How Picture Integration Can Help Your Email Campaign

The importance of using graphic icons, visual elements, and images for emails is indisputable. People are used to perceiving information visually. If you think that it will be enough just to download any picture from the Internet and add it to the email you are mistaken. Each visual element has to have a high image quality, unique, match your brand style, and most importantly convey the meaning of your email.

Now, there are different platforms, email generators, which allow you not only to edit images, adjust their color, add text to them, but also use a completely ready-made email template.

In this article, I will explain to you why we have to use more images and pictures than text, what picture requirements we have to remember about, and what kinds of images are worth to be used in your emails.

Why Should We Use Less Text and More Visuals?

Nothing tells more than numbers. That is why I decided to show you some statistical data and facts that will make you sure about the high importance of using picture integration.

  • People perceive information given in the pictures and images better than in the text form. Scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) discovered that our brain can recognize the information shown on the image just for 13 milliseconds. Acquaintance with the information expressed by the text will take much longer, even if the message is the same;
images for emails phone and desktop

  • Mobile phone factor. According to researchers, the mobile traffic in the US was about 40.61% of all internet traffic in Q1 of 2019. It means that almost half of the attention of our audience receives information from smartphones, however not a lot of people will not decide to read the long emails having no time for this. At the same, visually presented information right in their hands would be much comfortable;
  • Images help you to personalize the email. According to Campaign Monitor research, marketing specialists get a 760% increase in revenue using audience segmentation. Based on this, personalization has become a very effective photography marketing tool nowadays, but how to make your offer special without making people see the product you sell? The pictures and images in emails are something that has to be necessarily used when it comes to personalized offers;

images in emails example

  • People read only 20% of the text on web pages and emails as well, at the same time keeping in mind 80% of what they see. Having Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, Twitter and so on people used to perceive information visually. Email is not an exception;
  • General trends. 49% of marketing specialists evaluate visual marketing as a very important part of their campaigns at all, 22% think that it has medium importance, and 19% consider that it is an inalienable component of their activities. Looking at these 3 groups you can choose the one that is suitable for you, but the general trend is obvious to follow;

images for emails statistics
  • The emphasis on visual content is for social media only — myth. The number of people who use emails on a regular basis is only increasing year by year. More than 293.6 billion emails were sent in 2019. In 2021 it is about 319.6* billion, and the trend shows us the number of 376.4 billion by 2025.
    It is highly important to understand that the increase in popularity of this marketing tool means the increase of the competition in this market. Thus, it becomes necessary to improve your emails using images, pictures, and other visual elements to take a stable position in the market.

Images for Emails Requirements

When sending out images using bulk image senders, you need to comply with certain rules and standards to correctly add pictures to your email. You may trust one of these free SMTP services to navigate your email sending and forget about delays. If your picture or image will not be displayed it can push a client away or even make people want to unsubscribe. Let’s look at the main requirements in this topic.

Image Format

images in emails example

There are 3 popular image formats that we use in emails. These are JPEG, PNG, and GIF. Each of them has its pros and cons.

JPEG is highly used when you need to save specific colors. This format maintains about 256 colors and it is comfortable for small-size images for emails and photos. But it does not maintain the animation, possible loss of quality when scaling, and you can’t use it from logos;

PNG files have the advantage of maintaining transparency, being suitable for logos and text images, and image compression does not lead to quality loss. But you can’t use it when your image is too large because the size will be large for adding to the email. Also, it can’t be animated and it is not supported by all web browsers. Also, the email loading process may take more time;

GIF format is a simple way to add some animations to the content of your email. It maintains transparency, suitable for text images, and is compression lossless. But you have to remember that this format has a large image size and is not suitable for photos;

Image Size

images for emails size

The image size of your email depends on the format and design, the background images number, and the number of the column as well. It is recommended to use the images with 600 pixels width having standard email width.

There are 3 main variations for image size:

  1. When you have a 3-column email, 164-pixel images for emails would be suitable;
  2. Having a 2-column email template it is better to use 264-pixel images;
  3. Full-width sections work well with 564-pixel images.

Image Loading Problems

images in emails example

When your clients get problems downloading the email full version, you have to introduce the alt-text that will be displayed in the text version of the email content.

