15 free or low-priced tools to help your email campaigns get better results

Want to improve your email performance?

There are free and low cost tools, outside of your email platform, that can help you polish and refine your emails for higher performance.

I started this list with my “go to” tools and polled my colleagues for their top tool recommendations. They came back with a range of tools to help you target the right people, make your emails look better on mobile devices, and convert more traffic.

IMAGE EDITING

Is Photoshop too complex or expensive? Not to worry. Here are some great alternatives.

picmonkey_logoPicMonkey offers free and premium photo-editing tool to create website, email, and social media graphics. The free version offers great basic editing tools and is easy to use. The “Royale” version starts at $4.99 per month for additional editing tools and you don’t see ads.

campaignmonitor_logoCampaign Monitor offers Bulletproof buttons and Bulletproof backgrounds as two handy free online tools you can use to customize your own call-to-action buttons or email backgrounds.

canva-logoCanva is a free online image design tool utilizing a drag and drop feature with a number of templates you can use or modify. Keep this one in mind for your Facebook and Twitter images in addition to email and website.

 

EMAIL TESTING & PREVIEWING

emailonacidEmail on Acid helps you  make email design and testing simpler. They have the best website copy too, which tells you everything you need to know: “Quickly ensure that your emails don’t look like crap in any email client. See 70+ email previews in minutes from real desktop clients (like Outlook), browser clients (like Gmail), and mobile clients (like the iPhone). There’s a trial version for free and their plans start at $45 per month, so this isn’t for the occasional emailer.

litmusLitmus lets you preview your emails in 30 different clients and tests your subject line in mobile devices and for spam filters. It’s pricier than Email on Acid with plans starting at $79 per month, so again, this is not for the occasional emailer.

Mail ChimpMailchimp Subject Line Checker lets you test your subject line keywords against the performance of those keywords from across their entire client base. You have to be a MailChimp user to have access to this tool, but you can sign up for MailChimp for free, so it’s a free tool to you. You simply type in your key words and MailChimp instantly shares a rating on how your keyword(s) perform.

EmailSpamTestEmail Spam Test is free online tool that will score your email on email subject line, HTML source, plain text content and a links analysis–in about 20 seconds.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA SHARING

clicktotweetClicktotweet for embedding tweets in emails to increase conversions and shares.

 

MAKING YOUR EMAIL PERFORM WELL ON A MOBILE DEVICE

JPEGmini-logoJPEGmini reduces the size of images to speed up download times on mobile phones–with no loss in image quality. This is something your mobile users will love you for and they won’t even know it. JPEGmini also wins honorable mention for a great tag line “Your photos on a diet.” You can try them for a free trial. Plans begin at $19.99 per month.

campaignmonitor_logoCampaign Monitor offers you free mobile-friendly email templates and template builder.

zurb-logo-largeZurb also offers free responsive email templates you can download for free.

 

RETARGETING

canddiCANDDi tracks responses to emails, SEO, and PPC ads by profiling and identifying the individuals who visit your site after clicking on an email link. The profile tells you who they are, who they work for, and what they specifically visited on your site as an indication of interest. This one, like retargeted advertising, can be a bit creepy, but the beauty of it, is that it helps you to focus your marketing outreach to the people most interested in you for higher conversion rates. This is for sophisticated acquisition campaigns, since pricing starts at $167 per month.

 

CSS INLINING

DialectDialect’s “Pre-flight HTML checklist” is free for quick CSS inlining. For the best HTML e-mail delivery results, CSS should be inline, but it’s time-consuming to code this. Dialect created this script to save you a ton of time by doing this automatically for you. You might need to be a techhy to understand how valuable this is and to truly love it.

 

LANDING PAGES

LeadPages-01-800x598LeadPages develops and test landing pages, mostly for for-profit business, but I can attest, as a LeadPages user myself, it saves a ton of time and money to be able to configure and publish a high performing landing page on my website, or in Facebook, in about 15 minutes. Plus, you can split A/B test which landing page will work best for your campaign. You choose and sort your landing page template by conversion rates or type of landing page. Plans start at about $37 per month, but here’s why they make today’s list: LeadPages allows you to download their code for free if you want to use their on your own website.

 

CAMPAIGN PERFORMANCE TRACKING

google-analytics-logoGoogle Analytics allows you to track incoming traffic from your email campaigns and isolate click-through stumbling blocks in your campaign. Most email platforms offer step-by-step instructions on how to integrate their email with Google Analytics.

 

What did I miss? Share your favorite email enhancing tools in the comment section below.

Thank you for stopping by. I know you’re a busy person and I really value your time. YOU are my business. My business is to create tools, share insider knowledge, and give you confidence that you’re doing the right marketing at the right time to hit your revenue goals.

mandy