A Few of Our Favorite Free Email Tools
However, there’s more to email development than just testing; you must think about design, content, code, and how to send the email itself.
Our team recently got together to chat about our favorite tools for creating and sending emails (besides Email on Acid, that is), and we wanted to share our recommendations with you. Here are some of our go-to resources for making our email lives a little easier:
Alex Ilhan, senior email developer, Email on Acid
Campaign Monitor has a history of putting out quality tools and resources, and this is one of them. Bulletproof Background Images takes all the guesswork out of creating email backgrounds; it allows you to generate “rock-solid” backgrounds – either full-width sections or individual tables – that work everywhere. It even generates the annoying VML needed for Outlook clients.
To use the tool, you simply copy and paste a link to your background image, choose a background fallback color, and select whether you want the background full-width or as a single table cell. Then, the tool spits out the code you need to add to your email. Copy and paste that code and you’ve got yourself a bulletproof background.
Karlene Cameron-Swalley, director of marketing, Email on Acid
First of all, anyone can get started with MailChimp for free, which makes it a great choice for small- or medium-sized companies. Their platform is full of robust features that you don’t usually see in free email services, including scheduling and reporting tools.
A few other MailChimp features I love:
- Seamless email automation that’s easy to set up.
- Integration with WordPress.
- A retargeting tool that allows me to integrate my advertising and email.
MailChimp also understands that not everyone who uses their platform is a marketing guru, so they’ve built an easy-to-use interface and provide outstanding customer support.
Rachel Girard, graphic designer, Email on Acid
As a designer, it’s important to have a resource to show me where email design is at, and where it’s going. Sometimes I like to browse through Email on Acid’s Design Inspiration, but one of my other go-to resources is Really Good Emails.
The layout of Really Good Emails is clean and simple, which makes it easy to browse through email designs. Plus, they have a handy drop-down menu that allows you to sort by the type of email, industry, or a specific feature (such as GIFs). If you’re stuck in a design rut, or simply want to know what’s out there, Really Good Emails is a great place to start.
John Thies, co-founder/CEO, Email on Acid
MJML, which stands for Mailjet Markup Language, provides easy-to-understand markup language that email developers can use to create responsive HTML emails. It automatically includes all the HTML hacks needed to make emails responsive and render properly across different platforms and clients, from Outlook 2007 to Gmail to Android.
Kudos to our friends at Mailjet for developing such a great email framework!
My favorite email tool is the Sublime Text editor, a “sophisticated text editor for code, markup and prose.” I love Sublime because it’s lightweight, clean and comes with plugins (such as snippets) that help me code emails quickly.
Sublime helps boost my productivity right out of the box, without burdening me with unnecessary features.
Melanie Graham, content manager, Email on Acid
Everyone at Email on Acid knows I love discussing writing style and grammar. However, even after years of copywriting and editing, I still forget things here and there. Thankfully, Grammarly serves as my second set of eyes.
While it doesn’t catch everything, Grammarly helps check your content for spelling and grammar errors. It can also make style suggestions to help tighten up your copy.
One of my favorite Grammarly features is the Document Type setting, which allows the writer to change the context of the copy. For example, if I’m writing an email to our customers, I can set it to “business email,” or I can change it to “article/blog post” if I’m writing something for the Email on Acid blog.
Grammarly offers a bunch of tools for both free and paid plans, including plug-ins that scan content in your browser or email client. If you’re a content manager, editor, or writer, Grammarly is a great tool to have in your back pocket.
Whatever Tool You Use, Don’t Forget to Test!
Yes, these tools can help you send better emails, but you still need to test every email, every time. Even the smallest adjustment in your code can throw off how your email renders. Try Email on Acid free for seven days and see how your email looks in more than 70 clients and devices.
Author: Melanie Graham
Born and raised in New England, Melanie has a background as a writer, editor and journalist. After roaming the U.S. as an expert vagabond, she’s landed in Denver as Email on Acid’s content manager. She’s a music nerd at heart who loves spending time at the piano.