Selecting the Best Images for Email

Selecting the Best Images for Email

As you build email marketing campaigns, you want to choose images that best represent the brand voice and values of your business. There are numerous ways to find what you need when including images in email. You may take your own photos, illustrate your own graphics, hire a professional, or use licensed stock imagery.

The Power of Images in Email

The images you choose provide insight into the values and pursuits of your business. Images can strongly affect your brand’s identity,  sales, and customer loyalty.

What if magazines were void of any imagery, if social media existed without designs or photos, or if the billboards you passed lacked images of any kind?

If this were the case, a crucial part of the visual storytelling would be missing. Plus, all that text would feel a little dry and boring, to say the least. The same is true for your email. Perhaps this is why marketers consider visual images to be among the most important content for their businesses.

This applies to businesses of every kind. Visual content is vital for new brands as well as classic, household names. We can clearly see this with National Geographic, which is known for capturing crisp, journalistic snapshots throughout the world. Photos are a major part of National Geographic’s professional, earth-conscious personality. With the wrong images, the serious tone of this magazine could be negatively affected.

Images not only supplement our reading, but they also break the monotony. They’re visually interesting. Images make chunks of text easier to remember.

How to Choose Images for Emails

If you’re not sure what types of images to include in your email marketing, remember, people like seeing faces. In fact, photos with faces get 38% more likes on Instagram than those without.

This means you may opt for photos of people rather than simply implementing images of products, as long as it makes sense with your brand.

Graphics and infographics are another great visual choice for your emails, as 41.5% of marketers cited graphics as the most engaging visual content in their marketing.

And don’t feel bad about employing some stock images, too. Marketers said stock images and original graphics account for over half their visuals.

Establishing a Brand Identity with Images

Images can affect your brand’s identity—from supplementing your existing identity to defining a new one, images are a major part of the way users “see” your brand.

Before you choose images to accent your brand, it’s important to decipher your brand’s identity without imaging. First, who is your audience? What is your mission? If your brand had to be defined by a personality, what would it be?

These are not questions to be answered overnight, but it’s important that your decisions—creative and otherwise—are made with an element of brand identity in mind.

While brainstorming your own brand identity, consider familiar companies. For instance, Apple has a definite tone, look, and personality. With sleek, minimalist design, Apple’s identity is somewhat futuristic. Apple seeks to be a leader in innovation, and therefore, appeals to a huge demographic—those who want a user-friendly, streamlined approach to technological advancement.

Alternatively, a brand like The Art of Manliness serves a much more niche audience, and does so with a completely opposing style. The art of manliness is a blog-based brand designed for modern men who appreciate self-improvement.

The brand utilizes a vintage, traditionally masculine aesthetic. This appreciation of the past is very different from Apple’s progressive, futuristic approach.

futuristic style images

Graphics Can Define Your Brand

Many companies utilize graphics and illustrations for their branding much more than photos. Illustrative branding aims to appeal to a broad user-base. Perhaps this is because animation feels accessible for a variety of ages.

Below you can see an example of Dropbox’s traditionally graphic style. The illustration is light and relatable. It is pleasing to view with its light colors and fluid style, which easily allows Dropbox to target a wide user-base in a simple, family-friendly way.

Does your business offer something for virtually every audience? Do you want to appeal to all ages?

If your brand is seeking global appeal, or you want to emphasize a level of family-friendliness, graphics may be a strong contender in terms of your company’s branding.


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