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Susan DeMatei
July 31, 2019 | Susan DeMatei

How to Use Images to Increase Email Click-through Rates

Let’s face it, we have all turned into big photo-fanatics. We are constantly taking photos of everything we see and although this new technological access to images is great, it has turned us into image critics. This has obviously affected the way we interact with social media––and, most importantly, it’s affecting the way businesses send emails to their customers.

Emails with images get a 42% higher click-through rate than those without. However, just adding random images won’t do the trick, either. You need unique and compelling images backed up with a well thought out strategy for each and every email. This will ensure more website visits as well as a higher conversion rate.

To help you understand the impact that images have, take a look at the following tips and feel free to give them a try:

Understand and follow the principle of conversion scent
Principle of conversion scent means maintaining a consistent connection between your main ad and your landing page. Follow the scent through…this ensures the visitor sees exactly what they’re expecting to see when they get to your landing page.

The takeaway here is to always make sure to use the same image and copy on your landing page as the ones already presented on the email. The visual cohesiveness will give the viewer a sense of familiarity. Remember: consistency is key and helps increase conversions.

KISS: Keep it simple stupid
We're busy and too many things to look at make us give up and move on. Avoid using different style fonts, overcrowding the image with text, too many color variations, etc. Here are 3 things you can do to keep it simple:


  • Use only complementary colors (colors that work well together). Color is a tricky business, and this is where most people mess up. Being meticulous of your color use will help you design professional-looking images. An easy way to find colors that pair well together is by using design programs like Adobe Kuler or Coolors. They both display color palettes that work well together, and they also offer you the chance of generating your own color combination.
  • Remember to use simple fonts that are easy to read. Also, make sure the font is of neutral color or one compatible with your brand’s color palette. When the text is easy to read and blends well with all the other elements in the email, more people will be enticed to read the rest and click on the call to action button. Another important note is that if you’re planning on using more than one font in your image, be sure to pair it with a font that complements the original. Also, limit the number of fonts to 2 or 3 tops! Using too many fonts will make your design look inconsistent and messy.
  • Finally, be considerate of the negative space in your email. The term refers to all the blank spaces that are present around the layout. Having a good amount of negative space in your composition helps make the important components stand out as well as making your message more visible to viewers.

Optimize for all devices (both desktop and mobile)
Testing your email before sending it out to all your subscribers is an important, but highly overlooked part of the process. This will ensure that mistakes that weren’t caught at a first glance are finally dealt with before it’s too late. Send a test email to yourself and do a final review to see if the image and overall composition are working and that the main message is coming across.

Review the email on both your desktop as well as your mobile device. 62% of all emails are opened on mobile devices these days, so making sure they’re behaving as expected on mobile will help guarantee better results.

Once you are sure that everything in the email is behaving as it should, then you can send it to your subscriber list.

All the information presented above will help you create images that emphasize your branding and help make it consistent across different platforms. A good branding strategy means you’ll be the customer’s first option whenever they are ready to make a purchase. Be sure to remember these tips for designing images for your email campaigns, and you’ll definitely notice a change in your click-through rates.


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