We’ve recently explained some of the legal niceties of the use of images in email marketing. Copyright is a subject that is impossible to cover with any degree of detail in five hundred or so words. You need a legal library.
That does not mean the only options are to use image libraries or Creative Commons in order to ensure the limitations are explained clearly. There is a simple alternative that has significant additional benefits.
It is almost certain that you have a digital camera. Those included in the latest mobile phones are often of very high technical quality, certainly of adequate resolution to produce images suitable for email marketing. You’ve probably worked out where I’m going with this.
The odds are that each individual staff member has at least one camera at their disposal. This is an untapped resource. You and your staff can probably produce images of any subject you want. But how will you go about encouraging them to do so?
There’s nothing like a reward, a prize for the best image. It could be monetary, perhaps a meal at a local restaurant or something related to your products. It is obvious that the price might be more than that for single library image, but you have any number of pictures you can use for the coming few months, maybe year.
The images that did not merit the prize can still be used for your email marketing campaigns. However, there is a caveat; you must play fair. If you use an image, you should pay for it. This will normally be a monetary reward. It need not be the price that a professional will demand; that would destroy the purpose of the exercise. However, a percentage is the norm.
You could define the type of image that would appeal to subscribers to your email marketing list. Alternatively, you could allow plenty of artistic licence. There are arguments for both, so try both.
Don’t take full ownership of an image. Your HR manager might well get upset if they see repeated use of their favourite picture without suitable reward. If you use it, then they deserve a prize.