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How to Use Email Images to Boost CTR

Email is one of the most effective marketing campaigns out there — in fact, the average ROI of an email campaign is 122%.

For those who aren’t afraid to take a few extra steps, email images will spice up your campaign and help your email campaign stand out.

I’m going to show you how to leverage images in email the right way.

Email Images: Yes or No?

You can use email images, but should you?

I want to start by asking a few questions, because these will help you determine if using email images helps or hurts you. Read these and answer yes or no:

  • Do my images support my brand?
  • Have I optimized the image size?
  • Am I using the right number of images?
  • Am I properly using image alt tags?
  • Are my emails easily accessible?

Chances are you may not even know the answer to all these questions.

If that’s the case, then you’re not getting all you can from your email images, and this guide will help you.

But it’s not quite that simple. Having email images can boost your email’s aesthetics, but how do you increase email click-through rates with images?

What Is a Good Email Click-Through Rate?

Your click-through rate is the percentage of people who click on an image, link, or video in your email to continue through to your content. The average click-through rate is around 2.5% across all industries.

This number might sound a little low, but keep in mind, we’re talking about click-through and not open rates, which is the number of people who read your email.  

Including images in your campaigns is a great way to increase engagement and improve your chances of driving traffic or even sales.

Images in Email Marketing: The Magic Ratio

Email image ratio

Many marketers will tell you there’s a specific magic ratio of image to text, but it’s not always true. What is true is image-only emails will almost always cost you a trip to the spam folder.

Do that too much, and you’ll find your whole domain blacklisted.

That’s no good.

The ideal ratio is around 30-40% image to text. Any higher, you run the risk of triggering spam filters. Any less will make your email difficult to read.

The only way to find out what works for your audience is to test it! Use A/B testing to figure out what works and what doesn’t.

Keep Your Email Images Consistent

Keep email images consistent

How many times have you searched for something on Google, found what you wanted, and clicked through to the website only to realize the link didn’t lead where you expected — at all?

It’s frustrating.

The truth is, you might be doing this to people right now without even realizing it.

Your email image needs to align with your brand and remain consistent throughout your marketing campaign.

Make sure when someone decides to open your email, it remains true to your company message, and all the emails look relatively similar.

If you’re using blue headers with a specific font in your campaign, it should match the landing page your visitor ends on.

Personalization and Targeting Are Key

Email personalization is more important than ever.


Because there’s more impersonal spammy communication out there than ever before. Personalization changes the way your email appears based on the person you’re targeting.

Just think about it. How often have you received an email that seems like it was made for you?

Not often, right?

This is where you can get ahead of your competition by doing the things no one else is willing to do.

No product or service has “universal appeal,” so you need to narrow down your email images to a targeted audience.

According to Invesp, 59% of online shoppers find products more interesting when you personalize your marketing approach.

So, how do you personalize your email images?

Cater to Repeat Buyers

Find products people need to purchase regularly and appeal to people who bought in the past. Amazon uses this strategy, resulting in 60% conversions from their on-site recommendations.

Here’s an example from Wayfair that was based on browsing history:

images in email example

Recommend New Products

Recommend products to customers based on their previous buying history. Go the extra mile and even call it “Selections for [insert name].” That strategy helps create an “in-store experience” for your subscribers.

It’s as if you went to the clothing rack and specifically picked out items you thought would look great on them!

Ask Questions

If you’re selling a service or a digital subscription, you can ask your subscribers why they haven’t made a purchase yet. Give them a chance to sound off on what’s holding them back.

Doing this not only helps the email feel more personal and intimate, but it allows you to get feedback on what you could do better.

The ALT Tag Is More Important than You Think

We all know the importance of ALT tags for website images, but what about images in email marketing?

Are you currently using ALT tags properly in your email campaigns?

email image alt text

When the email client doesn’t download images correctly, your ALT tag becomes your lifeline for a few big reasons:

  • When the email client doesn’t download the image, the ALT text displays to the email recipient.
  • ALT text provides context if images aren’t loading.
  • ALT tags make it easier for those who use screen readers and other accessible technology to understand the image.

When all else fails, the ALT tag might be the thing getting the email recipient to open.

How to Create ALT Tags for Emails?

On the back end, an ALT tag looks like this:

<img src=”youremailimage.jpg” border=”0″ alt=”How to Use Email Images in Email Marketing” width=”482px” height=”205″ />

Where it says “alt=” is where your ALT text goes. So, if an email image doesn’t load properly, that’s what will display across the email text area instead of the image.

The process of adding it might vary based on what email client you use. Here’s how to add ALT tags on MailChimp, for example.