You need to mention a few important points implementing the alt-text:

  • This text does not have to be very long. It has to shortly describe what was shown on the unloaded image;
  • It has to include the keywords. It would be better to use one main keyword and a few additional, but you do not have to use a lot;
  • Do not use the "image word" because the format pointing to this fact will be enough.

Reminder. The alt-text should be in harmony with the rest of the text and other email elements. Therefore, write the same or combined style properties for alt-text: color, font, and size.

Stock Photos

Try not to use stock photography sites. Only 29.5% of marketers still use stock photos according to the research. Unique visual elements, client photos, video reviews are prevailing in 2023. Your clients may have previously seen the stock visual element you use in your email, and it can push them away from reading or following any links;

It would be much better if you can spend some time and financial resources on creating special or even personalized visual content for your email. The uniqueness can increase the CTR (Click Through Rate) and the engagement rate of your newsletters.

What Types of Pictures Should Be Used in Emails?

For now, let’s have a deep look at the types of visual elements that we can use to increase the valuable marketing indicators of our email campaign.

1. Image in Header

The header is the top part of your email which people see at first when they open it. It may contain the company’s logo, navigation menu, social media links, different types of buttons, phone numbers, etc.

Also, we can add some visual elements there. The logo is the most common visual element we can see in different email headers.

images for emails header logo

In other cases, you can add the images related to the email content or your offer at all. 

images for emails header

In this way, when your clients open an email they see something that they can associate with the information written in the subject line or your offer.

Placing the visual element related to the topic of your email above the navigation menu you heat up the client’s interest for further reading and getting information from your content.

Another advantage of using the image in the email header is the fact that most competitors are adding only the logo, contact information, social media links to the header. At the same time when you can surprise them by not showing the regular form of the header but letting them see something new and special.

Holiday header customization is also a nice time to use the images in emails.

images for emails header holiday customization

Adding those things that remind people about the coming holiday or important event in the form of visual elements evokes positive emotions. Customization is an excellent and pretty simple way to catch a client's attention.

2. Image in the Email’s Body

The images in the email’s body are illustrating the product from the best side. We have to use this place correctly because it’s limited.

images for emails body

The best way, in this case, is to add some real pictures of your product and then add the necessary texts and CTA (Call To Action) on them. Nowadays it is not enough to say that you have some discounts for something that you sell and name it. You have to show the items you sell in the way people would see them in real life. That is why real photos are the best option for this.

You do not have to show all the products you have. The ideal situation is when you have only a few direct products to show. Remember that the space on the main part of your email is not endless as well as the client's attention.

images for emails body

Two or three product photos added on the background that are in harmony and do not merge with the color of the goods can make clients be focused on the direct offers.

When the client's eyes become familiar with the products it motivates them for further reading. Sometimes correctly added product photos or images in emails can lead a client to a prompt purchase without any need for additional information.

3. Images Set

Images set or carousel with product photo is an effective way to show a few visual elements saving the email space. When you need to show a number of photos or other images for emails on one screen you can use this tool.

Email marketing software usually has various photographer email templates, as well as templates for other businesses that make it easy display images in a visually-pleasing way.

images for emails set

Here you can see that 6 trip offers were shown separated with different descriptions. In this way the size of the email may become larger as well as the time of the loading of such email may be longer than required.

And now look at another way how the photos can be located on your email without taking up a lot of space.

images for emails set

Here we can mention that pictures are placed on one screen and clicking the needed visual element appears with a larger scale. Saving the space of your email makes it shorter and we save clients’ time as well.

4. GIF Animated Images

Another good way to increase the uniqueness of your email is using GIF animations. The difference between such a form and a simple picture is obvious. GIF is animated content at the same time when simple images and photos are static.

Such content is becoming very popular in the last few years because it is easy to implement in the design of your email and it engages people effectively.

By the way, for October 2021 the market position of GIF is higher than SVG, PNG, and JPEG according to W3techs.

images for emails

Free GIF makers, like Photoscape can help you quickly make unique GIFs to improve your emails. The only thing you have to mention using GIF animations is their large size and longer loading time as well. That is why if you decide to improve your content with GIFs, try not to add other visual or texting elements in the email. It would be better to place all the offers and content you want to show inside one GIF.