We used Email Monks to design a huge master template for us. Depending on how much advanced design you need they can be really cost effective, and I found them extremely helpful when it came to amends to the template.
My team and I had the same problem. We found a program that was very cheap and agile. BeeFree.io We now create all our emails in BeeFree and transfer the HTML into Marketo. It is an extra step, but the end result is much better than the standard templates offered by Marketo.
Adam, you may be the saving grace my friend I jumped on BeeFree and wow totally impressed and love the fact they even have a free option. You can also pay as high as $25 monthly for a Pro Account also (unsure of the perks as yet). Coming from a non-technical person with zero HTML skill sets this product looks like it's going to do the job for us. Will share more on an update with everyone once I have had my first user experience.
Glad I could help.
We have the Pro version. For $25 a month we get two user IDs to sign in and work at the same time and they save a set amount of templates we can reference (we created the templates). They also save our previous emails so we can go back and essentially clone them and rework them for new emails.
Love it mate, I just uploaded my first template and have to say works perfectly. $25p/m is absolutely money worthwhile spending. I have been quoted in excess of $10K for one template and must admit very expensive consultation services (all because I have no HTML) glad companies like BeeFree.io is out there making a change.
BEE is an inexpensive option that has a good WYSIWYG editor for creating non-Marketo formatted HTML email code. Just keep in mind there is a few things you'll need to do to the code in order to send it out through Marketo effectively.
We can also help you at Perkuto, we offer custom Creative Services (emails and landing pages design and coding), and we also have on our website email and guided landing page templates for $299. You can find them right here: https://perkuto.com/consulting_services/marketo-templates
For a small fee, we can also customize these templates to your brand.
Do not hesitate to communicate with us for any questions,