Would you rather your emails be visually appealing, but not be visible in inboxes … or vice versa?
Research shows that the human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text, making images a very powerful tool to use in your email. With access to a huge amount of strong and beautiful imagery online, businesses should be leveraging imagery to encourage email readers or site visitors to engage and ultimately convert.
While using images is certainly recommended, there are a few considerations that teams should make when constructing email campaigns that use imagery. If your email is not developed with the following aspects front of mind, you might find that your emails are not getting the visibility in inboxes that you’re expecting.
Follow these guidelines and your emails are more likely to have the impact you want.
Using GIFs in email
Research has shown that the use of GIFs in emails can help increase the conversion rate by 103 percent, while also positively affecting open and click-through rates. For something different, consider using GIFs to display snippits of video rather than using the video component that can’t play in the email tenant.
Remember to check your stats from previous sends to make sure you’re sending the right email elements to the right audience; GIFs are not compatible with Outlook and Lotus, where only the first frame will be shown – so make sure you’re picking the right elements for the most popular email client used by your recipient list.
Using Video in email
Because video can’t be played in email, many ‘video’ components in email designs are just image components with a video ‘play’ banner below. Videos should be embedded onto a landing page using the YouTube or Vimeo embed link for example, and the email should link through to the landing page, not link directly to company’s YouTube channel.
We should always be driving traffic to the website where we can, rather than external platforms.
Using alt text on images
To help with image load times and to help protect from viruses, many email platforms will not automatically download images, or recipients turn off image loading – especially on mobile. To help encourage recipients to take the extra step and download images, to get the full visual experience of your email, always include alt text for images (except items like divider lines). If you leave out alt text, your readers see a blank box.
Make your alt text compelling and descriptive of the image itself to entice the recipient to want to see the image and go out of their way to download it (and the rest in your email).
The below outlines what recipients will see when alt text is being used versus not, as well as how you can use the text itself to be descriptive.
When images are downloaded:
How images might appear with no alt text:
How images appear with generic text:
How images appear when using specific language to describe the image: