Do you always need an email marketing service like Mailchimp or Active Campaign to send a HTML designed email? Nope, you can actually use Gmail to send them as well.
You can send these HTML emails as an 1-on-1 message or use a mail merge tool for Gmail like Yet Another Mail Merge to send it to a list of customers or contacts. Emails sent directly from Gmail are much more likely to reach primary inboxes than ones sent from an email marketing platform so if you would like to send list of contacts a nicely designed HTML email instead of plain text, follow along the step by step guide below. This method works in Google Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer.
You can use a browser extension like Streak to know if your contact opened your email or not. You can also use a tool like Gmass to send your HTML designed email to a list of contacts with names and other details personalized for each recipient.