Best ways to use images in email marketing

One of the best practices in writing cold emails is to keep them short and direct. So what to do when we have a lot of information to communicate? That’s where images can be very valuable in email marketing.

Instead of overwhelming readers with text, images can summarize ideas or create appeal, and in turn, increase an email’s overall click rate.

This guide will explore the best ways to effectively use images in marketing emails.

The Benefits of Images for Email Marketing

Often, even the best email copy doesn’t succeed without strong visual design. That’s when images can be used for visual impact.

Your subscribers don’t always have time to read lengthy emails. Images help to make your emails easy to understand and therefore more engaging. Readers respond much better to images and other visuals compared to text.

Let’s look at an example. Let’s say, you are a event company, and you’re planning to send out an email inviting people to an upcoming festival. The festival offers a variety of options from food, music to flea market . Your email has the perfect catchy subject line, informative content, and an exciting call-to-action.

But without a festive looking image, your plain textual email may not have the best visual impact on your audience.

So you can either get click a few pics by yourself, or look for relevant stock images. But adding images, like a dash of color, will definitely make your emails stand out and increase the overall click rate.

Types of Images to engage the audience

1. Charts & graphs

Statistics, reports, and complex data can be hard to comprehend, but using charts and graphs to represent that complex data makes it much more easier to understand. Then the readers can understand the key message you’re trying to convey.

Moreover, by creating charts and graphs, you’re adding more credibility to your posts and brand. You’re strengthening your position as the expert in your niche.

using charts in emails

2. Screenshots

Screenshots are very useful for backing up the claims you make in your sales content. For example, if you’re marketing a software to perform certain functions, a screenshot with a caption can be the visual verification your audience needs in order to trust your claims.

Instead of simply explaining the way your software works, give readers a visual overview with screenshots. So they can see it for themselves.

why to use screenshots in email marketing

3. Personal Images

There’s a higher need for personalization in email marketing now. Using personal photos in your email marketing is a great way to incorporate personalization.

personalized images in email marketing

Sometimes all you need is a, personal image of your product or business to show people how great it is. In this case, don’t be afraid to snap a photo yourself and include it in your email campaign.

Even if your photo isn’t of the highest quality, personal photos might be just the realistic touch your email subscribers are looking for.

4. Icons

Emails with a lot of images can be cluttering and messy at times, so sometimes, it’s a good idea to use icons to express ideas in an easy and elegant manner.

Commonly icons are used to highlight key features in a product. Unlike photos, they tend to keep the reader focused on the message at hand.

benefits of using icons in emails

5. Info-graphics

Infographics are a valuable tool for visual communication. The most visually unique, creative infographics are often the most effective, because they grab our attention and don’t let go.

Infographics are used to

  • present data in a fresh way,
  • strengthen your argument,
  • visualize timelines in client proposals,
  • deliver progress reports,
  • increase brand awareness and educate too.
using infographics in emails

6. Stock Images

Stock images are the simplest way to add images to your emails campaigns, and they’re available on a number of sites. With millions of images at your disposal, you should be able to find exactly what you’re looking for.

You can also edit stock images by cropping, adding text, adjusting colors, and more.

People often think of stock photos as generic, but they can also look just as authentic as a picture taken by your team. You could look for a stock image that features a “normal” person rather than a model.

use stock images for emotional triggers in emails

Image-to-Text Ratio in Emails

Just adding images to your emails may not be enough. If they’re not properly sized, they may end up adversely impacting the performance of your email campaigns.

Spam filters use a variety of criteria to assess the relevance of each message. Emails that contain only images, for example, will likely be sent to Spam folders by most platforms. Optimizing image to text ratio is one of the easiest ways to increase delivery rate and therefore improve performance on all metrics.

Mailchimp recommends an 80:20 text to image ratio. Most leading industry blogs are in agreement. What this means is that when you look at your email as a whole, 20% of it should be images, and 80% of it should be text.

Going above 50% images can trigger spam filters and prevent your messages from reaching inboxes. On the other hand, including more than 80% text will make your email unnecessarily difficult to read.

The Best Format for Email Images

An important factor to note when sending an image is to send it in the proper graphics file format. Not all images have the same format.

