How to Use Images Effectively in Your Email Communications

Brian Barela

Images create interest and capture attention in emails but adding too many or making them too large can limit their effectiveness.

Be sure to keep your images small- to medium-sized (under 500px wide, and 300px tall). Internet service providers do not like large images since they cannot determine what kind of content is on the image, increasing the chances your email will be marked as spam. Another key reason to keep images small- to medium- sized is that many people have images turned off:

“The most compelling reason to limit the use of images in HTML emails is that tons of people are never going to see them. Some people actively turn off images. Others don’t see them because their email programs turn them off by default. Some people work at companies that block images in emails to save bandwidth/stop porn. And yet more people are accessing email on cell phones that can’t read images.”–source

Include a short description of the image in the “Alternate text” field. In Mailchimp it looks like this:

picture of alternate text field in mailchimp

Instead of including two pictures that communicate the same message consider selecting one and adding one or two sentences. Keep in mind the value of keeping your email as short as possible. I’ve yet to hear someone complain about receiving an email that was too short. I have heard many complaints of emails being too long.

Send a test email to yourself and view the test email on both a laptop and a smartphone. Mailchimp provides both a preview pane and the option to send a test email. The preview pane is helpful for getting a overall view of your email, but even more critical is seeing how the email actually looks on a laptop or smartphone.

Do not use images as hyperlinks. If someone has generously taken the time to read your email and you invite them to click on a link make sure the link is not attached to an image. As much as people use email many are not tech-savvy. They do not think about turning images on for emails and often check email once or twice a week. Especially if you are making an appeal for financial support use hyper-linked text. Click here to learn about how to create a link in Mailchimp to a word or sentence. 

By Brian Barela | Posted: Jan 26, 2012
Category: Email/Communications | Permalink | Post a comment | Trackback URL.

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