Email marketing is more successful if you are able to include a highly relevant and professional photo. Research has shown that the majority of consumers prefer receiving emails that contain mostly images rather than text. It isn’t just including images that are important; the image has to be highly professional, relevant and interesting while being quick to download.
To get an image for your email marketing campaigns you will probably need to find a reliable source.
There are many places available to obtain better email marketing images. Some of these are free, others will provide the image for a credit and many will charge for the best images. Here is a list of options where you can obtain email marketing images.
1. Taking Them Yourself
Sometimes this can be the best option for your small business. This would mean buying a good quality camera and a tripod as a mobile phone or simply camera will not produce ideal results. You’ll also need to take your image in the right environment. Here are some suggestions:
- Use a white background.
- Use a room with a lot of natural light.
- A large room where you can take images from different angles.
Taking the images yourself can be cost effective in the long term, but is really only sensible if you are selling products. Taking images for a service could be complicated and you might need to have the permission of any clients that are also in the shots. In addition, achieving the correct environment while delivering a service can be tough and this could lower the quality, and therefore the impact, your images would have.
2. Professional Photographer
If you want to have professional images on your site that are completely unique but do not have the skills to take them yourself, consider hiring a professional photographer. This can be an expensive option but it can give you excellent images for your email marketing campaigns.
You can tell your photographer exactly what you are after; whether this is action shots of your service being delivered or a product and they should deliver them without a problem. These images can then be delivered directly to you in digital and print – demonstrating exactly how the images will look in many formats.
One of the biggest problems with this method is that there may be a long lead time between requesting and gaining access to the images. Therefore, you either have to do them in bulk and be well planned or pay a premium rate for quick delivery.
3. Graphics Artist
Sometimes you don’t need a photograph but would like an illustration. This can be provided to you by a graphics designer or artist. Sometimes these individuals can be expensive, however they can provide unique images that can be tailored exactly for your needs.
If you have not used a graphics artist before, you can find some on elance.com, odesk or People Per Hour. These sites also allow you assess the quality of the images being created by the graphics designer before you sign a contract with them. Therefore you can be more assured you are getting quality images.
4. Strategic Business Partners
This can be a highly effective way to gain access to quality images and is particularly useful if you are selling products manufactured by another company. Always ask your partners if there are images which they would be happy to share and consider offering an artist credit and a link to their site, if it is applicable.
5. Stock Image Sites
There are hundreds of stock image sites where you can buy images for small one off fees per image, on a subscription basis or for free (providing you credit the artist). These sites can be good because the images will nearly always be high quality and there are thousands of options for every topic.
However, product images are not often on the site and it can be hard to find the most relevant image for your email marketing message. Also, sometimes the images have specific restrictions on them such as; limited impressions, placement or usage. Therefore, check the terms and conditions before buying or downloading the image.
Here are some of the best places to obtain new email marketing images:
Getting the best images for your email marketing campaigns is easy with the numerous options available to your business. With the right image you can increase the interaction your readers have with your small business emails and the revenue each message can generate.
- Take some images of your products.
- Hire a graphics artist for some images.
- Look at some stock image websites.
The difference between a salesperson and a savvy marketer is the way they deliver their message. The ultimate goal is the same across the board – to sell product, or promote the company – but the way each department ends up going about it can be quite different, or at least that’s been the case in my experiences.
Last spring, the retail sales division of the company I worked for approached the marketing department because they wanted to start a biweekly email campaign. That’s an excellent idea, I said. And all was well and good until the two departments sat down to discuss the contents of the email.
“We were envisioning an email that features about 20 different products, with pictures and complete descriptions, every two weeks. And a 700-word or so article. And a coupon. And maybe a video of a dancing cat.”
Several jaws hit the floor. One of our designers actually passed out. Many heads tilted in confusion.
“Well…we just love our product so much and we know our customers do too, so we want to offer them as much as we possibly can!”
Ah, and therein lies the issue. Being passionate about what you do is so important. Loving your company and what they offer is a great thing, and for certain something to be proud of. But if you try to show your customers too much at once, you will scare them.
Think about the last marketing email you opened in your personal inbox and actually spent time examining. Did it feature a multitude of images, three page scrolls worth of text and about 15 different fonts? Or did it feature a clean, dominate image, a small amount of catchy copy and worthwhile links?
There’s no real rule about the limit on the amount of email content. But, think about the things going into your email as actual objects on your desk. A few nice, well placed and helpful items are pleasant, and probably tools you’ll utilize (since they’re on your desk and all). However, the more items you add the more cluttered your desk becomes, and the less you’re able to prioritize and sort out everything that’s there.
If you feel like you have too much to say and not enough room to say it, make a list of everything you want to include. Read through it, and try to prioritize one by one. Is there anything that is timely and needs to be mentioned right away? Is there anything that relates to a current news item? What can I put into a blog post instead of this email (because links are your friend!)?
Don’t worry, you aren’t the only one who loves your company and wants to hear everything you have to say about it. But think of this email marketing relationship you have with your consumers like a real relationship – if you spill everything on your first date, there’s a good chance they won’t stick around for too long.
Photo: Puuikibeach, Flickr Creative Commons