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Expert Guide to Using Visuals in Email Marketing Campaigns

Posted by IndustrySelect on Wednesday, June 8, 2022


Using visuals in your email campaigns


You can send emails to half the world, but you're wasting your time if they do not engage.  What can you do if your emails don’t generate the conversions you need? First, you can ensure recipients actually look at what you send. Using visuals in email marketing campaigns provides the hook you need to grab readers’ attention and communicate your message. Here are four reasons why using visuals works, the types of visuals you can use and how to use them effectively.

Four Reasons Why Visuals Work in Email Campaigns

1. Visuals break the monotony. They give a potential customer the impetus to keep going. Humans have attention spans measurable in seconds. Long stretches of text tire readers’ eyes and minds.

2. Visuals more effectively trigger emotional responses. Emotional connections increase the allure of an offer. Images add punch to your pitch.

3. Visuals break information into more digestible bites. Perhaps your email contains multiple technical details distinguishing your product from the competition's. A quirk of the human brain makes image processing faster than absorbing data from text.

4. Visuals raise your click-through rate. If your reader doesn’t click on the CTA, you’ve lost your conversion. If you embed the response button in the middle of an appealing image, your potential customer is more likely to hit it.

Types of Visuals You Can Use

Images are the most common visual in email marketing. Most readers would much rather see a picture of a product than read a description. Who would buy a garment, a piece of furniture or a computer peripheral without knowing what it looks like? High-quality photographic images will hawk your offerings better than anything you can write. Illustrations also play an important role in selling products such as specialty foodstuffs.

Animated GIFs are immediate attention-getters. GIFs bring product visuals to life. They add motion to emails without the complexities of producing videos. You can incorporate a GIF in a header, complete with a click-through to spark an immediate purchase.

Videos help you share vast amounts of information in minimal space. This option allows you to give potential purchasers and established customers demos and step-by-step instructions. You can even use a short video to say thank you. Videos are increasingly becoming a part of everyday life. As of 2021, online video watching rose to 18 hours per week.

Infographics are visual explanations of concepts that combine texts and charts with your story. They quickly and attractively communicate valuable data. Many infographics are vertical, making them easy to view on a cell phone or tablet. While charts and graphs enhance an email message, an infographic provides a complete package.

Best Practices for Using Visuals

Choose your content with an eye to delivering the most bang for your visual buck. According to recent research, shorter videos yield the highest level of engagement.

Make sure your visual content directly relates to what you’re selling. Simply adding visuals can detract from your message, making your emails less effective.

Choose visuals that are straightforward and to the point. Adding fluff or irrelevant information may turn a recipient off before you can make your conversion. The less effort it takes the reader to take in your message, the better.

Choose visual content that meets your financial constraints. When you invest your time and resources, ensure that your choice meets your business needs. If possible, A/B test your content before you launch a full-scale campaign. Once potential customers hit the delete button, all your future emails may end up in the spam file. Unread emails can’t convert.

Avoiding Visual Content Pitfalls

While the advantages of visual content are alluring, don’t go overboard. Even visual learners can be overwhelmed by a barrage of images. The preferred text-to-visuals ratio is 80:20. Creating balance with catchy headlines or slogans below visuals can propel the reader to the all-important click-through.

Don’t let visuals dilute your sense of urgency. Your email should always remind the reader of their pain and how your product addresses it. Regardless of your visual content, your subject line must call for immediate attention.

Don’t send videos using an email client that won’t support them. If your video plays badly, it reflects directly on you. Investing in basic video editing will allow your videos to be seen and appreciated.

Try to avoid using stock photos. If your recipient feels they’ve seen the picture before, they may lose interest or decide you’re spamming them.

Don’t use images that misrepresent your product. Once a misleading image is out there, you can’t get it back.

Blurry or poorly colored images may blur your company's image as well. Make sure the high quality of your images communicates the superior quality of your product.

In the current environment, it is too easy to offend unintentionally. Double-check that your images don’t contain anything that will put off your recipients. A first impression may be all you get, so make it a positive one.

Reaching the Right Contacts

No email, no matter how well-crafted, will yield conversion if you don't have the right contacts. Sales start with promising prospects. An IndustrySelect subscription give you access to detailed profiles of 400,000 U.S. manufacturers and one million executives, including reliable email addresses of decision-makers in your marketplace. Start your free demo today! 

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