Graphics in email and mastheads

I recently wrote a strategy brief for my current organization on recent email marketing trends and issues facing email marketers. In it, I discussed a few of the most prevalent issues and offered up solutions for those vexing problems. I was on a call yesterday with someone in my organization who said that he read my document and that it contradicted itself on whether or not to use images or mastheads within email.

I think what some people fail to realize is that email marketing is both an art and a science and there is no generally acceptable practice or method by which you should engage your users in email marketing. Each piece of email is unique to audience and depending upon your audience and message, will determine whether or not you use images within a particular piece.

However, one of the things that I do caution against is the use of image laden emails with calls to actions embedded in your image or the use of images as a primary driver for your email. I am strictly speaking about B2B email as this might not apply if you are selling toasters online in the B2C area. Often, I run across people who are more hung up on moving the masthead image over a 1/4 of an inch to fit in that last bit of text thinking its going to drive ROI. I also run across people who will wait weeks for a custom image to be made and embedded into the email, but give little thought as to their message content and whether or not its compelling enough to drive actions.

Bottom line: Be smart about the use of images in your email. Worry more about the content and the compelling drivers to action in the email and worry more about nurturing the user and establishing a healthy long term relationship with them as opposed to choosing red or green for that must have background image of the hotel your seminar is at.

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