The best formats for sending e-mail photo attachments are JPEG, GIF and PNG. These are also the most common formats, widely used on the web. The images look good, and the file size is small.

Among the worst formats for sending e-mail photo attachments are TIFF and BMP. They’re graphics file formats, but the file size is huge. 

PNG

PNGs, offer excellent fidelity and a larger color palette than GIFs. Unlike JPEGs, PNGs compress files without affecting their resolution, maintaining the quality of the original image.

One of the key benefits of PNGs is their ability to act as transparent layers, making it simple to embed them on top of other content. For example, a PNG would blend in more smoothly over a background image compared to a GIF.

If an email includes screenshots, these can be reproduced perfectly using the PNG format. Lossy formats like JPEGs may lose some quality relative to the original. The main downside is that PNGs are often much larger than JPEGs or GIFs.

JPEG

JPEG is one of the most common image formats. As mentioned above, it offers substantial image compression, often reducing file size by 90 or more percent. Unfortunately, JPEGs are a lossy format, while both GIFs and PNGs maintain the quality of the original image (aside from potential color distortion in GIFs).

JPEGs compress images by grouping sections into larger blocks, and this process irreversibly reduces the quality of the file.

GIF

Like PNGs, GIFs are technically lossless, although some fidelity may be lost in the transition to an 8-bit color palette. Both PNGs and JPEGs use a 24-bit palette, allowing for a significantly wider range of colors.

The most obvious difference between GIFs and the other two formats is animation. You can use animated images in your emails and increase the attractiveness of it and show more products.

Mistakes to avoid when adding Images

1. Using wrong file type

There are many file types that you could use to save your images like- JPEG, GIFs, PNGs.

Most of your images will probably be saved as either JPG files or PNG files. Make sure, you are aware of the pros & cons of each file type and then choose on the right and best type.

TypeWorks Best WithProsCons
PNG1. All Images1. Best quality, regardless of content
2. Supports full transparency 
3. Great for text 
4. Can fix some distortions caused by other file types
5. Doesn’t compress when uploaded
1. Larger file size
JPG1. Photos1. Small File Size1. Distorts image to reduce file size 
2. Doesn’t work well with text
3. Doesn’t support transparency
4. Compresses when uploaded
GIF 1.Logos
2. Simple Graphics
3. Low Resolution Images
1. Small file size
2. Supports basic transparency
3. Doesn’t compress when uploaded
1. Limited to 256 colors
2. Images can appear grainy if they use web-unsafe colors

2. Using heavy image files

Having too many high-quality images can adversely affect loading times, slowing your emails way, way down. And if your email doesn’t load quickly, odds are your subscribers will just ignore it instead of waiting around.

So, always try to find a balance between image quality and file size.

3. Not providing call-to-action

Images do a great job of grabbing attention, but make sure you know what to do with that attention once you have it.

Think about the action you want people to take. For example – If you’re a nonprofit organization that’s hoping to generate donations, you can use an image to make a personal connection with your reader. But then you should also include a button for people to donate online.

This button should be prominently visible and should not get overshadowed by the image.

You can do the same if you’re trying to promote your products or highlight your different services. Just make sure you’re providing an easy way for people to take the next step as that will get you more email responses.

4. Ignoring different display options

Remember that your email can display differently in various email clients— some email clients will even block images automatically.

This is why it’s beneficial to use an email template and insert your content, rather than simply uploading an image and using it as your entire email campaign.

One of the best ways to make sure your email can be viewed as intended, is to add a “View as webpage” link to the top of your email. That way, anyone who runs into display issues can view the full email the way you designed it by clicking on that link.

5. Using the wrong image size

Once you’ve decided which images to use, you want to make sure they fit in your email campaign. If an image looks too large or small, you can resize it.

For single column templates, your images should be no wider than 600 pixels (an email template’s width). Specify the image height and width for all images, and be sure to preview your emails on both mobile and desktop before sending.

Conclusion

Images are important in email marketing more than ever, but it’s about finding the right balance between when, where, and how you use it.

Email marketing is far from dead and continues to be one of the best ways of reaching your customers and building a lasting relationship with them. However, it’s evolved, and it’s important that your email marketing strategy gets onboard with images.

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