All email template builders seem similar? You are now confused about which one to choose to create the best email templates? Of course, as there are so many of them.
We are going to survey many of them to find their distinguishing features. I will try to create the same template in any of the editors with the same media files. Let’s see if the builders differ.
For a survey, we have picked Stripo.email and its competitors: BEE Free, CampaignMonitor, EDM Designer, GetResponse, MailChimp, MailStyler2, Mosaico, Topol.io, Unlayer.
Some companies already have their favorite tools. But if you don’t, or if you are a start-up who only plans to get familiar with the variety of tools to choose the best one, you may need to try some of them out.
Which is why today we are going to review the best free email template builders.
Note: we will review only those options and features that are accessible with the Free subscription plan.
We have placed our competitors in alphabetical order, but not according to our preferences.
BEE Free is an online drag-and-drop editor that allows you to create responsive templates for your newsletters. It is a product of the MailUp group. It is embedded into some SaaS applications. They offer a blog for inspiration and new design ideas.
It has over 50 predesigned templates available.
Export: free subscription plan enables you to send a test to any email address you need or download your template as HTML with images. No direct export to an ESP on this stage.
The builder’s unique feature: anytime you come back to BEE Free, they suggest that you start from the point where you stopped. That is pretty convenient.
Its disadvantage: it doesn’t work on mobile phones and tablets even if you need to make small changes to the text.
At first, I wanted to survey and compare independent editors only. But in fact, it would not be fair probably to omit embedded editors, which are a part of ESPs. That is why I decided to write a few paragraphs about built-in editors.
CampaignMonitor is an ESP. I have not tried to send out newsletters with them. But their newsletters I receive are just amazing.
They offer over 50 pre-designed templates.
The builder’s unique feature: its absolutely new feature — you can create and set mobile-friendly surveys right within the editor with an unlimited number of questions.
Its disadvantage: no access to HTML code. Consequently, you cannot embed interactive elements, nor timers.
EDM designer is an experienced drag-and-drop editor, which has been providing online service for more than 5 years so far. Chamaileon.io email designer is its new product.
Does EDM designer offer any help or tutorials on how to work with the editor? No, it does not on its website. But I found two videos on its Youtube channel.
EDM designer offers 15 pre-designed templates. And also suggests that you start one from scratch.
The currently existing blocks are not enough to create a modern template. No video block there.
Export: you can either upgrade your plan or pay with Facebook and Twitter Post. I chose the second option.
There is no direct export to any ESP.
No direct export to any ESP. In order to export (download) your email as an HTML file, you need to PAY at least $9 or pay with a Facebook or Twitter post.
Note: its product Chamaileon offers export to six famous ESPS.
The builder’s unique feature: you can easily switch text and image blocks within a structure.
Its disadvantage: you can’t set the button size (only two default ones). They do not have any free images available, but you can keep yours in the library.
No “Socials” blocks. You can upload the icons as regular images, and add the links on your own. They offer only Facebook and Twitter icons.
GetResponse is a world-famous ESP. They are the best tool for you if you host webinars. They will send an invitation, a sequence of reminders, and will provide you with statistics regarding the attendees. And will ask them for feedback.
Its blog is rich for articles and useful information regarding marketing trends.
GetResponse offers over 500 pre-designed templates.
Export: none. Send emails via this email service.
The builder’s unique feature: you can make changes or even build from scratch your template in HTML editor.
Its disadvantage: you cannot use simultaneously drag-and-drop and HTML editors.
No video can be embedded, nor video links added to the template.
For more detailed information regarding GetResponse embedded editor, read our How-To article.
MailChimp is one of the few world-famous ESPs.
It is said to be the best solution for small businesses.
Its blog is mostly about the new features and its employees’ experiences.
They provide support 24/7.
MailChimp offers about 100 templates.
The builder’s unique feature: “share through socials” option. Only a few editors add it.
Its disadvantage: unresponsive emails if imported from another builder. One CTA button per line even if you have placed product items in a line.
For more detailed information regarding MailChimp embedded editor, read our How-To article.
Let me clarify that their website new address is newslettercreator.com. You can use both names to find the tool on the web. As the site was recently updated.
It is an offline responsive email template builder. You need to download the tool to work with it.
Mailstyler2 does not offer any blog for instructions or news in the world of the design. But in the tab “Videos” you can watch their tutorial on how to use the tool.
Mailstyler2 offers 8 pre-designed templates.
Many of the features are available only after purchasing the pro- version.
Export: you cannot export your templates until you buy/activate the MailStyler. No opportunity to even send a test email to yourself.
The builder’s unique feature: you can weight the HTML of your email. I loved it a lot. As all email clients have their limits to HTML size. It should not overcome 100kbs.
You can write texts over banners. This is the only tool besides Stripo which allows it.
Its disadvantage: no HTML code editor to embed videos, to embed interactive elements. Many useful features are not available.
Mosaico is an open source template builder. It is a product of Italian VOXmail group, founded a few years ago.
Its blog is not updated regularly. But there you may find some useful materials regarding email clients and Mosaico releases.
It does not offer any pre-designed templates with images and backgrounds. But there you can find two structured templates. Use them to start working with the editor.
