Email Newsletters in 2013:  Image Tips

The proliferation of mobile devices changed the way a lot of marketers felt about including images in email newsletters.  Ever-advancing spam filters have had a similar effect, leading many to caution marketers against image-heavy designs.  So, where are we now?

Images need to be carefully balanced:  In a world of high-tech social media users, images are not just expected, they are a part of how people communicate.  While LOLCats and memes aren’t necessarily part of a good email marketing campaign, having a design that is appropriate to your audience is.  Lay your newsletter out so that text is visible from a preview pane and consider a link that takes users directly to a browser view of your newsletter so that those on mobile phones can easily view the full newsletter.  Images are great, but only if they are properly formatted and visible to your readers.

Relegate the role of images to demonstration:  Images should be additions to your newsletter; they should not play an integral role.  Avoid having images be the entirety your call to action.  These aspects should be visible to everyone, including mobile users who do not view images.  On the other hand, using images as active links can be a great way to boost your clicks count.

Pay attention to your metrics:  The best way to know how you should proceed with images is to examine your contact’s email client usage breakdown.  If the majority of your readers open from a mobile device, you’ll want to proceed differently than someone who only has a handful of people opening their emails from a phone.  These metrics may change over time, so check back in occasionally to see if client preferences shift.

If you have a mobile-heavy crowd, check out AJ’s awesome advice for optimizing emails for mobile browsers.