7 Helpful Marketing Design Tools and Resources for Non-Designers

19 January 2023
7 Helpful Marketing Design Tools and Resources for Non-Designers

In a survey among marketers, majority of them believe that visual content is a key component in their marketing strategy. This observation is validated with another survey of marketing teams which found that video, blogs, images, emails, and infographics are the top content types used for marketing campaigns.

All of the aforementioned will involve some design process to make them compelling and engaging. But not all marketing professionals have a design, graphic, or creative skills. Today, that is not something to be worried about. There are many design tools and resources available that are very easy to use even for non-designers. Let’s check some of them.

Features To Look For

You’re a busy marketer with several tasks at hand including crafting social media posts, creating landing pages, and producing newsletters, among others. You turn to design tools to help you especially since you do not have a design background. What should you look for in a design solution? Here’s a checklist:

  1. User-friendly. This is your primary consideration. The tool must not require steep learning and much of your time. Hence, it should have easy navigation, intuitive controls, and the essential features to do the job.
  2. Adequate Features. You don’t need design software with all the bells and whistles. It may be armed to the teeth with features but if you’ll be using just a couple of them, then it’s not worth it. Go for solutions with ample tools to address your requirements.
  3. Accessible. The advantage of cloud-hosted, web-based solutions is that you can access them anytime from your smartphone, tablet, and laptop. You’re not tied down to using software installed on your desktop at home or in the office. You can work anywhere you have to.
  4. Affordable. There are several no-cost design solutions but you’ll find them quite limited in features and capabilities. More advanced features are locked in premium versions. The good thing is that affordable paid plans are usually available. These are minimal investments worth taking up.
  5. Integration. Go for design tools that can integrate with the productivity and business apps that you use. It’s quite convenient if the tool can integrate with your social media, SEO, CMS, CRM, and other apps in your technology stack.
  6. Customer Support. This is sometimes overlooked but it’s important to have a readily available support team that you can reach for any issues. Likewise, it’s helpful if the software has enough online resources and tutorials you can access anytime.

Many design tools will give you extras and freebies for your chosen plan. It’s good if they don’t come with any hidden cost. You’ll also be enticed to upgrade to a higher-priced plan. Resist the temptation unless it’s necessary for your work. If the current plan helps you do the job well, stick with it.

Design Tools for Non-Designer Marketers

What we have here are leading design tools for marketers who are newbies and non-designers. Consider these as your go-to solutions if you need to quickly and easily come up with graphic and design content for your marketing activities.

1. Canva

Canva

Image credit: canva.com

Canva is best for designing visuals and graphics for social media, although that’s not the only thing it can do. It is a complete design, editing, publishing, presentation, and branding solution. This makes it an extremely popular tool for marketers, entrepreneurs, and creative professionals.

It boasts over 100 million monthly active users from 190 countries. Its massive appeal stems from being a very user-friendly and capable platform. Add to that some pocket-friendly pricing plans and you got yourself a winner. And it’s built for collaboration, allowing your marketing team to contribute inputs and ideas.

Beginners and non-designers will appreciate its simple and clear interface as well as fast and smooth operations. It also has a huge library of templates for just about any design type or project whether these are for print, web copy, social media, and marketing campaigns.

Key Features

  • 8,000 templates
  • Add text to photos
  • Add texture
  • Collaboration tools
  • Design grids
  • Drag-and-drop editor
  • Free icons
  • Image cropper
  • Image transparency
  • Multimedia platform
  • Photo effects

Pricing

Canva offers a 30-day free trial as well as regular discounts.

  • Canva Free – $0.00
  • Canva Pro – $12.99/month for 1 person
  • Canva for Teams – $14.99/month for the first 5 people

Why It’s Worth a Try

  • Beginner-friendly
  • Lots of customizable templates
  • Easy social media graphics creator
  • Collaborative platform
  • Affordable pricing

Top Alternatives – Design Wizard, Desygner, VistaCreate
Check Canva Pricing

2. Pixlr

PixlrImage credit: pixlr.com

Pixlr is best for easy but powerful image editing without the steep learning curve and high cost. You can immediately start using the platform even if it’s your first time encountering a photo editing program. Ease of use is one of its two best-selling points. The other is that it has a feature-filled free version.

If you’re a marketer, you know that photo editing is a vital and regular part of your work. You need to quickly come up with professional-looking photos for your marketing and promotional materials like ads, posters, flyers, presentations, blogs, and social media posts.

