Images can sell if picked with care. They should be used in support of text and have the same importance. A picture should explain, enhance and encourage. The problem is how to go about it.
Picture editing is a remarkably difficult task. To get to professional standard takes years of application and a tendency to use failure as an incentive to improve. That said, anyone can be much better than average at it with a little thought.
A trick in picking images for email marketing is to consider Alternative text, what is shown if the email service provider blocks the images. It is a brief – you must keep it short or else it will be ignored – description of what the blocked picture represents. This defines the image you should be looking for.
I have recently received a number of marketing emails regarding attending the Mille Miglia, an Italian historic rally, in 2015. The choice of image must have been vast and would have included more than just the cars. There are locations, attractive people, luxurious hotels, delightful food, shops and even a lake in the itinerary. Spoiled for choice.
If it was me picking the images, the thing I’d consider is what those on that particular email marketing list look for. If they were likely to opt for the premium package then in the body of the text I’d have emphasised the quality of the accommodation, the range of attractions and the V.I.P. preferential treatment they will receive. The images will have to support these features.
I’d have then considered the Alt text. It would describe what I wanted the image to show in ten words or less. Perhaps: As our guests you will have the Mille Miglia museum to yourselves. Or maybe: Your stand will have the best view of the start. And possibly: The hotel rooms have been hand-picked for your comfort and luxury.
Can you see how much easier it would now be to pick the right one? Given that the emails contained image after image of the historic cars, the impression I got was that they were just pulled from a file. Let’s hope they put more thought into the holiday.
Doodles Top Tip: Alt text is read by screen readers for those with partial eyesight.