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Visuals are powerful attention-grabbers for any marketing message.
Whether they're used on websites, social media or emails, images are easier for the brain to process, stay in the long-term memory for longer and help distinguish a message from dozens of similar ones.
Having said that, marketers treat email images as a double-edged sword.
For one thing, they increase the size of the email, reducing loading speed and creating possible learning issues. Plus, the abundance of images results in low deliverability in emails.
So how do you make the most of visual content in every email you send?
In this post, we’ll look at the best practices of incorporating images into your email messages and examine some common mistakes marketers make when designing emails.
We’ll also describe the most converting types of email images you can work with so you can get better results out of your campaigns.
As mentioned above, failing to optimize images can do your email more harm than good. People are sending you their email addresses, and you want to treat them well.
The mistakes listed below are especially damaging to your conversions, IP and domain reputation.
For a single-column email, 600x700 px is the recommended image size. If your content has more columns, the images might need to be yet narrower.
If you go beyond the threshold, the picture will be distorted or cropped on smartphones, tablets or desktop devices with smaller screens.
Other than that, using images that are too wide increases the overall size of your email, killing its performance. If a reader doesn’t have a powerful internet connection, chances are your email visual will not load altogether.Pro-tip: There are plenty of tools that help marketers adjust the size of their email images. Some of these platforms include Fotor, Pixlr and iPiccy.
It’s a common mistake among marketers to add images to an email as attachments as opposed to sending them inline. Sure, you can share large files this way, but that’s about the only advantage of this approach.
There are plenty of reasons not to send visuals as attachments in your next email:
There are dozens of image file formats. However, only a few are supported by most email clients. Rather than using a .godknowswhat format to share visuals, stick to one of the three most common file types—GIF, JPG, or PNG.
Let’s take a look at their respective pros and cons in the infographic below.
It’s no secret that emails can have a different look and feel on mobile devices.
While most email marketers don’t like dealing with mobile optimization, the truth is, a smaller screen can improve the quality of your content if you follow these tips:
When business owners and entry-level marketers find out about the power of images in email marketing, they tend to go overboard—way overboard, if you ask me.
So how many images is too many in an email?
Based on this Constant Contact study, 3 or less images in an email is ideal.
Thus, three pictures are a recommended threshold for email marketers to follow. This way, the email is memorable but not at the cost of performance and loading speed.
Now that we have covered the traps email marketers fall into when working with images, let’s go over the ways to make visuals work for you, help you connect with users and bring forth new leads.
Here are the top seven practices for attention-grabbing, converting and powerful images in your company’s marketing or transactional email.
If you want to use email images wisely, make sure they magnify the influence of your copy, rather than distracting users and offering conflicting messages.
Ideally, every visual you add should complement the copy and provide users additional value. For instance, if you describe an upcoming sale, provide all the technical details in the copy and use visuals to showcase the discounted products.
This way, a reader will have a stronger appeal to visit the store and see the items on their own.
This one seems obvious but is often neglected by marketers. As you design your referral emails, for example, keep in mind that the email images should be sharp and clear in order to be powerful.
If you don’t have a high-resolution image that’s relevant to the letter, try using editing tools like Upscalepics or Photo Zoom Pro, or finding visuals on free stock image libraries.Pro-tip: There are tons of free stock photo libraries with millions of options to choose from. Some popular ones are Pexels, Unsplash and Stocksnap.
You can also use Gmail for your nonprofit to upload high-quality images.
To run effective email marketing strategies, you want to stay consistent, whether it's by the topic, writing style or the email images that you decide to use.
Since imagery is your way to build a link between the newsletter and the brand in a customer’s mind, be sure to commit to a distinct visual style that will be associated with no other company but yours.
For example, Visme's email newsletters carry a distinct, illustrated email image style.
But when thinking about an image style, most marketers immediately assume they need to hire designers for creating custom email images. That’s not the case.
More often than not, even committing to a distinct color palette is enough to do the trick and help you connect with customers.
Email marketers are acutely aware of how little time readers are willing to spend reading an email. That’s why we recognize the power of the saying ‘An image is worth a thousand words’.
As you work on an engaging email, commit to showing the product or a recommended action rather than telling a user about it.
For one thing, it’s a tried-and-true way to increase trust in the company or product. A user will feel more confident about completing the transaction after seeing the items the brand offers.
Other than that, by walking readers through the actions needed to use the software or fulfill an order, you will reduce the number of support queries, helping you build proactive customer service.
There are dozens of factors that determine the way a reader sees the visuals in an email. Email marketers need to pay attention to query, navigation, hierarchy, paddings, HTML and CSS formatting.
To make sure each component is on point and won't interfere with the way users see an email, use testing tools to check how images will be displayed on different types of devices and screens.
From logo placement to fonts, brand consistency is crucial in every marketing campaign.
Images are a part of your company’s identity—use the potential of your email images to the fullest by adding your company's branding elements to them.
Here are a couple of simple ways to connect every picture you place within an email to your brand:
We all know Freddie, Mailchimp’s mascot, well enough. You can get just as creative and design a cute representative for your brand.
Other than being powerful attention-grabbers, images are crucial components of visual hierarchy.
It’s also common practice to place the company’s logo in the header and social media icons, map or brand graphics in the footer.
Such a clear, well-defined structure improves the comprehension of an email, making it more readable.
Images are an important part of every newsletter. They’re a crucial component of brand identity, help increase brand awareness among readers and can improve conversions if used wisely.
As you put visual content inside your emails, be sure that the images complement the copy, are mobile responsive, provide additional value, follow image SEO guidelines and connect the reader to the brand.
This way, you will be able to create memorable email images that increase brand awareness and attract new customers to your website or physical store.
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