emailMarketing is all about quickly capturing the attention of prospective customers. But in a world where attention spans have gone the way of the dodo, it’s more difficult than ever to make your audience get your message.

You may notice that most of your emails from businesses include very little text and one big image, or lots of little images. While it is true that including images in your newsletters can get more people to read your content than text alone, it is imperative that you don’t go overboard with pictures. Let’s take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of adding images to your next email newsletter.

Benefits

Email marketing is all about getting your customers to respond to and engage with what you send. We humans are naturally drawn to images: they have the potential to make people stop and give your content a second look.

Using images in your newsletters allows you to add a personal touch to your message. It can help reflect or reinforce brand ideals. If you’re daring enough, you can even choose to include a photograph of yourself to help build a relationship with your customers. Last time I checked, newsletters don’t (or shouldn’t) write themselves. Putting a face to a name makes you more personable as a business and instills a sense of trust in your current and potential customers.

Using images can also give you more control over the aesthetics of your email. For example, most email programs only recognize standard fonts like Helvetica, Times New Roman, and (dare I say?!?!) Comic Sans. If you use text in your images, you’ll have access to any font under the sun (with the correct licensing, of course!). This allows you to reflect your business’s branding or to simply have fun with your messaging.

Drawbacks

Image heavy emails may ultimately end up in your client’s spam folder. Internet Service Providers assess content to determine if the email will be delivered. If you send an email without content (and images do NOT count), then into the spam folder it goes.

Even if you include images in your emails newsletters, it’s possible that people will not be able to see them. According to a study by the email marketing company, The Relevancy Group, only 55% of people polled enabled images in the email they got. This means almost half of your newsletter recipients may not even see your message. Yikes!

Large images may also result in slow loading times, which does not bode well in today’s lightning-paced world. If it doesn’t load in two seconds, chances are people won’t even bother. Make sure images you use are properly sized for your emails. Mad Mimi, a company that boasts “Simple and Beautiful Email Marketing” (used by Rocket Matter), suggests file sizes less than 1MB with 100kb being the ultimate goal.

When you include images in your next email newsletter, make sure that you make them interesting. Also, make sure to use alt text just in case the images don’t load on your customer’s end.

Have you been successful with using images in your company’s email newsletter? We’d love to hear about it!