Tips for Using Images in Email Marketing

Learn how to use images in email marketing and get the best results from your campaign.

Marketing design
December 17, 2021

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Follow these simple tips on using images in your email marketing and create emails that achieve great results for your campaigns.

There are two paths of communication—verbal and visual. According to psychologist Albert Mehrabian, 93% of communication is nonverbal. In most digital channels, visual content is predominant, and with a good reason. Our brain can process images between 6 and 600 times faster than language.

In this digital age, people are spending more time online but less time on each piece of content. Users are scrolling from one post to another on social media, moving from one video to another on YouTube.

Consider what social media would look like without images. Email marketing is no different. If you send your email clients only plain text, chances are they won’t read past the subject line. No matter how good your writing is or how good of a deal you are offering, your email may stay unread or deleted.


The power of images

Emails with images are viewed twice as much compared to those without pictures. If you want your email marketing to be successful, it's a good idea to start using visual communication.

The audience responds better to visual information than text. Two-thirds of surveyed people say that they prefer emails with more images than text. This claim affects your conversion rate, i.e., how many times or how many of your recipients have taken a given action.

With that said, simply adding images for cosmetic reasons doesn’t mean your email campaign will do its job. There are simple rules you need to know to do it right.

What is the best format?

Images come in different formats, and they all have specific properties that can affect the appearance and the size of your email. Get familiar with the most popular formats and learn how to use them.


This format is great for photos and colorful images with rich detail. The compression decreases the file's size and results in lower image quality. The lower quality doesn’t mean your picture will look bad in the email.

However, it’s best not to use this format for images with text, as the compression can pixelate the text and make it hard to read.

The top 3 reasons for using personalization in email marketing are improved open rate (82%), higher CTR (75%), and better customer satisfaction (58%).

Alex saw the images from the actual destinations he traveled to with this company.

This outstanding example transformed customer data into emotional stories. The email’s layout remained the same for all recipients, but the images and texts changed according to the data about each person who received the email.  

Source: Emailoctopus

Credit: Reallygoodemails

Difference between optimized and not optimized design. Credit: Adams

Credit: Icecreamapps

Source: Influencermarketinghub


PNG offers the highest quality, suitable for rendering precise lines and distinct contrasts. However, the colors in this format are not as rich as in JPG.

Another difference from JPG is that it preserves the original image quality when compressed, which means those files are often “heavier” than JPG.

The most significant advantage of this format is that you can create images without background, which means you can create pictures with different shapes.


This format is not suitable for standard images, as it displays a poor amount of colors. The remarkable thing about GIFs is that they can display animated graphics.

Dimensions and size

Large-sized images will cause your marketing emails to load slower than usual, affecting the user experience.  74% of people will delete the email or flag it as spam if it doesn’t open within 5 seconds.

Image file size depends on many factors, such as the format, the size, and the resolution. If the image you want to use is too large, you can use this tool to decrease its size.

For best appearance, the height of your images should be no more than 200 pixels, while the width should be between 600 and 1200 pixels.

Optimize your emails for mobile devices

Mobile optimization is crucial for digital marketing, and that includes email marketing as well. 81% of internet users check email on their smartphones, and 42.3% delete emails if they are not optimized for mobile. Make sure you optimize your email design for mobile.

Stock images

If you wonder what type of images to use in your email, this insight might be helpful - photos depicting faces get 30% more likes on Instagram than those without faces.

However, using photos with people can be expensive. Luckily, many websites offer stock photos, and some of them are royalty-free. Just make sure you choose photos and graphics that compliment your brand identity.

Complement your brand style

Even if you use one of the countless email templates available on the internet, you still need to adapt it to your brand identity. Recognition and consistency are at the core of marketing.

Find the most suitable template for the best appearance of your logo, brand colors, and fonts in your email.

Alt text

Alternative text gives a short description of what’s in the image. It provides an inclusive experience for persons with visual impairments, helping them understand the images in your email.

Screen readers use these little bits of text to describe the pictures. If the images don’t load, they will appear as text, so everyone can understand what’s meant to be shown in your email.

Add a countdown timer

Content marketers widely use dynamic content, and countdown timers are among the most used dynamic images in email marketing. Adding a timer to your email makes excellent sense if you promote a sale, a limited offer, upcoming events, or special offers.

Timers create a sense of urgency. FOMO and scarcity are incredibly effective marketing psychology hacks, and they urge the audience to take action sooner rather than later.  When adding a timer, don’t forget to include a call-to-action message.

With helpful tools like NiftyImages, you can customize and even personalize the timer on the dynamic image, starting the countdown when the recipient opens the email, for example.

Personalize images

There are many reasons why you should take a personalized approach when communicating with your customers. Email marketing allows you to do this on another level with personalized images.

Depending on the data you have on your email clients, you can choose to add text that reflects their desires and preferences regarding your products or services.

Personalization of images can be something as simple as adding a message with your customer’s name on it or something much more advanced, as shown in this example from EasyJet.

The email campaign shown above performed with 100% higher open rates and a 2% higher click-through rate than any other email campaign conducted by EasyJet.


Images are a simple but effective tool to increase your email campaign results. Using them properly allows you to achieve measurable results like open rate and click-through rates, easily converting into more sales and brand visibility.

Through the images in your email campaign, you are enforcing your brand identity and recognition, resulting in more loyal customers.

When using images, be aware that they can slow down the loading of your email. Take into consideration their size and formats.

Optimization is crucial for the effectiveness of your campaigns, and personalization can further motivate your customers to take action.

An experienced creative talent with a demonstrated history of working in the advertising industry for more than 18 years. A strong creative writing professional with a special focus on creating content for marketing and social advertising projects. I have a Master's degree in Theater Directing. I love hiking, enjoy obscure music and European cinema. I am an avid fan of UFC!

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