Export: download the designed template as an HTML file only. After export, in the ESP you can edit text and images of your template.
The builder’s unique feature: this is not a typical drag-and-drop editor. You do not need to even drag the blocks and containers. You simply click the block in the tool panel and it appears in your scratch.
And I also loved that they offer a manual on how to use the editor once you choose a scratch-template to start with. You do not need to surf the website.
Its disadvantage: no file storage at all — you cannot store your templates, nor images. Your uploaded GIFs will be displayed as static images.
You can call it an HTML email template builder. But in fact, it is just another drag-and-drop editor, which offers a basic HTML block you can pull into your template. It is a part of the MJML community, which provides emails’ correct display on most mobile and desktop devices.
Topol.io offers many blocks to use. You can easily edit images right in the editor.
It offers 7 predesigned templates.
Export: you can export it as HTML only which prevents you from further template editing in the ESP. But of course, you will be able to edit text and maybe even some images.
The builder’s unique feature: you can insert links to GIFs and they will be correctly displayed in your email template.
Its disadvantage: no visible or editable HTML code. Consequently, you are not able to add interactive elements to your newsletters.
If you are an ESP that is looking for an editor to embed, you may also like this one.
Unlayer is a new product, founded at the end of 2017.
No predesigned templates to save you a high amount of time.
Currently, they are offering only a few basic blocks in the editor: button, image, divider, HTML, and text. No video blocks, no socials…
Of course, you can embed your video using HTML code. But it will be very difficult to add social links that way unless you are a professional developer.
Export: only as HTML or JSON files.
The builder’s unique feature: you can select a tool/block to add in your editor when you become.
Its disadvantage: no video blocks.
Stripo.email is likely to become the best tool of a kind, a next-generation editor.
It is an independent product, embedded into some ESPs. The blog comprises many articles which explain how to build effective selling templates, including interactive elements, and some articles are about marketing trends.
It offers over 200 predesigned templates, and over 10,000 images available.
Stripo is a drag-and-drop and HTML email template builder. You can use both versions simultaneously – design the visual elements, insert images and videos in the drag-and-drop editor, and insert interactive elements via making changes to the HTML code of your pre-designed email.
Stripo.email not only helps you create responsive templates, but also enables you to choose which elements to display on mobile devices, and which are to be hidden.
This makes Stripo.email one of the best HTML email builders.
Export: they let you export 4 templates a month for free to most of the currently famous ESPs, and even email clients.
I can mention many exclusive features appropriate to Stripo editor, but I need to highlight only a few best features. So I chose the following ones…
The builder’s unique feature: smart-elements to reduce the time for creating products’ cards. And personal content library – you can save separate blocks to be re-used in the future newsletters. Writing a text over banners without using Photoshop or any other photo editor.
Its disadvantage: still looking for one 🙂
InkBrush is currently not accepting new registrations. You can reach the editor only via MovableInk.
Stamplia is not working anymore.
Knowtify was recently acquired by Kissmetrics.
Please, take a look at our table where I compared some peculiar features of 4 responsive email template builders mentioned above: BeeFree, Topol, Unlayer, and Stripo.email.
Why them? Because to my mind, they are the best in the industry.
There are many criteria for comparing the template builders. But I chose the most important features which should be appropriate for the tools of this kind.
Features necessary for working with and editing media files:
➢ writing text over a banner;
➢ embedded photo editor;
➢ inserting GIFs and videos;
➢ a bank of free images.
Working with media files
|Writing text over a banner|
|Writing text over banner||–||+||–||–|
|Editing images in the editor|
|Editing images in the editor||+||+||+||–|
+Two ways to do it: via HTML and as an image
+Two ways to do it: via HTML and as an image
|Additional image over a banner|
|Additional image over banner||–||+||–||–|
|Bank of free images|
|Bank of free images||–||+||–||–|
|Filter for banner|
|Filter for banner||–||+||–||–|
+(the link did not work)
+–(embedding into HTML code only)
Advanced integration with ESPs, file storage and of course smart-elements are obligatory tools for work automation.
As work automation is a number 1 time-saving recipe in today’s fast-paced world:
|Export to ESP and Email Clients|
|Export to ESP and Email Clients||
+As HTML files
+As HTML files and direct export
+As HTML files
+As HTML files
|Advanced Integration with ESP (editable after export)|
|Advanced Integration with ESP (editable after export)||–||+||–||–|
Note: none of the editors that are not listed in the table, allows working on mobile devices.
We have just reviewed the best email template builders for 2018. Have thoroughly surveyed the advantages and disadvantages of each of them.
And now you only have to decide which one to use according to your specific needs. And we hope that any of the best free template builders will meet your current needs.
Here are the recommended functions a modern 2018 template builder should offer. Take them into consideration when choosing one:
➢ Responsive web design (RWD)
➢ Access to edit HTML and CSS codes for embedding interactive elements
➢ A wide range of pre-designed templates
➢ Adjusted templates to all world-famous ESPs
➢ Work automation to save your time
➢ File storage to save your blocks for the future use
If you want to read an independent review about Stripo.email, its terms and conditions, and also reviews about other email template builders, please go to this website.
No matter if you choose Stripo.email or any other of the editors mentioned above, I sincerely wish you highly effective and selling newsletters.