3 Types of Visuals to Use in Your Nonprofit Emails

Thanks to Internet and social media sites, visuals play a big part in today’s world, and stats show that online articles containing relevant images have 94% more total views.

So, if your emails don’t include great visuals, your missing out on the opportunity to fully engage with your readers.

As a nonprofit, it’s not enough to include an image or two. You need to include relevant visuals that make a connection with your readers. It is important to evoke emotion and show them why their support is vital to your organization.

In email marketing, your visuals will have the most impact towards the top of your email and stretched across the template.

The whole idea of using visuals is to draw them further into your email to read more and take action. There are three main types of visuals you should consider using in your nonprofit’s emails:

1. Images

While one of the most basic visual forms, images can have an emotional impact in your emails. Picking the right image for your email can increase the chances of your subscribers taking action.

It’s important to continually build a library of images so when it comes to creating an email, you can add the one that best fits your content. Use real photos from your organization versus stock images for the best results.

You can boost the effect of your image by adding text on top. Try creating a catchy headline, stat, or call-to-action.

Check out this example where they used an image of a dog from the shelter and added text on top to thank people for signing up. It’s simple, but draws people in to what the message is about.

Hearts & Tails Welcome Series Email

2. Videos

One of the most engaging types of visuals is video.

The video hosting company Wistia, recently found that emails including video had a 300% click-through increase over emails without video.

As a nonprofit, video is a powerful way for you to make a meaningful impression on your audience. Put a face and voice to your organization to make your communications more relatable.

You don’t have to be a professional videographer or have expensive tools. Use your smartphone to capture videos for your organization.

There are a variety of different ways you can use video in your email communications:

  • Share news from your organization
  • Ask for donations
  • Say thank you to your donors and volunteers
  • Illustrate the impact of their support – the people or animals you are helping
  • Feature staff or even donors and why they choose to help your organization

Check out this example email. They used video to inspire people to donate items and help their cause:

Nonprofit email with video

3. Animated GIFs

Using an animated GIF in your email is a great way to catch your subscribers’ attention with movement.

Stats show that emails with animated GIFs get a 12% higher ROI (Return on Investment). In fact, they’re a great way to boost the effects of your images and videos.

As a nonprofit, you’ll likely want to create your own animated GIFs that fit your organization’s goals. Your GIFs don’t have to be funny or “cheesy” if you don’t want them to be. Plus, when you’re using your own content, you won’t have to stress about legally sourcing the GIFs.

Use a tool like Giphy to easily create your own animated GIFS. Upload a series of photos to create movement with a slideshow effect or turn part of a video into an animated GIF that links to the full video.

Here are some ways you can use animated GIFs for your nonprofit:

  • Show progress of a project or your fundraising campaign
  • Show the celebration of meeting your fundraising goals
  • Remind supporters about your upcoming event
  • Show a series of images of behind the scenes
  • Preview part of a video

Be sure to use more subtle animations in the GIF, as you don’t want it to be distracting. Also, play with the settings and timing to ensure that the animations aren’t too fast. You want the GIF to support your message and draw readers in to continue reading.

In this example, an animated GIF was used to create a slideshow effect that scrolls through images of people who’ve adopted pets at a shelter. It’s a great way to support the fact that the shelter is saying “thanks” for adopting, while asking for feedback on the experience.

Nonprofit email with GIF

Be seen AND heard

Now you can use a variety of these different types of visuals in your emails to ensure your cause makes a lasting impression.