I’ve often coded emails for different clients and employers, but I’ve been writing HTML since the mid-'90s. Email requires very simple HTML since there are so many email clients that don’t do a good job of interpreting HTML5 or most any version of CSS. This might seem to make coding HTML emails relatively easy. However, you’ll need to write code the degrades gracefully for less modern email clients, which makes it difficult to do without knowing HTML/CSS inside and out.
Because of this and because you’re not a coder, I’d definitely suggest that you not attempt to design HTML emails yourself. MailChip and other similar companies are in the business of making it easy for their customers to design their emails by modifying their pre-made templates. I’d suggest going this route.
There’s something very much wrong with this. A great many companies, individuals, and email clients don’t automatically display images. A pieced-together, image-based email won’t even be seen by a significant number of recipients. The email will also stand a good chance of landing up directly in recipients’ junk mailboxes. Definitely don’t do this.
Again, sign up with a service like MailChimp and just modify one of their prebuilt templates.
They do it through their knowledge of HTML/CSS and, as I mentioned, writing code in a way that gracefully degrades for browsers incapable of interpreting it.
Again, don’t try it if you don’t know how — modify a prebuilt email service template instead.
For what it’s worth, even though I have designed and coded my own emails, I still recommend clients sending those emails through professional email services because these services make it so easy to do.
They also provide many useful features, like tracking open rates, unsubscribe and subscribe features, A/B testing, click analysis, spam identification pitfalls, scheduling and about a dozen other things you just won’t get through sending them out via one’s on email address. The last thing you’d want to happen is for your personal email or a client’s email to be flagged and blacklisted as a spam originator.