If you’re reading this, I assume you’re using Gmail and/or Inbox. If you’re not, then why not? It’s one of the most popular email clients out there, and it definitely provides a good UX. Gmail’s main functionalities are email and calendar, and the plugin ecosystem around it is thriving because of its simplicity.
While Gmail is a good example of minimalism in design and functionality, it also has some features that could be improved upon. One of my personal favorite features is how Gmail displays images in emails. Gmail’s implementation of images in emails is actually very cool, as it takes advantage of modern browsers’ support for embedded images in emails.
Gmail’s support for embedded images in emails is relatively new, and up until a few years ago, people would have to rely on a third party plugin to support images in emails. Since then, however, Gmail itself has started to implement solutions that allow for easy integration of images into emails. This article will walk you through the steps to easily integrate images into your next email marketing campaign.
Take Advantage of Modern Browsers’ Support for Embedded Images in Emails
When most people think of email marketing, they think about text-based emails. After all, that’s what the bulk of this marketing medium is used for. While there’s nothing wrong with text-based emails, there’s also nothing wrong with using images in emails, as long as you have a good reason for it. Modern browsers now support images in emails, which means that you can include images in your emails and not only rely on software for parsing images in an email, but you can also directly include them in your messages.
Why does Gmail implement images in emails so well? It’s a combination of two things. First, Gmail has always had a good understanding of what email clients need, and second, because images in emails are relatively new, the software and the web browser vendors didn’t really have enough time to mess it up. So, even though Google may not be the first company you’d think of when it comes to image-related technologies, they are responsible for one of the more innovative email clients out there.
Make Sure You Have a Good Reason For Using Images in Your Emails
Just because a browser supports images in emails doesn’t necessarily mean you have to use them in your messages, especially if they don’t make sense in your context. For example, if you’re sending out an email marketing campaign to a list of readers that are mostly digital nomads (people who travel for work) and you want to include a map with a travel destination on it, you’d probably have a good reason for doing that. Maps are fairly important on websites, and those who read your email might not have the time to stop by your website to see what you have to offer.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you’re sending out a personal email to a friend or family member, you have no reason whatsoever to include an image. Those are pretty much the only types of emails where images don’t make sense, and even then, it’s not advised. A good rule of thumb is to only use images when you have a good reason to do so.
How to Include Images in Your Next Email Marketing Campaign
Although there’s nothing wrong with using images in your emails, as long as you have a good reason for doing so, it’s not advisable to randomly use them in all of your emails. That makes it way too easy for your subscribers to identify and ignore your emails, which, in turn, will hurt your overall marketing campaign. This is where using a tool like Lead Box makes a lot of sense. It can automatically insert images before emails are sent out, so you have a better chance of convincing your audience to take action.
Once you have Lead Box set up, you can insert an image block in your next email marketing campaign by clicking the gear icon in the top right corner of the screen. From there, you can select the type of image you want to use and click the blue button to insert the image into your email.
More Than One Image Per Email
As mentioned above, since images in emails are relatively new, there aren’t many tools out there that allow for easy insertion of images into emails. One of the more common limitations is that users have to choose which image to use for each email they send out. If you’re using Lead Box, you don’t have to worry about that, as it will automatically generate multiple images for you and choose the best one to use based on the context of your email.
For example, let’s say you’re using Lead Box to insert an image into your business email and you want to include a product image as well. Normally, you would have to choose a product image specifically for this email and put it in a separate email. However, with Lead Box, you can simply drag-n-drop the product image you want to use into the email you’re composing and it will automatically appear in the designated space. You don’t have to worry about the product image not fitting because it will automatically get cropped to the best fit.
Images Work Best When Used With Text
Even though images are supported in emails, it isn’t advisable to solely rely on them to get your point across. Instead, use images to supplement your messages and make them more appealing. If you want to include a product image in a business email, you can do so by creating an appealing visual story with a combination of images and text. For example, you could include a product image that is relevant to the content of the email (e.g., a wine bottle that goes with the subject line “Wine bottles that go with food”), and you could also include an image of the restaurant where the product was served to give the email some credibility. You can even create a short video to go along with the email to further drive the point home.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you want to send out a personal email to a friend or family member, you would have to rely on words alone to get your point across. When used in combination with words, images can be a great way to make your emails more appealing and, thus, more effective.
For example, if you want to send a personal email to your best friend and you know that they will understand what you’re trying to say even if the text is a little bit messy, you can include an image that helps them understand what you’re talking about. Alternatively, you could write a short note explaining what’s going on and why you’re contacting them specifically. Since images are already part of the medium, it’s easy for your friend to recognize that you’re using them in your email and, therefore, easier for them to understand what you’re trying to say.
Emails without Images Can Still Be Effective
Despite all the perks of images in emails, not all of them are created equal. Just because your browser supports images in emails and you have a tool like Lead Box to help you with the insertion doesn’t mean that every email needs to have an image in it. Sometimes, a simple text-based email can be just as effective as one that has an image in it. Even though it’s not preferable to use images in personal emails, it’s still possible to have an effective personal email campaign without them. Just make sure that you have a reason for including them in your emails.
Use Other Email Marketing Tools
Gmail is just one of the tools that can be used for email marketing. There are others, like MailChimp, that provide similar functionalities but don’t require users to have a Google account to use them. You can and should use these other email marketing tools, even if you’re already using Google’s email service, to further improve your overall email marketing performance.