Use the Best Format for Email Images

You have three primary formatting options for your email image. PNGs, JPEGs, and GIFs are the most common choices. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each.


Portable Network Graphics offer a large color palette, which means compressing the file size doesn’t impact the image’s resolution.

Another benefit is that you can add transparent layers, making it easy to embed the image on top of other content. This lets you blend the background image into an email with live text.

The only downside to PNGs is the file size is much larger compared to JPEGs and GIFs because of the image quality.


JPEGs offer large image compression, but doing so impacts the quality of your image. When you reduce a JPEG image, it groups each section into larger blocks, which causes the image to become blurry — which isn’t a good look.

While these are the most common image types, I wouldn’t recommend using them for email images.


You get less color vibrance with GIFs because they use an 8-bit color palette compared to a 24-bit palette with PNGs and JPEGs.

The obvious difference is the animation effect. Using GIFs in your emails increases interactivity and can allow you to show more than one product with the same image.

How to Find the Best Email Images

Finding the right images to get your email message across is crucial. There’s a variety of different types of images you can use, and each has its own purpose. Let’s look at a few.

Charts and Graphs

Providing statistics and data is almost useless without a graphic to back it up. When you provide charts in your email to prove a point, it makes it much easier for the recipient to grasp your message.

Inside’s business newsletter has a Series A funding tracker where you can see what startups recently got funding above $5m:

inside funding tracker

This easily shows at a glance who got the largest amount of funding, by size and color.

Piktochart is an infographic tool that makes it easy to create free charts (with a watermark). Just enter the data and select the type of chart you want.

Stock Photos

Stock images are the easiest way to add images to your email marketing campaign. There’s a large assortment of sites to choose from like Shutterstock, Depositphotos, and Pixabay.

When sourcing the best image, choose something relatable to your audience. If you’re targeting middle-age moms of toddlers, find images that appeal to your demographic.

Don’t just add images to add images — make sure they have a purpose.


Instead of using a numbered list to explain how something works, turn the process into beautiful imagery with screenshots.

Awesome Screenshot is a browser extension on Chrome, Safari, and Firefox that makes it easy to capture screenshots directly from the browser. You can capture a whole page or a part and download it to your computer.

Personal Photos

Keeping it real and making things personal is never a bad choice. Email marketing is all about pulling back the curtain and showing people what you’re all about.

You don’t need professional photos to make sales, and the realistic and pure nature of personal photos can be what you need.

Illustrated Content

Illustrations are a nice way to expand your possibilities. While you might be able to do a certain amount of things with a product, an illustration can display limitless options while staying true to your brand.

Here’s an example from comedian Nate Bargatze announcing a drive-in tour. After this image, his email contained a text call-to-action with more information.

nate bargatze email image

Consider hiring an illustrator on Fiverr or Upwork to get affordable illustrations.

User-Generated Content

User-generated content is huge. In fact, 76% of customers trust content coming from “average” people versus the brand itself.

UGC helps create trust, and it offers authority from a relatable audience. For example, imagine how an image of someone using your product in their home would outperform a stock photo or a cartoon using it.

Offer rewards to happy customers by having them upload images to social media using specific hashtags and use those images in your email marketing campaigns.

Never Send Image-Only Emails

While images are important – you should never send an image-only email.

Here’s why:

Image Blocking Is Real

If you work in the corporate world, you understand this point. Many companies block images by default, and in fact, 43% of email users have their images turned off.

So, if you don’t have your ALT text game up to par, your campaign won’t load properly.

Email Image File Size

Email image sizes can cause subscribers with slow connections to lag and become unresponsive. If your email takes too long to load, your subscribers are going to click out or even unsubscribe because they can’t get your emails to open correctly.

Email Accessibility Is Changing

More people are using voice assistants to read emails, and these do not recognize ALT text or HTML yet. So, if the user is trying to read your image-only email, you’re out of luck.

So, what’s the ideal email image format?

Background Images with Live Text

Remember earlier, when we talked about the pros of using PNG files for your email images? Here’s where this all comes together.

Background images applied as an element to the email allow you to put live text over it, providing the most accessibility. Even if the subscriber has images disabled, they’ll see the text, which ensures all your subscribers will get something from the email.

Bulletproof Buttons

Including your CTA in your image is a fatal error. If the image is blocked or doesn’t load properly, the button or CTA you have is hidden and completely missed by the recipient.

Using bulletproof buttons allows you to build the button with code, rather than images. So if everything fails and your image doesn’t load, the subscriber will still receive your text and CTA.


Email images are an effective strategy to increase your email campaigns’ success, but you can’t take shortcuts.

