Email marketing continues to be the solid foundation of almost all marketing budgets. The best use of images and graphics helps maximize the benefit of your campaigns.
Graphics Increase Click-Through Rates
As more email is being read on mobile devices, visual appeal is impacting click-through rates. With 1.4 billion smart phones in the hands of email recipients, the fact that visuals are processed in the brain 60,000x faster than text alone. (Source: Neo Mammalian Studios)
Another reason why images work for email marketing is it shows greater respect for your reader’s time. It also can have the power to communicate an emotionally compelling message in a way text alone cannot.
For those who are accustomed to the beautiful graphical displays of newsletters and brochures, it is tempting to use lots of image files. Your email template is not a printed mailer and cannot be approached in the same manner. Designing electronic mail has usability limitations.
1. Users don’t navigate an email like a brochure. Their eye tracks through the design in a very different way.
2. Many recipients will decide whether to open in less than two seconds, based on the preview pane.
3. Put your most important text at the beginning. Include an image in the top two inches of your email template. (This is critical for mobile users.)
Use html tables and colors to make your email visually appealing without as many images.
Graphics affect Deliverability
Many email marketers try to embed images to make it look similar to a webpage or printed brochure. Unfortunately, many of those images will never be seen by the end user. Many email service providers (Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail) set the default status to block images. Surveys shows 40-60% of users do not change the default setting to allow images.
The embedded images can even get your email sent directly to the recipient’s spam folder. Sadly, people with bad intent will use image urls and image files to plant viruses or collect information about people. Because of this bad practice, the spam filters will often see large images as suspicious.
3 Important Tips
Clearly, images benefit email marketing. Don’t forget these basic principles for images:
1. Limit Images to no more than 25% of the email real estate. Leave 75% for conveying your message with text.
2. Use Alt and Title Text: This text content is contained within your image or below the graphic image to convey the message when the graphic is not downloaded. Don’t skip this step.
3. Don’t Trap the Message in a Graphic: If you want readers to know something, it can’t be trapped in an image. Make sure important information, like product descriptions, dates or value propositions are in html text. Even “click to order” images should be html buttons.
The way you use graphics in your email marketing campaign can make a huge difference in the results. Experiment with colors, placement, image type and number of images to determine what works for your business. Constantly test and measure results on your CRM dashboard. Soon you will know what is important to your readers.