A picture paints 1000 words…. and your marketing emails are no different. Images can definitely communicate more quickly than text alone, stir up emotions that increase buying desire, and in some cases, increase click-through by over 300%! Knowing the best way to use your photos is key… especially as so many email browsers automatically block the images so carefully chosen for your email. If salon owners optimized their emails for image blocking, ROI (return on investment) could increase by at least 9% – or more.
In this post I aim to share some easy ways to improve your email marketing results with use of images.
1. Choose the right style for your client
Remember that marketing is always better when it is targeted – including emails. Clients want to feel you are talking directly to them and that you are also bringing them value. As images can be emotion-inducing, they are therefore used most effectively for emotional purchases… investing in a new hairstyle or salon experience, buying a new dress or even a car are all purchase decisions that generally call upon more emotion than, for example, buying new stationery for work.
While a common rule of thumb is said to be ‘70% text and 30% images’, this is not always the case for more emotion-based purchases – or for a more emotional audience. In these cases images can have more impact. Both Amazon and Trade Me are examples of companies who have had a lot of success with using a lot of images in their email campaigns. A recent car company who significantly increased images in their email campaign also achieved over 300% improvement in click-through! While this should not be expected as ‘the norm’, it certainly does show how effective the right use of images can be in email marketing.
Whatever number of images you want to use, remember to choose images that speak to your customer. Image choice can also make a huge difference to your click-through results and the over-all success of your email campaign.
2. Strategic positioning of your images
55% of our communication is visual – which means we are paying more attention than we sometimes realise to people’s non-verbal communication through gestures, eyes and other non-verbals. Images of people not only naturally draw people in, but their non-verbal communication also tends to direct attention by simple force of nature.
Use this to your advantage! Decide what you want to draw your audience’s attention to, and include an image of someone looking or gesturing in that direction. If you have multiple offers, choose an image of someone looking down or around the area where the offers are… research points to this drawing the viewer’s eyes in the same direction.
3. Use text for your image!
This heading might sound like a contradiction, but what it is actually referring to is what is called an ‘Alt’ tag. These are like headlines that appear when an image doesn’t show in an email… ‘Alt’ stands for ‘Alternative’, and ‘alt’ tags are simply alternative text in place of an image. So why are they important?
Many of your clients will have image blocking turned on by default. This means that your carefully chosen images won’t be able to be to viewed by them. While recent research says that fifty-five percent of consumers turn on the images in the emails they receive, that means almost half won’t – unless there is a compelling reason to do so. The solution? Use alternative text (‘alt’ tags) to briefly describe what people are not seeing.
Remember that alt tags are direct messages to your clients, so it’s best to ensure you have a descriptive text that acts like a call to action. For example, if there is an image of a woman enjoying a treatment with a star-burst offering 10 percent off all treatments, a good alt tag to the image might be “10% off all treatments” (rather than “treatment image”). Use alt tags that highlight the purpose of the image – and if you’re not sure what that is for a particular image, it’s a good reminder to reconsider whether that image is appropriate for your message.