Nice images in emails but… beware!

When we are creating marketing emails, we pay a lot of attention to the content. Not only words, but also CTAs, objects, images, etc. Everything contributes to the readability and pleasantness of the communication. The optimal approach remains a good balance of all the elements so that the reader is not bored by paragraphs and paragraphs of text.

We devoted some time ago (article one and article two) to useful tips – which are still valid – on how to create emails HTML. Best practices within everyone’s reach to ensure successful communications.

Today we would like to take up a topic that is very dear to us, the management and use of images. We have realised that many brands, for example, use very heavy images in their emails, which are stored on external servers and require downloading to the recipient’s client when the communication is opened. Inevitably this lengthens the time it takes, creating discontent among readers, and especially on mobility, it certainly requires an excessive and unnecessary consumption of gigabytes that adds no value to the quality of the message.

time and money

How to use the images

So, nice images but… be careful! It takes a few small steps to ensure that using images does not become a reason for marketing campaigns to fail.

Light images.

We were saying. Maybe light in terms of content, but certainly light in terms of weight. Without losing quality, always use images that weigh little to avoid unpleasant inconveniences such as high download times. Remember that the time that contacts are willing to wait to see an image appear is constantly decreasing. They want everything now. Also, don’t underestimate that especially for those who are on mobile, there may be a fear of consuming unnecessary data traffic. Consumers receive many emails every day and are not willing to wait for your image to appear on screen.

Image size.

Not too large sometimes even unnecessarily, to avoid the above, but not too small either, losing quality and effectiveness. It is best to create an image specifically for the email and not to reuse material found on the web or prepared for other purposes.

Background images.

They may seem like a good solution, but beware that they increase the weight and download times. Also, remember not to write text overlays so that it is not displayed when the image is not downloaded.

Image-only emails.

You need a balance between text and images. We suggest 60/40. Several studies have shown that while using images improves email open rates (Nielsen), image-only communications are negatively perceived by consumers reading us as a lack of attention and personalisation. Moreover, not to be underestimated, are the aspects of deliverability: when the image prevails the possibility of not passing the anti-spam filters increases. It can happen that they are not downloaded and the emails are understood to be empty.

Images for mobility.

Be careful to always differentiate email content so that it can be used on both mobile and non-mobile devices. And images are no less important. Always, and especially where you rely heavily on the illustrations chosen, it is essential that these are displayed correctly whatever the email system or device used. Your customer needs to be able to move from their mobile phone to their PC and still be able to view the image correctly, and the image needs to be designed and adapted for smaller screen sizes. Especially if overwritten with text, which is not the best solution anyway.

Embedded images.

If, instead of linking the images to an external site, you decide to insert them directly into the HTML, the very first benefit is to be able to more easily overcome the blocks that some email providers and email clients often put in place, but the risk of ending up in spam is increased. The weight of HTML is compounded by that of the images. We believe that for a successful sending, HTML should not exceed 60 KB.

Name the images.

Always give your images a name and make sure it is a name that represents them well, so that if they are not displayed or downloaded, the contact can still understand what they are. Don’t use special characters or blank spaces, use the ‘_’ sign instead. This will reduce the possibility of your message ending up in the spam folder. Another thing to consider is not to include CTAs in images, but to use text.


Images are a valuable ally for your communications, an element that could be described as essential. However, they need to be used in the best possible way in order to really get all the benefits they bring without disturbing the reader.

Using images well in an email is important for several reasons, including:

  • Texts alternated with images are easier to consume.
  • Images highlight the other content in your email and often convey part of the message you want to get across more quickly.
  • An email with the right images attracts the attention of your contacts.

Contact us, we have the right technology to create HTML easily and quickly, and our creatives are at your disposal to build together the best possible emails so that they arrive in the inbox and are seen by all correctly.