Updated August 30, 2020

As the editor-in-chief of I CARE IF YOU LISTEN, I receive a lot of emails from a lot of musicians. And that’s great.

I notice that a lot of them use MailChimp’s Forever Free plan (up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails a month), and that’s great too.

What I also notice, though, is that a lot of them don’t take the time and effort to customize their templates.

A default drag-and-drop one column template looks like this:

MailChimp: Drag-and-drop one column template

MailChimp: Drag-and-drop one column template

And this is usually what an average email that I receive looks like. Here is why that’s not great.

Color is branding

Color is an important element of one’s branding. It says a lot about what your values are, and is even perceived before shapes. It is not surprising to see that brands issue guidelines about the use of their colors (see Google, Twitter, or Facebook).

Not substituting MailChimp’s default blue for links (#2baadf—the hexadecimal code) is a missed opportunity to let your readers know who this email is coming from, or at least to reinforce your brand.

I’m focusing on the link color because it should be the most prominent, the one contrasting the most with the primary color of your palette. I’m sharing some great palette picker tools at the end of this post.

[contextly_sidebar id=”gMZNb497x4ou0AmNJq15pbTaQmdt29ha”]

How to change this

Depending on the template you’re using, this default link color will appear in different areas. Look for:

  • Style > Header > Header link
  • Style > Body > Body link


Preheader and footer links might be a shade of grey and I think that’s OK. These are secondary areas in your template that don’t deserve as much attention as the body of your email.

Save your template and reuse it for your future campaigns. You should only have to do this once.

Some sweet color palette generators

Here are two tools that I often use to come up with color palette/schemes for digital projects.


I love the ability to type hex codes, lock colors, and hit the spacebar to generate additional colors. A typical Coolors scheme includes 5 colors, but it doesn’t mean that you have to use all of them in your project/branding (actually, you probably shouldn’t). Nice addition: the $5 Adobe add-on.

Color Hunt

A fun, social way to discover some popular color schemes. No way to save your own, though. Nice addition: a Chrome extension that will feature a different scheme in each new tab you open.

There is more to branding

Of course, there is more than color to branding and I plan on talking about other aspects and how they can be reflected in MailChimp in future blog posts.

About Thomas Deneuville

Thomas lives in Freeville, NY with his wife and two sons, where he reads, codes, and plays the bagpipe.