Nailing the perfect marketing email can be an elusive task. From copy to images to deliverability, there is a lot to cover! With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of free tools that help you check and refine the most crucial elements of your email. Check them out:
Copy is essential to any marketing campaign. But copy can be hard to get right. Even professional writers hit the wall from time to time and botch up their work. Luckily, there are a number of very useful and free tools that can help you craft clearer, more effective prose.
A popular quote misattributed to Ernest Hemingway advises writers to, “write drunk, edit sober.” While the Hemingway Editor doesn’t specify whether or not you should apply that first bit of advice, it does help you edit in a clear and precise manner. It identifies within your copy:
Hard to read sentences
Very hard to read sentences
Adverbs (which are often needlessly and unnecessarily superfluous)
Simpler alternative phrases
Use of passive voice
It also offers suggestions and gives your text a score based on school grade comprehension reading level. Generally speaking, the lower the better.
ProWriting Aid is similar to the Hemingway app, but is more comprehensive. If you’re putting together longform content such as a blog article or style guide that you’ll link to from your email, this app will be useful. It analyzes your writing based on a whopping 26 factors and provides feedback on each. These factors are:
Cliches and Redundancies
Repeated Phrases Summary
Vague & Abstract Words
ProTip: It’s very unlikely these editors will give your prose a “perfect score”. So there is little use in trying to attain one. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind when using these editors is to compare your results against those of authors known for their clean, clear and simple prose. If you’re comparable to them, you’re doing a good job. Here are some masters that you can compare yourself to:
Even if you have graphics and templates prepared by a professional graphic designer, you’ll often need to edit images to make them work for your project. You may need to crop or resize an image to fit your email template or adjust the colors to make it pop more. In a few cases, you may need to design a graphic yourself. If you’re in a pinch, these free tools can help you out.
Pixlr offers free image editing apps for web browsers, mobile and desktop. Although free, the editor comes packed with features that one would expect to find in powerful software like Adobe Illustrator or InDesign.
It lets you do all the basics like cut, copy and paste while allowing more advanced users to manipulate image layers, colors, contrasts, apply filters and much more.
If you’re not very handy with some of the more advanced methods of image editing, Pixlr also offers a simpler, easier to use editor called Pixlr Express. The Express tool enables you to apply effects, overlays, borders, stickers and text in only a few clicks.
BeFunky is free service that boasts three useful tools: a photo editor, a designer and a collage maker.
The BeFunky designer provides entire image templates as well as element templates, which allow you to create your image in an intuitive block by block manner. It also enables you to apply text and change colors. Some of the elements and templates are free and some are paid.
BeFunky Photo Editor
The photo editor lets you do basically anything you’d expect a photo editor to do. Crop, resize, touch up, apply filters and text–it’s all there. If you need to quickly adjust an image, this editor is a very handy, easy-to-use tool
BeFunky Collage Editor
Want to combine multiple images but don’t want to wade into the complexity of layers and all that jazz? The BeFunky Collage editor has your back. It lets you easily compile multiple images and in various layouts. You can also apply effects and text and edit images to customize the collage for your purposes. Similar to the BeFunky designer, it offers free templates as well as paid templates.
Worried that your beautiful email template will get garbled in the subscriber’s inbox? You can use these tools to see what your email will look like on the receiving end.