Simple Tools for Designing Eye-catching Email Campaigns

By Dani Gomez – @danixelisa

How often do you actually click on a link within a promotional email and purchase something? If you’re like most Americans, probably somewhat rarely. You’re familiar, then, with what comes next: an influx of “Did you forget something?” and “GET ‘EM BEFORE THEY’RE GONE” abandoned cart emails.

Sure, these are pretty effective in getting a customer’s attention again and potentially increasing a brand’s conversion rate. But you know what works even better? Creating email marketing campaigns so enticing that readers’ interests are piqued enough to follow through with a purchase the first time they click on the links you embed in your message.

In today’s digital world, templates, vectors, logo-makers, and other design tools are at your fingertips with just a few clicks of your mouse. So, you don’t need to worry about putting the coffee pot on and spending all night teaching yourself Adobe’s InDesign.

Creative suites like Adobe’s are fantastic for the more design and aesthetic-inclined, but if you’re a beginner, in a pinch, or simply don’t have the resources to get teach yourself an entire publishing platform, try one of the following to get your email marketing campaigns off the ground.

1. Canva

Canva is a good jumping-off point if you’re just getting started with email marketing. It’s a pretty general tool– you can use it to create everything from Instagram posts to business cards. Its unique drag and drop capabilities let you upload files from your computer and simply drag them where you want them in your file. Along with that, it offers thousands of stock images and other graphic elements for free.

2. Visme

Another template-based design tool, Visme is an all-in-one platform where you can upload pre-existing design elements, alter vector icons, and create data visualizations, among many other things. This is another great option for beginners, as you don’t need any design experience to get started making eye-catching email campaigns.

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3. Stencil

Stencil is aimed at helping you create awesome social media content, including email materials, as fast as possible. This graphic-design tool prides itself on easy-to-use elements that make designing simple and fun, not just another task on your to-do list.

4. Snappa

Snappa is a more fleshed-out design tool than some of the others in this list, with customizable options for line height and letter spacing, as well as insertable patterns to beef up any graphic. You can also resize your designs halfway through the process if you realize you chose the wrong dimensions– Snappa will reformat your work to make the transition a smooth one.

5. Piktochart

Though similar to Canva in some ways, Piktochart is a bit more niche and offers special features for creating infographics, presentations, and reports. If you feel limited by the customization options available with Canva, Piktochart may become your new best friend.

There are nearly four billion active email users today, and that number is expected to continue skyrocketing. Make sure you’re taking the opportunity to reach your audience in their inbox– regardless of which applications you choose to do it with.

Have you used any of the above tools or know of others that work well for budding designers? Tell me about your experience in the comments and let’s grow our skill sets together. Happy emailing!

This Article Has 4 Comments
  1. Mark Yasak says:

    Thanks for sharing, Dani. I totally agree with you, for most casual users it’s no longer worth the time to learn expensive platforms like Adobe InDesign or the rest of the creative suite. With so many free tools now available online, anyone with a little bit of free time can learn even the most basic design skills to help them become a better marketer. And with the increasing importance of these skills in the workplace, I think it would be beneficial for any marketer to at least become familiar with the resources that are available to them.

  2. Anushka Pawashe says:

    Thank you for this post! I totally agree that learning how to use Adobe can be tiresome and a bit of a waste of time. But all these other tools are a great way to learn design techniques for free! Design is also just so important to learn now if you’re in the marketing, PR or advertising industry. So having basic tools will be good to learn basic the stuff and then maybe moving up to Adobe.

  3. Sarah Lovely says:

    Hi Dani! I liked this post especially because I have struggled with using Piktochart in the past for class projects. I liked using it because of what the platform offered but I struggled working it and to make specific details right. I have heard that Canva is a much better platform for design, and have been interested in trying that for future projects. Thank you for the recommendations!

  4. Zach Newsom says:

    These are some awesome tools for improving the visual aspect of email marketing! Definitely something to look at in the future if planning marketing campaigns. I wonder how much the visuals affect consumers decision making as opposed to the offer presented to them in the campaign.

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