Email best practices

5 tools to create stunning holiday email templates

We’ve rounded up a handful of our favorite free tools that make it easy to create eye-catching graphics.

Hermes paints Hera

The old saying is true - a picture speaks a thousand words. 83% of the stuff we learn as humans is visual. 54% of internet users share self-generated visual content. With visuals being a driver of consumer interest and motivation, design is one thing you’ll want to get right this holiday season. We’ve rounded up a handful of our favorite free tools that make it easy to create eye-catching graphics. So when your designer goes on holiday vacation or could use an extra hand, you’ll be able to put an email together, no matter your experience level. Pop these graphics into Passport for a fully mobile responsive template.

1) Canva

We’re kicking off with Canva, an amazingly simple design tool heavily used by the Mailjet Marketing Crew. When you first log in, you can choose from several dozen pre-made templates with a variety of dimensions for your needs - from infographics to flyers to social media and email headers. Their pre-set email header is 600 x 200 px, the size we recommend for Passport.

Canva also has a large library of icons, photos, and logos that can be customized and dropped into the body of your email. They also provide a robust gallery of newsletter templates for you to choose from, pictured below. 

2) Design Seeds

It can be pretty overwhelming for the non-designer to choose color palettes! That’s where Design Seeds comes in handy. The site lets you search for photos by color value - alongside each photo, you’ll see related colors that can be incorporated into the rest of your design.

Be careful with using Design Seeds though, you can easily get sucked into a black hole surfing through the site! The images are so clean and vivid - it’s the Pinterest of stock photography.

3) Unsplash

Following up with another photography site, we like to think of Unsplash as one of our best kept secrets. It’s such a simple interface and idea - a collection of free, high res photos. It’s tough for businesses, especially smaller businesses, to get ahold of quality photos online without having to pay pricey royalties or worry about rights. Unsplash eliminates all hassle by uploading 10 new photos to their site every 10 days. Photographers want to submit their photos to the site because of the amount of exposure and recognition that comes out of a feature.

We’ve used these photos for hero images or, turned it into a call-to-action by dropping the brightness and layering over with text.

4) Image Color Picker

It’s probably one of those tools that you’ve thought about in passing before. Say you’re searching online for inspiration and you come across a really calming blue you’d like to include in your email. How are you going to find that exact blue? If only there was a tool that would let you reverse search that color code? With Image Color Picker, you can do exactly that. All you do is click on a part of an image and it’ll identify the color and spit back the code for you to use in another design.

5) Icomoon

I don’t know about you, but we use icons quite heavily here at Mailjet. They’re great to break up chunks of text and to bulletpoint lists. The unique thing about Icomoon is that they icons aren’t images - they’re fonts. Interesting, right? Fonts actually load faster (the web is optimized to display text), it’s easier to change the size, and fonts won’t get pixelated on different PPI displays.

And there you have it. These design tools only break the tip of the iceberg - there a variety of free resources if you just search for them. If you want to learn more about how to apply these tools to an email template in Passport, hop on over to our tutorial.

Have you used the tools in our round-up before? If so, how’d you use them? Are there any other go-to tools that we might’ve left out? Sound off in the comments below!

Want to define your email strategy to win customers over this holiday season? Check out Mailjet's Ultimate Guide To Holiday Emailing.


The ultimate guide to holiday email marketing

Check out our ultimate guide to holiday email marketing and win the battle of the inbox this holiday season.

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