What images have the most impact in your email marketing?

AlchemyWorx does quite a bit of research into every area of email marketing, and the agency always tackles topics that are of huge interest to marketers. A recent look at the use of images within the email revealed some interesting results. They tested one edition of an email marketing newsletter with images portraying different meanings of the topic, and the other with different images portraying the same meaning.

Images in email marketing are essential to engagement

The results showed the importance, particularly in more editorial contexts, of choosing an image that directly supports the meaning of your message.

Best Practice of image choice, based on results:

  1. Pick images that convey the meaning of your subject matter.
  2. Well-chosen images that give a visual cue to the message’s contents are more likely to generate clicks than those that are more obscure in their meaning.
  3. Images should illustrate not simply the product itself but an attractive scenario showing the product in action.

I’m often asked for guidelines in implementing images in an email marketing newsletter – here are six tips:

  1. Your content should include descriptions of any pictures featured. This lets readers know what they’re missing visually, and encourages them to turn on the image.
  2. Test your emails before sending to see how they look with images on and off.
  3. Don’t embed or attach images – This can create delivery issues. Instead, have your images hosted on your server or with your email service provider.
  4. Fill in the alternative text field in your image tags – in some email software this is what will appear where images are turned off.
  5. Avoid using one big image – This can result in one big empty email when the images are off!
  6. Make use of the pre-text link – Always include a link at the top of your email that clicks through to an online version of the email. If people are online and click this link, they’ll automatically see all text AND images.