Email is one of the most effective marketing campaigns out there. In fact, the average ROI for an email campaign is 122%.
For those who aren't afraid to take a few extra steps, Email images spice up your campaign and help your email campaign stand out.
I'm going to show you how to properly use images in email.
Email Images: Yes or No?
You can use email images, but should you?
I want to ask a few questions first as these will help you determine if using email images is helping or hurting you. Read them and answer yes or no:
- Do my images support my brand?
- Have I optimized the image size?
- Am I using the correct number of images?
- Am I using image alt tags correctly?
- Are my emails easily accessible?
You may not even know the answer to any of these questions.
If so, you are not getting all you can from your email images. This guide will help you.
But it is not that simple. However, the presence of email images can improve the aesthetics of your email How do you increase the click rate of emails with images?
What is a good email CTR?
Your CTR is the percentage of people who click an image, link, or video in your email to continue with your content. The average click rate across all industries is 2.5%.
This number may sound a little low, but remember, we're talking about click rates, not open rates. This is the number of people who will read your email.
Including images in your campaigns is a great way to increase engagement and improve your chances of increasing traffic or even sales.
Images in Email Marketing: The Magic Ratio
Many marketers will tell you that there is some magical image to text ratio, but it's not always true. What is true is Image-only emails almost always cost you a trip to the spam folder.
If you do this too much, your entire domain will be blacklisted.
This is not good.
The ideal ratio is 30-40% image to text. With higher values, there is a risk that spam filters will be triggered. When you have less, your email will be difficult to read.
The only way to find out what works for your audience is to test it! Use A / B testing to find out what works and what doesn't.
Keep your email images consistent
How many times have you searched for something on Google, found what you wanted, and clicked on the website to find that the link didn't go where you expected it – not at all?
It is frustrating.
The truth is, you may be doing this to people right now without realizing it.
Your email image needs to be in line with your brand and remain consistent throughout your marketing campaign.
Make sure that someone who opens your email is loyal to your company message and that all emails look relatively similar.
If you use blue headings with a specific font in your campaign, it should match the landing page your visitor ends up on.
Personalization and targeting are key
The personalization of emails is more important than ever.
Because there is more impersonal spam communications out there than ever before. Personalization changes the way your email is presented based on the target person.
Just think about it. How many times have you received an email that appears to have been created for you?
Not often, right?
This is where you can stay one step ahead of your competition by doing the things no one else is ready to do.
No product or service has "universal appeal" so you need to narrow down your email images to one target audience.
According to Invesp, 59% of online shoppers find products more interesting when you personalize your marketing approach.
How do you personalize your email images?
Ensure returning buyers
Find products people need to buy regularly and reach out to people who have bought in the past. Amazon uses this strategy, which results in 60% conversions from on-site referrals.
Here is an example from Wayfair based on browsing history:
Recommend new products
Recommend products to customers based on their previous purchase history. Go the extra mile and even call it "Choices for (insert name)". This strategy helps deliver an “in-store experience” to your subscribers.
It's like you went to the clothes rack and specially selected items that you thought would look great on them!
If you're selling a service or a digital subscription, you can ask your subscribers why they haven't made a purchase yet. Give them the opportunity to speak out about what is holding them back.
This way, not only does the email feel more personal and intimate, but it also gives you feedback on what you can do better.
The ALT day is more important than you think
We all know the importance of ALT tags in website images, but what about images in email marketing?
Are you currently using ALT tags properly in your email campaigns?
If the email client doesn't download images correctly, your ALT tag becomes your lifeline for several important reasons:
- If the email client does not download the image, the ALT text will be displayed to the email recipient.
- ALT text provides context when images are not loading.
- ALT tags make it easier for those using screen readers and other accessible technologies to understand the image.
If all else fails, the ALT tag can cause the email recipient to open.
How do I create ALT tags for emails?
At the back end, an ALT tag looks like this:
Where it says "alt =" is where your ALT text goes. If an email image does not load properly, it will appear in the email text area instead of the image.
The process of adding may vary depending on the email client you are using. For example, how to add ALT tags in MailChimp.
Use the best format for email images
You have three primary formatting options for your email image. PNGs, JPEGs, and GIFs are the most common options. Let's look at the pros and cons of each.
Portable network graphics offer a wide range of colors. Compressing the file size does not affect the image resolution.
