Best free tools for designing emailsNov 072020
There are many things you need to remember when designing an email template. And it’s quite easy to make a silly mistake. Luckily, you don’t have to rely only on your knowledge and skills alone. There are many tools available for free that can enhance your work. It’s just a smart idea to use whatever you have available in order to create better emails faster and easier.
We have collected a few exceptional examples of products that are available for free. They are divided into two categories. The first is focused on the design and graphical parts of making an email template. The second category is all about writing, text formatting, and proofreading.
Design with confidence
A great marketing email has to look pleasing to the reader’s eye. Text alone is likely to automatically disinterest a reader. It only takes a fraction of a second, according to some published research, for people to decide. Whether they’re interested in continuing to read or view an article or other forms of media. With that information in mind, you’re going to want to capture the reader’s attention immediately after opening. Right at the top. To help you do this, here is a list of some of free tools for designing emails for the savvy email marketer:
Canva - Over the years Canva, has become a true powerhouse when it comes to creating graphic content. And it goes far beyond emails. You can make social media images, brochures, display ads, and much more. There are countless templates for every category and they are mostly available to use for free. If you are in a hurry but want to still deliver the eye-catching design. You can do this with Canva within seconds. Some templates are actually so good that you only need to add your custom text and a logo. And you are set. It all works within the browser so no additional software is necessary. It’s really hard not to recommend it. Probably one of the best free tools for designing emails.
https://www.photopea.com/ - This is a little gem that deserves far more attention than it actually gets. Do you have experience using Photoshop? Like to work in this environment, but you don’t really work with graphic design often enough to justify paying the subscription fee for it? Well, Photopea might be just what you need. It looks like Photoshop and feels like Photoshop, but it’s free and available through your browser. It’s a great choice for people who need a familiar tool with big potential every now and again.
Hubspot Infographic Templates - This is a great package of free templates that you can load and modify the way you like. Designing a good looking infographic is a difficult task. Here, someone has done this for you already. The hardest part is done. Now you just need to add your data, custom colors, logo, some images and it’s done. Remember that just because you use a template. It doesn’t mean that your infographic will look the same as the next one. A few smart modifications can make it pop out from the crowd. Even a slight color change can do wonders here. Infographics are great for telling stories about your company or product. It’s a proven way to connect with your reader.
https://unsplash.com/ - If you are just starting your business. Have a small number of subscribers and the money is tight. It is really hard to find some extra budget to buy photos and images. Unless you write emails in plain text for a reason. A good photo can vastly improve the perception of an email you have designed. Take advantage of Unsplash and the huge library of free, high-quality images it provides. Among the many free stock photo hubs available, Unsplash is among the best. Mostly because they have raised the quality bar for the photos that make it to Unsplash from the very beginning.
Venngage - Not everyone is a designer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create beautiful and engaging emails. Venngage has already done the heavy lifting. So you can have an email ready to go out to your audience in minutes. Just edit one of their professionally-designed templates and use their drag-and-drop email maker to include your own content and visuals.
PicMonkey - If the email you’re sending is heavy on the images, then PicMonkey might be the tool you’ll need. This is a very useful Chrome extension for editing images almost instantly. It has a feel of a smartphone picture editor that everyone can easily handle. Not exactly free, but available in the trial version. It gives you more options when it comes to photo editing and applying various ready-made filters.
Pixlr - Apply a quick fix or add a personal touch to your images with creative effects, overlays, and borders. Pixlr is intended for non-professionals, however, the apps range from simple to advanced photo editing. A big advantage of Pixlr, comparing it to similar tools available, is that although it’s tremendously overloaded with advanced features, it still works at lightning speed. Just try it out. Click on the link, and after one more click (choosing the normal version or pro), you will already be inside the editor. Ready to do business. It’s that fast.
Giphy & Memegenerator - GIFs can make a huge difference. This format is on the rise again. Thanks to the domination of smartphones and messaging apps that got people used to sending and receiving those short animated clips. On Giphy, you will find a large library of nearly every single GIF that has ever existed. But you can upload your own if needed. Memegenerator can also be a surprisingly useful tool. Not only can you use preexisting memes but to let your imagination go for a ride and create something unique for your brand or industry that the customers can relate to.
Lumen5 - this is a great tool for creating quick videos that could be used not only in emails but also in social media and on other channels. It does this automatically by analyzing the text through AI and putting the best music, video, and images together accordingly. And, it is one of the very few tools for videos on the market that actually has a free option available.
Improve your text design and writing
The most important part of a good email is the message you try to get delivered. Especially now, when everyone seems to be constantly in a rush and have so little time for anything. The average attention span is getting shorter year after year. This makes your job more difficult. And I didn’t even mention the fact that your email competes with all those other messages that wait in the recipient’s inbox. That’s why you need to keep it simple, short, and easy to understand. Writing a short message is far more difficult than a long one.
It’s a good idea to first write what you actually want to say. And after that read your own text and delete everything that is not essential or doesn’t provide any additional value. Once you are done. Read that text again and repeat the whole process until there is literally nothing else to delete. There are many additional tools that help with writing and proofreading, etc. We mention them here. That’s why we decided to not repeat ourselves and list other free tools for designing email templates that will help you write catchy, interesting, and short emails.
WhatFont - This is a Chrome extension that is useful in determining what font is best to use. How can this help you design interesting emails? It’s simple. Usually, we don’t know what is nice until we see it. If you have received an exceptional email with a stunning look with an easy to read font, now you can use WhatFont to quickly find out everything about the font used there. Now, you can use the same one.
Google Docs - Each year, Google Docs gets better and better. It’s fast, reliable and saves your work immediately after you write or delete anything. It also keeps track of the previous version of the document. So you can come back to the text that was saved prior to some changes you aren't happy about. It also checks some basic spelling and grammar. This is a very good tool to use.
Especially when there is more than one person working on the same document. The collaboration works like a dream here. You can write in the same document simultaneously. Your proofreader can switch into suggestion mode so you can see all changes he or she sees as necessary. Everyone can add a comment to a specific part of the document. It’s also comfortable for remote work. When you don’t have to add a file as an attachment, but simply share the document via a link sent with an email. And it’s as free as you can get.
Using English - This website provides a collection of English as a Second Language (ESL) tools & resources for students, teachers, learners and academics. This is very helpful for those using English as their second language. It is very common to write in English as it seems to be one of the most universal languages, especially for business. So you can only benefit from learning more about it and become more proficient at using English. This will benefit you in the long run, not only when writing an email.
Copywriting 101: An Introduction to Copywriting - This starts off as a tutorial then gets you on your way to writing effective copy and catchy headlines. It’s free and a good source of knowledge that usually costs a lot to get hands-on.
https://www.powerthesaurus.org - Have you ever had the feeling that you overused one specific word throughout the whole text? Want to make it different, more diverse? Try to include various words which are similar in meaning, but add a different vibe and make the whole text more unique. Power Thesaurus is super fast, easy to use, and provides a really big list of options to choose from. This tool is highly recommended.
https://www.academia.edu/ and https://www.researchgate.net - If you write some specific content and want to provide your recipients with valuable knowledge. Make sure that you use the proper sources. It’s best to start with scientific papers. As they are really serious when it comes to solid research and checking everything thoroughly. They are also not biased by the interest of the company owning some business blog that may try to prove it’s a point more than doing fact-checking and seeing if they are actually right. It’s worth including reliable sources in your emails. Your readers will thank you for that!
Anna is working as a Content Manager in Elastic Email. An email marketing enthusiast with a millennial approach. She's either writing, buying plants or avoiding social interactions.