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Terrific Tools

What is the best HTML editor for email marketing?

  Gregg Blanchard     April 29, 2024    

parcel html email editor screenshot

One of the most popular features of SendView is the fact that in one click you can see the HTML behind the campaigns your competitors are sending. Normally, viewing the source code is clumsy process of downloading the email, uploading it to an EML file viewer tool, and then copy/pasting it into an editor so you can start to pick through and/or edit the HTML code.

Now, if you've been in the email marketing space for a bit you know that HTML email code is not the same as traditional HTML code you'd use to code up a website. Yes, there are similar tags and styles and ideas, but an inbox like Gmail or Outlook will render that code is vastly different from how a browser like Chrome or Edge or Safari will render that code unless you know what you're doing and account for the unique ways inboxes interpret and render HTML.

Which begs the question, if typical HTML code editors have features that are built for browsers, what's the best way to edit HTML code that's written for emails and inboxes?

The Best HTML Editor for Email

In our opinion, the best HTML editor for coding marketing emails is Parcel. On the surface, yes, it looks just like a traditional online code editor, but as you explore the interface you discover layers and layers of features that are built specifically for email and take this editor from helpful to gamechanging.

It's why we actually built an integration with Parcel a couple years ago so, in one click, you could open any email directly in Parcel and play with the code directly using their tools.

edit in parcel button

Speaking of tools, here are our favorites.

1) Send Test Emails Directly from the Editor

This is by far my favorite feature in a few ways. First, you can send a text email directly to your own email address for a quick check of rendering in your inbox of choice. But emails are rarely created in silos, so the fact that you can save other email addresses in your testing tab and even create custom groups of addresses right in the editor so it's easy to, say, send the preview of that onboarding email to the onboarding team and the preview of the marketing email to the marketing team.

screenshot of parcel preview tab

Compared the email testing tools in most ESPs I've used, Parcel's preview functionality is miles ahead in both ease and number of features. Naturally, any HTML email editor should include this feature by default, but there's a difference between crossing a feature off the list and hitting a home run. This editor has done the latter.

2) Automatically Finding Errors in Your Email's HTML Code

Some people can write a few hundred words or lots of code and not make any mistakes. I am not one of those people. As in, I am not even close to one of those people. And while this flaw has in turn made me pretty good at finding errors in my code or copy, I still miss quite a few every time I crank out a new marketing email. Luckily, Parcel's editor automatically searches for and alerts you of these issues.

screenshot of parcel errors

See that in the bottom right? Yep, this email that I thought was done and dusted had two alerts for me to look at. The second was a name I could ignore, but that first was an issue I needed to fix. So I did. Super easy and handy for someone like me.

3) Preview How HTML Code Renders with Visual Impairments

This is where you know that the team behind Parcel isn't just building something to build it, they want to build it right. Toggle over the preview tab and you'll see a list of ways you can test your email including:

  • Blurred Vision
  • Protanopia (can't see red)
  • Deuteranopia (can't see red/green)
  • Tritanopia (can't distinguish blue/yellow)
  • Achromatopsia (can't see color)
screenshot of visual impairments previewing

Any of these impairments may impact a small percentage of the population, but even small percentages translate to millions of people. So being able to test how these folks might interact with your email? That's pretty awesome.

Parcel, FTW!

We've had a chance to get to know some of the team behind Parcel so we might be a little bit biased here, but even without our bias I'd challenge anyone to find a better HTML email editor than this platform. These three features are the tip of a very large, very impressive iceberg that makes building, coding, and testing HTML emails a joy instead of a pain.

Kudos to Avi and the team for what they've built. If you want to give it a try, their free plan is extremely generous. Check them out at the link below: