Using Images in Email: Are You Doing It Wrong?

May 1, 2012


Images inside of your email marketing and monthly newsletters definitely have a place. They look sharp, can make your email look professionally designed and can add some much needed pizzazz to insurance information. One simple rule to remember about images 'Less is More.' One well placed, relevant, image can make a huge impact. Multiple images can make your message crowded and distract from the point of your email.

By following the basic steps listed below and remembering that less is more, your emails will make the impact you desire.

The 25% Rule: No more than 25% of your email should be image-based. The majority of your email should be readable without viewing the images.

Image viewing in email clients is turned off by default. Normally what your readers will see is a blank space that says 'right-click to download images'; some of your readers will, most won't. By leaving most of the text readable and not crowding your message with images (that have now become a blank space) you're less likely to be deleted and therefore making a better impression on your clients and prospects.

Don't Trap Important Information in an Image: All important information, such as price, value proposition, expiration dates, or policy information should always be in text form. If a prospect can't see what you're selling, why would they buy it?

Use Tables and Colors instead of Images: If 25% is just not enough image real estate for you, you can always implement tables and background colors to add the visual content you're looking for. You will still need to keep in mind that less is more - in this case that would mean stay away from neon colors or making an entire email bright pink. Use colors that make your text stand out and keep all tables easy for all viewers to read.

The Double Edged Sword - Embedded Images: Embedding images is tricky. By embedding images, you're sure that the image will get to your reader - even if it's just an attachment, they've seen the image. On the other hand, embedding images can land you in a spam folder since spammers are now including inappropriate content in images to avoid it being read as text by spam filters. It's a double edged sword that hasn't quite been perfected.

Whether you embed images or not, keep in mind that mobile users most likely will never see any images you include in email. 20% of mobile emailers use text only apps to read their mail. This is another reason to not use too many images or trap important information in an image.

Images in email present a challenge to most email marketers namely because you have little to no control how your email will look when a recipient views it. By keeping your images small and putting very few in your mailings, you'll have greater success with using images in your mailings.

Got a question about using images in your emails? Submit it below in the comments area.

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