You don’t have time to master Photoshop or the resources to subscribe to similar expensive editing software. You need something that can help you do the job easily but still carry an array of tools for basic and intermediate-level editing. Pixlr fits the bill.

Key Features

  • Pixlr X for design projects
  • Pixlr E for photo editing projects
  • Photomash Studio (one-click visual creator)
  • Thousands of free templates
  • Work with images, texts, and elements
  • Remove backgrounds
  • Filters and effects
  • Animation creator
  • Collage maker

Pricing

For a long time, Pixlr has been offering its platform with some of the most capable tools at no cost. It continues to do that, making the program available free of charge to students, individuals, and marketers.

But it has now introduced a couple of paid plans that allow access to premium features and assets.

  • Premium – $7.99/month for 1 seat ($4.90/month if paid annually)
  • Team – $12.99/month starting from 5 seats ($9.91/month if paid annually)

Why It’s Worth a Try

  • Powerful without the high learning curve
  • Intuitive interface and responsive controls
  • Modern and sophisticated layout
  • Multi-platform (Windows, Mac & iOS/Android apps)
  • Free version brimming with tools and capabilities

Top Alternatives – Photopea, BeFunky, PicMonkey
Check Pixlr Pricing

3. OptinMonster

OptinMonsterImage credit: optinmonster.com

OptinMonster is best for creating lead capture forms that are attractive and conversion-optimized. It can help you easily design the elements and content you need for your website and marketing campaigns. It is built to facilitate more leads and increase sales through a powerful conversion toolkit.

With a robust but easy-to-use drag-and-drop builder and several pre-made templates, you can quickly create inline forms, sidebar forms, scroll boxes, popups, floating bars, interactive coupon wheels, playbooks, and more. No design background is necessary but if you prefer to do the designs yourself, you can with no coding required.

In addition to the builder platform are all the tools you need for lead generation and optimization such as campaign scheduling, A/B testing, success tracking, lead segmentation, and smart tags, among others. It’s your all-in-one marketing and conversion toolbox that’s easy to use and proven to give you optimal returns.

Key Features

  • Visual editor
  • Drag-and-drop builder
  • Elements and content creator
  • 300+ built-in templates
  • Custom fonts
  • Custom styles
  • Analytics & reporting
  • Lead generation tools
  • Subscriber management

Pricing

All plans are billed annually and feature unlimited campaigns and unlimited subscribers.

  • Basic – $9/month
  • Plus – $19/month
  • Pro – $29/month
  • Growth – $49/month

Why It’s Worth a Try

  • Easy to use and understand
  • Plenty of customization options
  • Affordable pricing
  • Ready-made templates
  • Regular updates and new features

Top AlternativesLeadpages, Convert Pro, OptiMonk
Check OptinMonster Pricing

4. Venngage

VenggageImage credit: venggage.com

Venngage is best for creating infographics which is one of the top content types valued and appreciated by website visitors. It is a very effective way to inform your audience and relay your messages through a bite-sized, easy-to-understand medium.

But designing an engaging infographic is no easy task since it involves graphic, layout, and artistic skills. That was before. Today there are online infographic builders that do not require a creative background. Leading the pack is Venngage where you can make professional infographics in three simple steps.

With the web-based program, you can make infographics on just about any subject sans the complication and the cost. No need to hire expensive graphic designers or design agencies. Venngage provides you with an easy-to-use platform where you can build and design not only infographics but also presentations, reports, diagrams, charts, and many more.

Key Features

  • Infographics maker
  • Design tools/design AI
  • Data visualization tools
  • Smart editor/diagram
  • Free templates, stock images, icons, etc.
  • Brand kit
  • Team collaboration & sharing
  • Export to PDF, PNG, or PowerPoint

Pricing

  • Free – $0.00 Good for 5 designs
  • Premium – $19/user/month
  • Business – $49/user/month
  • Enterprise – Starting at $499/month for 10 seats

Why It’s Worth a Try

  • Beginner-friendly editor and templates
  • Modern, clean, and customizable templates
  • Massive library of stock photos, icons, widgets, and illustrations
  • Unlimited designs for paid plans
  • Real-time collaboration

Top AlternativesCreately, Piktochart, Snappa

5. Campaign Monitor

CampaignMonitorImage credit: campaignmonitor.com

Campaign Monitor is best for creating emails and newsletters to build a stronger engagement with your audience. The web-based SaaS tool allows you to manage your mailing list, capture data from your emails, and send through emails your HTML newsletters.