Another benefit is that you can add transparent layers to easily embed the image over other content. This way you can blend the background image into an email with live text.
The only downside to PNGs is that the file size is much larger compared to JPEGs and GIFs due to the image quality.
JPEGs offer great image compression, but they affect image quality. When you shrink a JPEG image, each section is grouped into larger blocks, which blurs the image – which doesn't look good.
While these are the most common types of images, I wouldn't recommend using them for email images.
You get less color vibration with GIFs because they use an 8-bit color palette compared to a 24-bit palette with PNGs and JPEGs.
The obvious difference is the animation effect. Using GIFs in your emails increases interactivity and allows you to display more than one product with the same image.
How to Find the Best Email Images
Finding the right images to get your email message across is critical. There are different types of images that you can use, and each has its own purpose. Let's look at a few.
Charts and graphs
Providing statistics and data is almost useless without a graphic to back up. If you provide diagrams in your e-mail to prove a point, this makes it much easier for the recipient to grasp your message.
Inside's business newsletter includes a Series A funding tracker that lets you see which startups recently raised $ 5M in funding:
This shows at a glance who received the largest funding by size and color.
Piktochart is an infographic tool that allows you to easily create free charts (with watermarks). Just fill in the data and choose the type of chart you want.
Stock images are the easiest way to add images to your email marketing campaign. There are a wide variety of sites to choose from such as Shutterstock, Depositphotos, and Pixabay.
When choosing the best image, choose something that is relevant to your audience. When reaching out to middle-aged mothers of young children, look for images that appeal to your demographic.
Don't just add pictures to add pictures – make sure they have a purpose.
Instead of using a numbered list to explain how something works, turn the process into beautiful pictures with screenshots.
Awesome Screenshot is a browser extension for Chrome, Safari and Firefox with which screenshots can easily be captured directly from the browser. You can capture a whole page or part of it and download it to your computer.
Keeping it real and making things personal is never a bad choice. Email marketing is all about pulling the curtain back and showing people what you're about.
You don't need professional photos to make sales, and the realistic and pure nature of personal photos can be just what you need.
Illustrations are a great way to expand your options. While you might be able to do a certain amount of things with a product, an illustration can reveal unlimited options while staying true to your brand.
Here is an example from comedian Nate Bargatze announcing a drive-in tour. After this picture, his email contained a call-to-action with further information.
Hire an illustrator for Fiverr or Upwork for affordable illustrations.
User generated content
User generated content is huge. In fact, 76% of customers trust content made by “average” people compared to the brand itself.
UGC helps build trust and provides authority from a relatable audience. For example, imagine how a picture of someone using your product at home outperforms a photo or cartoon using it.
Offer rewards to happy customers by uploading images to social media using specific hashtags and using those images in your email marketing campaigns.
Never send image-only email
While pictures are important, you should never send picture-only email.
Image blocking is real
If you work in the corporate world, you understand this point. Many companies block pictures by default, and in fact, 43% of email users have their pictures turned off.
So if you don't have your ALT text game up to date, your campaign won't load properly.
Size of the email image file
Email image sizes can cause subscribers with slow connections to be delayed and unresponsive. If your email takes too long to load, your subscribers will click or even unsubscribe because your emails won't open properly.
The accessibility of emails is changing
More and more people are using voice assistants to read email and they don't yet recognize ALT text or HTML. If the user is trying to read your picture-only email, you are out of luck.
What is the ideal email image format?
Background images with live text
Do you remember earlier when we talked about the benefits of using PNG files for your email images? Everything comes together here.
Background images applied as an element to the email allow you to place live text over it for the best possible accessibility. Even if images are disabled for the subscriber, the text will still be displayed, which will ensure that all subscribers will get some of the email.
Pasting your CTA into your picture is a fatal mistake. If the image is blocked or doesn't load properly, the button or CTA you have will be hidden by the recipient and completely overlooked.
Bulletproof buttons let you create the button using code, not images. So if everything fails and your image doesn't load, the subscriber will still get your text and CTA.
Email images are an effective strategy for increasing the success of your email campaigns. However, you cannot use shortcuts.
Using the right image size, format, and design is critical to making sure your emails get delivered and get results.
Follow all of the best and worst practices outlined in this guide and you will be well on your way to a higher CTR and repeatable email process that will grow traffic for years.
Need help perfecting your email image strategy? Leave a comment below.