Using images in email marketing

Posted on July 9, 2015 at 10:27 am Written by

Using-images-in-email-marketing-300x300There’s no doubt that using images in your email campaigns is a great way to grab the attention of your subscribers but what happens if they have images turned off or disabled? How can you encourage them to be seen and to be effective?

Here are a few things you should be aware of when using images in your email marketing campaigns.

Alt text
On a website alt text appears when you hover over an image, but in most email clients hovering over the image will not display the alt text, instead it displays the link that’s been applied to the image. But this doesn’t mean that we can’t make good use of them. On every image you add to your email you should also add alt text. Alt text or alternative text is what displays where your image should be if the recipient does not have images turned on.

The display of the alt text will vary between email readers. For example, in Outlook the alt text appears after their instructional message but in most web readers (Hotmail, Gmail, AOL etc) the alt text can be seen more clearly.

Using images in email marketingIn Outlook: the alt text is at the end of their instruction on how to download images into an email.

Using images in email marketingIn Gmail: the alt text is the only message seen if the image is not yet on display – there’s valuable space to be made use of here!

Using images in email marketing  And here’s the image once it’s been set to display in the email.

When adding alt text, think imaginatively. If you use this space wisely it’s another opportunity to reiterate your branding, add a call to action, and encourage subscribers to click through to your website.

For instance, if you include an image of a sales representative on the phone, instead of the alt tag being “A Sales Advisor”, it could be “Our friendly team are waiting for your call”, with a link attached that links through to your website’s contact page.

You can add hyperlinks to your images as well as to your text. This will give your subscribers more opportunities to click through to your website and will also ensure you don’t miss out on any clicks from subscribers who prefer image based links.

Always link to something relevant, eg. if it’s a picture of a product, link it to the relevant product information on your website.

There may be times when you’re unable to link through to your website but within NewZapp you can upload and link to documents, such as:

  • PDFs
  • Word Documents
  • Excel Spreadsheets
  • PowerPoint presentations

So if you don’t have a relevant page on your website, you can still easily create what is effectively a “landing” page meaning you’ll be able to gain valuable statistics from the clicks on these links in your NewZapp reports.

Positioning and size
Aim for a good mix of images and text – first impressions count. If you can, avoid having a very large image at the top of your email. If your subscribers are initially viewing your email with images turned off, then a large block of empty white space and alt text alone may not be enough to draw them in.

Most subscribers will read top left to bottom right so keep your key message and calls to action in the top left hand area of your email. This area is known as ‘above the fold’ and is the first area visible in the preview pane.

It’s best practice to balance your pictures and text as evenly as possible. Having a good mix of images and text will result in an easy to read email that enages your subscribers.

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