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Best Practices for Highly Visual Emails

Email Marketing

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When you think of email marketing, you might think of newsletters. And a newsletter, is often an email that includes articles that are relevant to or specifically about your business or nonprofit.

But, what if your business or organization doesn’t send newsletters? What if the emails you send rely heavily on visual content or multimedia? What are the best practices for those kinds of emails?

These are questions I recently received from a small business marketer at one of Constant Contact’s in-person seminars. The person who asked these questions works for a business in the fashion industry and their emails include many photos of the fabrics they sell.

If your email marketing is mostly visual, there are a few things you should keep in mind to make sure you get the most out of your messages.

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Don’t overdo it with images

You may have heard about a famous marketing study that proved too many choices can be bad for sales. Consumers become overwhelmed when they are faced with a lot of options and won’t make a purchase because there’s too much going on. Make sure you don’t overdo it with images.

The solution? Keep your visual emails short.

Choose an image that carries your message and a text description with a clear call to action. An email from Finale, a chain of restaurants in the Boston area, does this perfectly. There’s one image under their logo that clearly describes the event they’re promoting. The text provides the details and the call to action.

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Use Pinterest

If you’re sharing information about multiple products in an email, use one image to link to more options on a Pinterest board. Pinterest is all about visual content and is a great destination for interested users to explore. People are motivated to buy based on what they see, in fact, 23 percent of Pinterest users make a purchase after using the site. Those who purchase, based on their Pinterest experience, also spend 70 percent more than visitors referred from non-social channels.

Think about the preview pane

Image-based emails only work if your readers can see the images. And sometimes, they can’t see images if they’re using a preview pane to read emails. More than 50 percent of consumers view emails with a preview pane and 67 percent of people who use preview panes have images turned off by default.

There are some steps you can take to make sure that your readers get your message even if they can’t see the images right away. Use text in your subject line, email content, and image descriptions to clearly state what your email is about. In this example, the subject line, image descriptions, and a short article work when the images can’t.

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Make your email look great

Keep these tips in mind when creating emails with visual content and you’ll be sure to capture the attention of your readers.

For more tips on using images in email design, check out our guide, Designing a Marketing Email That Works.

Comments on this Article: 1

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  1. Anna M. says:

    Really good tips on focusing on one main action and keeping visual emails short. A good balance of text and images is important in emails; if you have an email that focuses on imagery, it’s better to focus on one main offer. Also, great tip about linking one image to a pintrest page- that’s a smart way to generate engement.

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