6 Tips to Using Call-to-Action Visuals in Your Emails
Visual imagery is a powerful element that can positively impact a business's bottom line. Making your emails more compelling with graphics helps your readers visualize what you're promoting. Taking the next step by combining graphics with hyperlinks is a great way to make every email campaign a strategic marketing program.
For some, the initial reaction to this suggestion might be that adding graphics would be a daunting task. That’s not the case. A good email marketing service should include tools that allow you to search, resize, crop and rotate photos and images without having to leave your email template.
To gain the greatest value, follow these best practices when building email newsletters, promotions and announcements:
- Use images to enhance your message. Pictures may be worth a thousand words, but don’t rely on them to tell the entire story. A good rule of thumb is to use a 30/70 ratio: 30 percent images, 70 percent text. If a recipient is using a mobile device or has disabled images, make sure they can read what others are seeing.
- Include a clickable call to action with your merchandise photo to see how readers respond to each graphic. This tactic yields a dynamic collection of data about who's clicking on specific graphic hyperlinks. Called a click overlay report, this data will give you strategic direction on future interaction with your readers. For example, if the report shows an increase in traffic, use the same call to action or a similar graphic in a future email. Some email services even offer filters with these reports to help identify and segment customers into groups.
- Forgo image maps. These graphics have multiple paths or URL options (e.g., click a, b or c). Most email editors don't support image maps and will strip them out. Rather than compromise your visual message, use them on your website instead.
- Place larger images below the fold or preview pane. Doing so ensures readers using a preview pane or those who have blocked images from downloading automatically don't miss your message. No matter where you place the image, keep it to 600 pixels in width to ensure it isn't cut off the screen.
- Never use a background image when designing an email. The chances are it won't render properly, if at all.
- Preview your emails before sending to see what they look like with images turned on and off. You can do this by sending the email to yourself. A good email marketing service will also allow you to view print versions of HTML and text emails, resize the preview window, preview the viewing area, simulate different email window sizes, indicate email file size, and show or hide images.