There are so many email editors and template builders available these days that it’s become difficult to pick the best among them.
Some may have a smooth editor experience, while others a well-maintained templates library.
Don’t worry email marketing soldier, I’ve got you covered.
Today I’ll talk about the 6 most popular free HTML email editors available online. So you don’t have to scratch your head to find the perfect one for you.
But before that, we’ll take a look at what exactly an email editor is.
Let’s go wild.
What Is An Email Editor?
An email editor or template builder is a tool that enables you to create emails quickly.
It makes available many features to make email designing an easier and smoother experience.
It basically helps you create good-looking emails, while drastically decreasing deployment time.
There are various types of email editors and template builders – Plain HTML, WYSIWYG, Drag & drop.
With a plain HTML email editor, you can create emails by writing HTML code.
WYSIWYG is an acronym for What You See Is What You Get and these editors are just that.
With a WYSIWYG email editor, you take a leap out of the coding environment to a place where you can actually see how your email is shaping up.
With a drag & drop email editor, you can choose from a range of pre-made blocks. Ranging from structures different widths, images-heavy, text-oriented, to buttons and links.
If you’re a marketer who doesn’t care much about coding, then the drag-and-drop email editor is for you.
And I am one such person.
So I went ahead and tested the top 6 free drag-and-drop online email editors based on:
- Ease of use
- Customization options
- Templates/Blocks Availability
Here they are in no particular order:
Email builder that feels like Sketch & Google Docs combined.
Chamaileon provides an option to collaborate with others in real-time, and edit email designs simultaneously.
They built it for collaborative email designing, and their pricing structure reflects it.
It also has an excellent collection of 150+ free email design templates which are categorized by tags. Without filters/categories, it’s difficult to know exactly which tag I wanted.
I found it slightly annoying.
The Chamaileon Editor is pretty user friendly. Adding blocks/elements is also very easy.
One cool feature of Chamaileon is that you can save a block – header, footers, etc.
This is very timesaving, as there are several pieces you reuse in email designs.
You can only export 5 designs per month with the free version- this is slightly limited. But for a small team, this should be fine.
BEE is the best drag & drop editor for designing mobile-responsive emails.
BEE is short for Best Email Editor. Where has modesty gone these days, huh? 😛
But with that kind of confidence, BEE had to deliver. And deliver, they did.
The BEE email editor is probably the most popular email editor out there. You may not have heard of some of the other options on this list.
But some of you must have heard of BEE. And may even have come here to see where it stands.
BEE is my second favorite in the list.
With the free version, BEE Free Email Editor, you get a drag & drop editor to design your email instantly. You don’t need to sign up.
You can use one of the 190+ free mobile-responsive templates. These templates are categorized by usage and industry.
Or start completely from scratch.
Interestingly, it is a part of the MailUp Group, which is a major email service provider.
One con of the BEE email editor is you can not insert sections within a column. So you’re left with mostly only 2-column designs with specific structures.
Another disappointment is, with the free version you can only download a zip file. You then need to manually add it to your ESP.
With BEE Pro, an upgrade from Free, you get added features like team collaboration, push to ESPs, etc.
BEE also has a Plugin that you can embed to create email designs inside your Web app.
Check out this video to see how you can create an awesome mystery email of your own from scratch using Bee email editor:
Creating An HTML Email with Bee
An intuitive email builder for teams and individuals amps up email marketing ideas.
Postcards is a part of Designmodo that’s built an ecosystem for web developers.
It provides website builders a digital product marketplace and a job portal.
Designmodo’s The drag-and-drop editor – Postcards is a modular, sleek and user-friendly tool.
You can not spot a pre-made template directly and you have to start from scratch.
However, Designmodo does provide 25 free templates to make your email design.
Or edit in Postcards.
You can stack modules together to create an email design template structure right from scratch.
The modules – header, content, footer, menu, CTA, e-commerce are limited but good enough for most needs. They are also decently customizable.
You can save your progress and also store project backups.
For the tech-friendly peeps out there, you can alter the code if you have to.
This is unchartered waters for me, but I think having an option is always good.
BTW, I do plan on learning to code. They say it’s going to be as ubiquitous as using a computer in the next 20 years.
But that’s a discussion for some other day.
Coming back to Postcards, another nice feature here is version history – you can stay agile by having a project history for up to 30 days.
But I have to say that the free version is very limited, you can just use 10 modules – one from each category. ESP integration is also a paid feature.
Create professional and responsive email templates fast without any HTML skills.
Stripo is my favorite among all the email editors that I have used. It takes the cake for its plethora of features and a holistic approach to email designing.
With Stripo, you can build and validate dynamic AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) powered emails.
This takes your mobile experience out of the roofs!