The program is meant to level up your email marketing starting with designing beautiful emails. No design and coding knowledge are needed since you’ll be using an intuitive drag-and-drop email builder and pre-made templates. Just put your text copy, branding elements, images, and other design assets, then schedule it to be automatically delivered.

The requisite features for email marketing, customization, and automation are provided by the platform. These include segmentation and mobile optimization tools, A/B testing, real-time analytics and reporting, advanced link tracking, and many others.

Key Features

  • Email builder
  • Template library
  • Mobile-ready templates
  • Free image library
  • Segmentation
  • Personalization
  • Marketing automation
  • Analytics
  • Signup forms

Pricing

  • Basic – $9/month (2,500 emails)
  • Unlimited – $29/month (unlimited emails)
  • Premiere – $140/month (unlimited emails)

Why It’s Worth a Try

  • User-friendly email builder
  • Hundreds of professionally-made templates
  • Personalize and customize email content
  • 250+ integrations
  • Advanced real-time analytics

Top Alternatives – Aweber, GetResponse, Mailerlite

6. InVideo

InVideo

Image credit: invideo.io

InVideo is best for easy video editing and creation. Videos are among the most engaging content that you can use for your website or marketing campaigns. Quickly creating quality videos is now a breeze unlike before when you need expensive equipment and specialized software.

Nowadays, all you require is your laptop or desktop and an internet connection. InVideo is a cloud-hosted, web-based, DIY video solution that is used by small and large businesses. It boasts nearly two million videos created through the platform.

InVideo comes with plenty of built-in video templates and themes to help you easily start your projects whether these are short presentations, ads, demos, social posts, or web content. It comes equipped with a wide array of tools like text editing and overly, video capture, looping, and stabilization, to name a few.

Key Features

  • 5,000+ customizable templates
  • 3M+ media library
  • 50+ AI-powered themes
  • 3-step video creation
  • Basic and advanced tools
  • Multi-platform (Windows, Mac & iOS/Android apps)

Pricing

  • Free – $0.00 Export up to 60 videos/month (with watermark)
  • Business – $30/month, unlimited videos, templates, photos, 60 HD video exports/month
  • Unlimited – $60/month, unlimited videos, templates, photos, and video exports

Why It’s Worth a Try

  • Effortless video editing
  • Designed as a DIY platform
  • Easy to carry your branding
  • Array of tools and features
  • Large library of customizable templates

Top AlternativesVideoScribe, StoryXpress, WeVideo
Check InVideo Pricing

7. Unsplash

UnsplashImage credit: Unsplash.com

Unsplash is best for sourcing free stock images for your websites, blogs, social media posts, and marketing campaigns. For many, it is the default site when they need copyright-free images that can be used for personal and commercial purposes.

But there are several players in this field. We recently explored some of the leading sites offering free stock images that can be used for your corporate website in 2023. Many of these sites offer similar features including having high-quality photos that you can download in your preferred size and availability of apps and plugins.

What distinguishes Unsplash is the sheer size, quality, and variety of its collection. You can find images on just about any subject you need. And finding relevant and interesting photos is easy with its responsive search tools and the use of image tags.

Key Features

  • 3M+ high-resolution photos
  • 1000’s of partner integrations via Unsplash API
  • Apps & plugins (Chrome, WP, iOS, etc.)
  • Attribution not required
  • Various image sizes to download

Pricing

When Unsplash was acquired by Getty Images in 2021, a new premium subscription service was introduced costing $4/month. This allowed for members-only access to new royalty-free images with no download limits.

Why It’s Worth a Try

  • Vast image library
  • Extensive and diverse range of images
  • Easy site search filters and tools
  • Large pool of photographer-contributors
  • Premium service option

Top Alternatives – Pixabay, Pexel, Burst

It’s Time You Do Your Design

We’ve written extensively about web design service options for small businesses. There are four of them – freelance web designer, web design agency, unlimited graphic design service, and self-service. We invite you to read this article because it may be high time for you to take that fourth option and do the designs yourself.

These are valid reasons you may want to invest in yourself. Foremost of these are savings in cost and being able to personally manage the design project. Of course, more will be at stake such as your time and resources.

But remember that these marketing design tools feature intelligible drag-and-drop builders and handy visual editors which make them extremely easy to use. Who knows, you may find designing an enjoyable undertaking and discover there’s a creative streak in you, after all, only waiting to be unleashed.