Article first published July 2015, updated May 2019
Visual content is becoming increasingly more important. Having an image or icon to support your message is key to getting and retaining a reader’s attention.
The problem is, coming up with new imagery for every email marketing campaign is tough. Unless you have a design team with a lot of time on their hands, chances are you don’t have the resources to create new images for every campaign you send.
That’s where icon sites come into play.
The problem here is that there are almost too many sites to choose from. Marketers like you could spend hours going through all of the icon sites available looking for the right icon for your campaign.
So to make your life a bit easier, we spent a few hours trawling the web to find the 8 most awesome icon sites that you can use to find great icons for your email marketing campaigns.
1. The Noun Project
The Noun Project lets you search by name for the type of icon you are looking for. Icons are free to download and use if you give the creator credit for the icon, or you can pay $9.99/month for unlimited icons with no creator credit.
RoundIcons gives you access to flat icons, doodle icons, boldicons, and more! Browse through over 8,500 icons to find the one that is right for your email marketing campaign. The pricing varies by what kind of icon you are searching for.
IconMonstr lets you search by name or view the most popular icons by clicking on their heart icon. All icons on this site are free with no attribution required. You can even grab some of their online swag when you’re done browsing through icons.
4. Dry Icons
Dry Icons contains over 5,000 different icons across 70+ individual icon sets. Some sets, like Coquette, have over 400 different icons that you could download and use to create a consistent visual style across all your campaigns.
Vecteezy contains over 7,000 icons from different contributors across the globe. The site has a lot of icons in really varied styles, including line icons, flat icons, cartoons and more. This helps ensure you can find something that suits the look and feel of your brand.
FlatIcon claims to be the largest database of free vector icons on the web. Icons are organized into packs and cover a wide variety of subject matter including media, management, finance, graphs, travel, fashion & more. With such a wide variety of subjects, you’re likely to find a suitable icon for even the most obscure of topics.
7. Icon Shock
Icon Shock claims to have over 800,000 icons on the site, which would have to make it one of the largest on the web. The good thing about the site is it’s very well organized and you can browse icon sets by style (flat, 3D, material, black and white, etc) and then by subject matter (accounting, business, education, multimedia, etc) which makes it surprisingly easy to find the right kind of icon for your email campaign.
8. Material Design Icons
Material Design Icons gives you a variety of icons to choose from and even lets you view the contributors to the site. Download as many icons as you need in different sizes and formats. Material Design Icons shares their icons with you for no cost.
Cheap and free icons for new sites
Do you have a new site you’re trying to promote? Maybe a new email campaign you’re launching? You may need email icons, but you could be stuck without a huge budget.
Luckily, your email icon options are plentiful. There are a lot of free email icon sites, and even those that aren’t free sometimes offer great rates. Here’s a selection of various companies that offer cheap and free icons to help you get what you need, without breaking the bank.
Source: Icon Finder
Sponsored by media giant Shutterstock, Icon Finder has plenty of low-cost options to help you get email signature icons, social media symbols, and much more. When you check out the site, the first thing you may notice is that you have the option of choosing between free or premium content. If you’re looking for free icons only, it helps to be able to narrow down your search.
Looking for free vector icons or traditional symbols? You can also sort by style, including outline, flat, filled outline, and much more. With such a wide selection of icons, it’s easy to outfit your email newsletter or new website with great-looking content.
Sponsored by the collaborative work tool Slack, Icons8 is a massive source of media that doesn’t require you to empty your wallet. There are photos, music, and vectors as well, but the main focus here is a large selection of icons.
The best part about this site is the massive selection you have. The next-best feature would have to be the well-organized presentation, which lets you choose by style or category. Notice the nice inclusion here, in that you can also search by trend.
Looking to capitalize off popular events with your email marketing? Find icons that sync up with trending topics to make your content more memorable right down to the image.
Rather than finding websites where you can get free email icon options, you can also make your own for a more personalized touch. For many people, this is the best way to save money and ensure the icons encompass the spirit of the company’s brand.
Canva has ready-made templates for a variety of media types, including emails, and even for individual graphics, like headers. Whether you want to make a single email icon PNG or a full new design for your site, Canva’s easy-to-use platform gives you plenty of free materials and an intuitive interface.
While touted as a site primarily for social media, you can create icons that work just as well in emails. The design platform is also known for its simplicity, helping independent marketers and small businesses get going quickly.
If you have limited resources, including time, this design platform is perfect for you. Like Canva, you can save your designs and easily edit them as needed.
Visual content is king. Using the sites above will take some stress out of creating your email marketing campaigns and content moving forward. Simply bookmark and come back to them each time you need an icon to make your message more compelling.
Ready to get your email marketing off to the proper start with email marketing icon options that stand out? Check out these sets in addition to the ones on this list to outfit your emails for excellence.