As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” and that’s important when using email marketing to reach time-crunched consumers. Yet, most email service providers automatically block images, which means that when recipients open an email, they tend to first see placeholder boxes with red X’s, rather than the desired image. Recipients then have to make a split-second decision whether to enable images and view the rest of the message. (And all email marketers have their fingers-crossed that recipients do!)
So why use images if they’re just going to be blocked anyway?
Images can help you get noticed and support the message in your campaign. They also can help explain an offer, showcase a product, and elicit the call to action you want from consumers. For instance, combining a description of the benefits of a headlight restoration service with “before” and “after” pictures of the results can be much more compelling to consumers than just text alone.
Now if only consumers could see those images in the email…
Tips for Using Images Effectively in Emails
• Avoid using large images as headers. Preview panes within an email client will only show a red X with no incentive for the recipient to scroll down.
• Include descriptive “Alt Text” when inserting images. This is hidden text that appears only when images are not displayed, or when a cursor is placed over the image.
• Be aware of what appears “above the fold” in email campaigns. Without scrolling down or opening the full message, what does the recipient see? Place incentives and offers where customers will see them with little or no effort on their part.
• Keep images relevant to the offers, and use secondary images to express the theme. A circus-themed sales campaign should focus less on clowns and balloons, and more on your vehicles.
Images can be a great way to convey messages and get customers interested in your offers. Keep image counts and sizes to a minimum, be aware of image placement, and make the most of your email campaigns!