Should I Be Using Images In My Emails?

Is a picture really worth a 1,000 words? Yes, it is. This is why I want to talk about using images in your emails. It does not matter how good of a descriptive writer you are, words alone will not grab your reader’s attention quite like words and images will. It’s a simple fact: In today’s world, people want to take all of 2.5 seconds to see what you have to say… you see what I did there? SEE, not read. So, when crafting the email marketing campaign for your next big blowout, think imagery alongside verbiage.

Make a Connection

You know how you “Ahhh…” when you see those first baby pictures of a newborn, or, if you’re like me, a tear forms in your eye when you view photos of the game four ending play to the 2004 World Series – 86 years, people! 86 years! The reason you get all warm and fuzzy at the picture of a puppy or kitten is because you make an immediate emotional connection to the image. Photos stir emotions, solicit reactions, and make connections. So when adding images to your emails, you are making a connection with your current and potential customers by stirring emotions and soliciting reactions.

Make the Right Connection

When soliciting a reaction, however, it is always important to ensure your images solicit the right one. We talked about email marketing mistakes in my last post and how you don’t want your marketing campaign to end up in everyone’s spam folder. Along with that, you don’t want to use images that will bring about a negative reaction. You’re using images to connect with your customers – create a bond, if you will. Don’t use images that will turn them off, offend them, or break that bond. You should definitely use images in your emails, but it’s even more important to choose the right ones.

Why? What Difference Does it Make?

Think about how often you hear in the news how so-and-so’s latest advertising campaign was controversial, offended people, was pulled, and the company apologized publicly. You hear this pretty much every day, and that is why your images should be well thought out and tasteful. Email marketing is no different from any other type of marketing and it can offend just as easy. Unless you’re a nonprofit soliciting donations for an atrocity, your images should send a positive message, not a negative one. If they don’t, you’ve lost a customer. Remember, using images in email gets people’s attention, so think about the attention you want your images to get.

Images That Work Best

Your emails are intended to reach out to your customers, but that won’t do you any good if your customers don’t know who you are. Using images of you and your employees where applicable should be your first rule of thumb. In fact, images of people are always a good route to go because, again, you’re soliciting a reaction. People seeing images of happy people benefiting from your product will want to buy your product so they will benefit, too. Can we say super models advertising beauty products? That is a classic example of how imagery impacts marketing.

Secondly, images applicable to the product or services that are the subject of your email are also important. If you are telling your customers about your latest and greatest food item, use colorful, artistic, vibrant pictures of the dish. You want people to see your creation, get hungry, and run out to try it. If it isn’t that cut and dry, say you are a roofer and, well, pictures of roofs aren’t that exciting (no offense to all the roofers out there), think a bit outside of the box and use images that will still get attention. Maybe pictures of the pictorial roofs of classic architecture would make a splash. Better yet, grab your camera, go out, see what inspires you, and snap it!

I’m Not a Photographer

Neither am I. Although I believe I am at times! Which is why using the innumerable resources available to you is important, because no matter what, you need images in your emails – no excuses! There are plenty of online websites that license, or allow you to use them free with proper attribution, a gazillion different photos of just about everything on earth. You are going to find something you can use in your emails on one of these sites.

If you’re not a photographer, but you know someone who is, have him or her take pictures for you. Or get permission, grab, and scan printed photos and graphics you already know and love. Whatever you do, understand this: Should I be using images in my emails? Yes, you should because pictures do speak 1,000 words. They connect with your audience, they solicit a reaction, and, thereby, the action you desire from your customers.


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