Images are a key part of any email marketing campaign. Used properly, they can enhance your campaign, ensure that your message is read and remembered and of course increase your clickthrough rate, if you slip up and they are used wrongly, you can find yourself relegated to the spam folder.

Here are our top tips for successfully using images in email marketing campaigns;

Do: Be consistent with your output
If you have company colours, sticking to these where possible will reinforce your brand. Ensure that pictures used are in keeping with your company image and have your logo on them so that each picture will make recipients think of your company. Being consistent with images across social media will emphasise your brand and help your audience to connect them to your company.

Don’t: Use unprofessional photos
It is worth paying for high-resolution professional stock photos that won’t damage your brand reputation.

Do: Check your file type
JPG vs PNG files? Which is best for emails? The answer is fairly simple. JPGs are only really suitable for smaller photographs, but PNG files are better if your images contain text; if they appear distorted, or should be transparent but aren’t appearing as such, then check they haven’t been saved as JPG. The downside to PNG files is that they are larger, but the quality is better and therefore they will look more professional.

Don’t: Use too many images
A recent survey showed that the most successful email marketing campaigns were those with three images or fewer, and around 20 lines of text. Obviously the content matters more than the amount but it’s definitely something to bear in mind if you are looking to build engagement with your campaign; too many pictures can make an email look spammy.

Do: Make sure you take time to properly resize images
Images embedded in emails need to be no bigger than 600 pixels wide – the usual width of an email template. You should make sure that you aren’t sending huge files which will block up your recipients’ inboxes. Mail clients such as outlook (online and offline) will ignore any “image size” parameters and display the image at its native size which can throw you email design out. Rule of thumb is to only use images at the size they are intended to be displayed at.

Don’t: Assume your pictures will do the talking
Some email clients will have pictures blocked entirely – so you need to make sure that important messages are within the text of the email, and that each image has a description which will show even if the picture is blocked or not displaying.

Do: Provide a ‘view as webpage’ link
This means anyone who has trouble viewing your email in their inbox can follow the link to see your email online, looking exactly the way you created it to look.

Don’t: Send without previewing first
It may sound really obvious, but things don’t always look how you expect them to – especially when they’re viewed on a different browser, tablet or mobile. Check how the email looks on mobile as well as desktop, and that the images are clear, appear where you want them to and are free from distortion.

Do: Make sure it’s clear what you want from the recipient
Do you want them to buy the products in the images? Donate to a cause? An image is an excellent way to grab attention, but once you have it you need to ensure that the ‘next step’ is obvious.

So there you have it; follow this list of dos and don’ts with your images, and you should be able to increase the clickthrough rate on your next email marketing campaign!