Pictures can add much to an email. They attract the eye, lower the chances of the reader immediately closing it and equally importantly, put your point over in an efficient manner.
As always, have a plan. Do not just pick what you think would look nice and then scatter the images over the page. Forget arty: make them work for you.
There are few rules but there is a lot of sensible advice. Pictures can be very effective in email marketing if used in the same manner as headlines. Many readers will want to click through almost immediately so an image that excites without having to be thought about is a good starter.
Much as you might respect those on your email lists; the fact is that they will scan images in the same way that they do copy. So subtle is out. It is perhaps a good thing as you do not want them gazing in admiration at a picture rather than the offer. Remember, you are not producing a ‘Where’s Wally’.
Use images to break the email into manageable chunks. Too much copy can be daunting so an occasional picture can relieve the monotony.
If the reader is not immediately convinced and ignores the first click through then the remaining pictures should add to the pressure. If you are selling treatment for wooden fencing then show a 100 foot fence with just 5% remaining to complete, not forgetting the happy painter.
Keep image sizes small, especially the first one. Some recipients’ email service providers might block images and you do not want masses of white space around. Use with a bit of imagination. You have enough characters to explain the images and add a bit of sales technique.
Consider having hotlinks on your images. You will know whether you readers will need to be told to ‘click on the image to . . . ’ or if they will find out themselves. All you have to do is work out where the link will take them: to your website or a special landing page.