and user-friendly email templates. In this blog post, we will explore the challenges we faced in email design and development, discuss what MJML is, and highlight how it has revolutionized our workflow.

Challenges in Email Design/Development

Email design and development present several hurdles that need to be overcome to ensure consistent rendering across various devices and email clients. The challenges we encountered include:

  1. Responsive Design: With the prevalence of mobile devices, ensuring that emails adapt to different screen sizes and orientations is crucial.

  2. Email Client Compatibility: Different email clients interpret HTML and CSS in unique ways, leading to inconsistencies in email rendering. This requires extensive testing and tweaking for each client.

  3. Complex HTML Structure: Traditional HTML for email often involves convoluted table nesting and inline CSS, making it difficult to maintain and update email templates.

MJML for the Rescue

MJML is a markup language specifically designed for creating responsive email templates. It was created to address the challenges of coding responsive email and simplify the development process. MJML abstracts the complexity of HTML and automatically generates responsive email code.

How MJML Helps Tackle the Challenges

MJML revolutionizes email design and development in the following ways:

  1. Semantic Syntax: MJML uses a semantic syntax that allows developers to build responsive emails easily and quickly. It provides high-level tags like <mj-section> and <mj-column>, eliminating the need for excessive table nesting.

  2. Responsive by Default: MJML ensures that email templates remain responsive regardless of changes in email client specifications. This reduces the need to constantly update and adapt templates for different devices.

  3. Extensible and Reusable Components: MJML supports reusable components, enabling the creation of higher-level components that can be easily plugged into email templates. This approach enhances productivity and streamlines the development process.

Different Ways to Use MJML

MJML can be used through various methods, including:

  1. Online Live Editor: MJML offers an online live editor where developers can experiment with the markup language, preview the output, and export the generated HTML. This is the simplest way to get started. But you will not be able to include other component files.

  2. Integrate with your IDE: Plugins are available for Visual Studio Code, Atom and Sublime Text and a desktop app is also available.

  3. Install NPM Package: You can install MJML on OSX, Linux and Windows using npm. MJML provides a command line interface that allows developers to compile MJML templates into HTML using the MJML engine.

Example with Source Code

To illustrate how MJML improves email design and development, let's take a look at the following example. The email template showcases the effective use of reusable components. It consists of a header component and a footer component, which are included in the main template.

<mj-section padding-bottom="25px" background-color="#0284c7" border-bottom="solid 1px #aaa">
  <mj-column vertical-align="middle">
    <mj-text align="center" font-size="24px" color="#fff" font-family="helvetica,Arial,sans-serif">
      Cloud App Architect
<mj-section padding-bottom="25px" background-color="#ddd" border-top="solid 1px #aaa">
  <mj-column vertical-align="middle">
    <mj-text align="center" font-size="12px" color="#000" font-family="helvetica,Arial,sans-serif">
      © 2023 • Cloud App Architect

    <mj-include path="../components/header.mjml" />

    <mj-section background-color="#efefef">
        <mj-text font-size="20px" color="#000" font-family="helvetica,Arial,sans-serif">
          ⚙️ Automate Env File Validation in Your Node.js Projects with Env Tools
        <mj-image border-radius="8px" src="" href="">
        <mj-text line-height="1.6" font-size="16px" color="#777" font-family="roboto,helvetica,Arial,sans-serif">
          Managing environment variables is a critical part of modern application development. With @nixup/env-tools, you can automate the validation of your env files, ensuring that all required variables are present and reducing the risk of runtime errors or unexpected behavior. By integrating this simple yet powerful tool into your project's build pipeline, you can catch missing or incorrect environment variables early, leading to more reliable and efficient software deployments.
        <mj-text line-height="1.6" font-size="16px" color="#777" font-family="roboto,helvetica,Arial,sans-serif">
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        <mj-button background-color="#0284c7" border-radius="8px" href="">

    <mj-include path="../components/footer.mjml" />


You can find the full source code of this project in the following github repository,

Once you clone the repository, follow the file instructions to convert the MJML template to HTML. Once you have the HTML file, you can use it with your email service provider.


Email design and development pose unique challenges that can be overcome with the help of MJML. By utilizing MJML's semantic syntax, responsive capabilities, and reusable components, we have been able to streamline our workflow and deliver consistent and visually appealing email templates. MJML has proven to be an indispensable tool in our arsenal, simplifying the complex process of creating responsive emails that render beautifully across multiple devices and email clients.