Plus, you can also craft a fallback HTML email within your AMP email.
Wondering how it looks? Here’s a tutorial on building AMP forms with Stripo:
Building AMP Forms With Stripo
The Stripo Email Editor is extremely tidy and doesn’t snag. You can customize a lot of things in appearance and content.
For e-commerce companies, there’s a nice little roll-over effect that is nifty. This allows you to show products from different angles- front, back, side, etc.
You can build something from scratch or directly choose a template from the editor.
Stripo provides 350+ good-looking email templates. It also has the best organization that I’ve seen – categorized by type, industry, season, and feature – pretty neat.
The free version of Stripo provides free access to the entire templates library. But is pretty limited to just 2 templates and 4 exports per month.
If you really want to unlock the full potential of Stripo, you need to get the Business version. That gives you access to 15 templates and 300 exports to work with.
Let me add here that Stripo’s paid plans are costly. It is the most expensive of the lot by a margin.
There’s straight jump from 0 to $125. That is steep.
But the amount of features it provides, I think it’s justifiable.
Having said that, not everyone requires so many features. Plus there are many cheaper no-frills options out there.
Anyway, Stripo also packs a nice layer of email testing. This is available for 90+ popular environments, which includes many mobile devices.
This is great because it minimizes rendering issues. It can tell you exactly how the email will look on an android powered by Google Pixel or a MacBook Pro.
Another cool thing about Stripo is you can automate routine processes and generate product cards or other modules. This is like Chamaileon’s save a block feature, but better.
And if you want to outsource your email designing, you can use Stripo’s made-to-order email design templates. But these may prove costly, especially if you’re a small business. There are two options in this.
- Development Only – Stripo codes an HTML template based on your design ($145)
- Design & Development – Stripo designs a template from scratch based on your identity and codes it ($199)
Additionally, you may have to shell out $30 for up to 5 corrections to the template, $15 for urgent orders, and $5 for email testing on Litmus or Email on Acid.
Apart from this, it also has a plugin that can be used in SAAS apps. And a handy Gmail Promotions Builder.
This Gmail annotation generator is interesting. It provides recipients with dates, promo codes, and a preview right in the inbox without having them open emails.
Why is this nice you ask?
Isn’t it going to reduce open rates?
I have a simple two-fold answer to this:
1. Think about your broad business goal. Do you want more sales or more CTR?
2. People are lazy, and quite frankly, reluctant to open mails. And even if they do, they forget easily. Why not remind them about that cool deal on offer whenever they scroll through their inbox?
However, this option is not embedded in the editor yet. You need to generate a code and add it separately to your design.
By the way, if you to learn how to segment and manage your contacts for better email marketing, check out this post:
East Contact Management & Segmentation: All You Need To Know In 2020
An open-source email template builder
Mosaico is an open source email editor that is a part of the Italian email marketing firm VOXmail. They distribute it under the GPL license and the entire code base is available on GitHub.
Access their code on GitHub here.
It does not have pre-designed templates to work with. Instead, you can select one of their two layouts- versafix 1 and versafluid.
With the editor, you have to work with blocks – small tiles to compose the email design template.
It has all the basic features like – editing and styling content, adding images, and buttons.
You can also send test emails and undo the complete chain of actions with one click.
But the biggest drawback is that customization is highly limited. You can not create nested blocks or change the width.
Mosaico also has a template-based commercial version.
This comes with a perpetual license and integration with proprietary / permissive libraries like LGPL, MIT, etc.
Overall, it is a basic email editor and will work for you if you just need a stop-gap solution.
Also, this is one of the best open-source email editors I have seen in the market. So if that’s what you’re after, check this one out.
Beautiful emails, easy.
Topol is a clean email design template editor that is incredibly easy to use.
There are 7 interesting templates that get you going, or you can simply start from scratch. They limit the templates to Travel, Marketing, local business, voucher, and E-commerce.
Topol’s drag & drop editor is smooth and fast. You can choose from a range of structures, and there are quite a few of them.
The content types are pretty limited – Text, image, GIF, button, divider, spacer, social, and video.
If you’re an e-commerce business, you can use the product feed feature. This option allows you to choose and insert products right through XML.
For the technically inclined, Topol provides an option to import custom HTML to the editor. You can also use their plugin to directly create HTML emails from a web app.
You can also save blocks or use one of their pre-made ones.
All these are available only with the pro version. This is a bit of a disappointment.
But the cheap price tag more than makes up for it. This also unlocks pre-made blocks and templates.
Over To You
There are a plethora of drag-and-drop email editors available online. But now you know the top one and which will suit your requirements.
But you should try out a few of them from the list and see for yourself.
Which one do you think is the best out of these?
Is there one that I may have left that you think should have made the list?
Do let me know.