Summer is the perfect time to think of ways to refresh your email marketing strategy and gear up for a busy fall. So, set aside some time to regroup and recharge your emails with these email design tools.
We’ve rounded up 21 design tools and resources (organized by categories) as a guide to strengthen your visuals and make your email campaigns more interesting. You’re sure to find something that will make your emails pop!
Font, Icon, and Stock Photo Tools | Photo Editing and Design Tools | GIF and Meme Tools
Prototyping and Video Tools | Chart, Graph, and Survey Tools
Font, Icon, and Stock Photo Tools
WhatFont is one of the email design tools that we use all the time on the blog. It’s a Chrome extension that allows users to hover a cursor over a web font to see the name that pops up. This is a great way to see the fonts that brands are using, and it only takes seconds to find out the name when you stumble upon great text on a page.
2. The Noun Project
Browse an enormous library of icons on The Noun Project. Just like a photo library, the site is searchable by keyword and contains thousands of images. Most are available as a free download if you give credit—or you can bypass giving credit by paying a small royalty fee, typically $1.99. Unlimited memberships are also available for $9.99/month.
For an extensive library of free stock photos, try Pexels. Images are searchable by keyword, popular images, and top photographers. And, they’re sortable by color, helping you stay on-brand and within an email’s aesthetic.
Here’s another great resource for “do-whatever-you-want” hi-res photos. Search by collection or keyword to sort through beautiful, large images that can be downloaded in just a couple clicks.
Photo Editing and Design Tools
This free, simple, and easy-to-use tool is part web-based photo editor, part collage-maker, and part designer. Upload an image (or use one of theirs), and add effects, graphics, text overlays, and more. When you’re finished, just download the .JPG or .PNG, and you’re ready to roll.
Canva is at the top of nearly everyone’s list of email design tools for creating beautiful visual content online. The drag-and-drop tool, which is free to use, allows you to search stock images (most cost $1 for one-time use), add text and illustrations, and create charts and lines, all on a blank canvas. The final product can be exported as an image file.
If you’re on the go and need to format and polish your photos quickly, try this iPhone and Android app, which that lets you add filters and edit images in nearly endless ways. Use it for free or pay a few bucks for special filters.
Need to see a rendering of your product on a mobile or tablet screen? PlaceIt lets you insert a screenshot into iPhone and iPad mockup templates for free. It’s especially useful for app developers, or for any brand with a web-based product that needs to be shown in action.
9. Skitch (for Mac only)
As an Evernote product, Skitch is a super speedy screenshot tool that’s great for annotating images with shapes, arrows, and text. We happen to use it for editing screenshots in this blog. The app is free for Mac users only and is handy for email design inspiration, revisions, and mockups, as well as finished products.
11. Google Drawings
Simpler than Google Charts, Google Drawings harkens to the good ol’ days of the original Paint application. The tool allows you to choose images, add text, create shapes, or make free-form drawings. Think of it as a PowerPoint or Keynote slide—a blank canvas ready for your vision.
Okay, so as far as email design tools go, Pinterest isn’t a tool per se, but it is one of our favorite places to go for email design inspiration. With great boards cropping up all the time, it’s a perfect one-stop-shop for checking out fonts, colors, images, and great designs. You can also check out the Email Design Workshop’s own Pinterest board.
GIF and Meme Tools
Who doesn’t love memes? Imgflip is a meme generator tool that takes seconds to use. Upload your own image or browse from their collection to create a meme that will make your subscribers giggle. Templates are searchable, and you can also make simple GIFs or charts on the site.
Prototyping and Video Tools
Chart, Graph, and Survey Tools
Just by visiting the Typeform site, it’s obvious the brand knows good design—we’ve even featured them on the Email Design Workshop blog in the past. Without the need to sign up, users can use the free web-based tool to make elegant forms and surveys.
18. Google Charts
If you have a Gmail account, you have access to a multitude of free tools from Google. While many of them—spreadsheets, task lists, calendars—are great for personal use, there are plenty that can make their way into your email campaigns, too. With Google Charts, you can create interactive charts and graphs in customizable colors and styles—but, you will need an understanding of how to code to optimize the tool.
19. Google Forms
Another great tool from Google is Forms, which allows you to “collect votes from your friends, survey your co-workers, or gather poll data into a sheet.” It’s easy and intuitive to create a new form, and you’ll have the option to send it via email, copy and paste the link of the form or embed it. Keep in mind that the embedded HTML as an iframe isn’t supported by email clients. Feel free to check out our best practices on survey invitation emails.
Among the free email design tools available, Infogr.am lets users create and publish data visualizations. Upload your own data and choose between line graphs, word clouds, area charts, scatter plots, and plenty of other options.
21. The BEE Editor
We had to save the best for last! Our own Best Email Editor or BEE in short.
With drag-and-drop functionality and beautiful templates, assembling one-of-a-kind emails is straightforward and fast. Plus, emails are always 100% responsive, so they look great across multiple devices and screens. Give it a try by signing up for a BEE Pro account (with a 15-day free trial and only $15/month) and access our templates and additional features not found in the free version. To learn more about BEE Pro visit: http://beefree.io/pro/
By the way, some of the great tools mentioned above are now built into BEE: you can now search free stock photography from Pexels, Unsplash and Pixabay directly in the BEE editor. Learn more.
Which tools do you use?
What are your favorite email design tools? Which ones does your business use and rely on? Share in the comments section below!
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