Using the right image size, format, and design is critical to ensuring your emails get delivered and get results.

Follow all of the best and worst practices outlined in this guide, and you’ll be well on your way to a higher click-through rate and a repeatable email process that will drive traffic for years to come.

Need some help perfecting your email image strategy? Drop a comment below.

The post How to Use Email Images to Boost CTR appeared first on Neil Patel.

Conversion Rate Optimization Consulting

Are you currently running an online business?

Do you think you can sell more of your products applying the same actions?

Because that’s exactly what Conversion Optimization does for you.

You’re using the same ads, landing/sales pages, and funnels but they just convert more.

That’s something you absolutely want to focus on if you’ve been running ads for a long time but you haven’t found the formula for healthy scaling.

Just imagine doubling your conversions…

Wouldn’t that be CRAZY?

Well with today’s conversion rate optimization strategies you can easily do it.

You just have to know what to look for and how to get it.

So without further ado…

Here’s a detailed guide on how to find the best conversion rate optimization consultants and how to work with them to guarantee real trackable results.

5 Ways a Conversion Rate Optimization Consultant Can Help Grow Your Business

The professional CRO Consultant is going to optimize your funnel to the very last bit.

But there are always activities that just generate more results than others.

Say for example your sales funnel is driving the most sales for your business.

You would want to optimize the pages in it first and then move on to optimizing different social media and other website pages.

So make sure you rank your activities from most to least important and then find a CRO Consultant that can help you with the top ones.

Further down this post, I’ll go over the questions you need to ask yourself in order to understand what to focus on first.

But for now, here’s the number one way a consultant can help you optimize your CRO:

#1 Webinar and VSL Conversion Rate Optimization

Many people think conversions can be optimized only on paper.

But the same CRO process goes for any sales video you use in your business.

And with nowadays fast-paced world, most businesses have switched to selling high-ticket offers through webinars.

If you’re currently running a webinar you NEED to maximize the conversions coming from it.

You can’t keep pouring water into a leaking bucket, can you?

It’s your personal duty and obligation to make the most of your sales process in order to:

  1. Help the most amount of people with your products
  2. Generate the most amount of sales possible for your business

And that’s why hiring a professional CRO Consultant to look at your webinar, the pages, the emails leading to it, and of course the follow-up after is extremely essential.

He can quickly assess what needs to be improved and how to do it most efficiently.

Because I’m sure you wouldn’t want to record a 90-minute webinar from the scratch.

#2 Website Conversion Rate Optimization

For many businesses, their website is basically their sales funnel.

It’s the place where they drive the most traffic and get the most sales.

So if your business is in the same spot, you’ve got to realize that depending on a single thing to bring in sales (the website) is a little ambitious.

And not having it fully-optimized for conversions is straight-up idiotic.

That’s why you need to hire an Expert CRO Consultant that can optimize every single bit of your website.

You would be surprised that 43% of business owners don’t know which is the most important page on their website.

That’s why it is very easy to get distracted and focus on the wrong thing when trying to scale your business.

#3 Pay Per Click Conversion Rate Optimization

Let’s say you already have your funnel up and running.

If that’s the case, you need to start focusing your attention on paid ads that bring in more and more potential customers to your pages.

That’s an easy way to check your actual funnel conversions and optimize accordingly.

But you can’t sell your products/services if your ads don’t convert, right?

Of course, if you’re just starting, you can try setting them up on your own.

But hiring a professional to at least check your work and give you valuable split-test suggestions is crucial if you want to run the same ads for a long time.

And trust me — you want long-term result generating ads.

#4 Social Media Conversion Rate Optimization

Imagine this…

You’ve got a fully automated sales funnel that profits like crazy with ads.

You’re scaling it up but you want more…

That’s where you put your mind into social media marketing and social media presence.

Regularly posting conversion-optimized content on your Facebook Page, Facebook Profile, Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok… is essential if you want to be in front of everyone at all times.

I’m sure you know about the ancient rule of marketing — The Rule of 7.

It says that a prospect must see your marketing message at least 7 times before he proceeds to become a partner, investor, customer for your products and services.

That’s why you need to close your potential customers on all platforms.

Because if you don’t, they’re just going to lose their hype and forget about you.

Also, a well-thought-out social media strategy will not only increase your social media conversions but also your overall business followers.

Which helps in the long-term game.

#5 Back End Conversion Rate Optimization

And here comes the last but definitely not the worst option.

Which is optimizing your back end sales through with higher converting pages and follow-up.

We covered how to get traffic, how to convert it through your funnel/website, and now comes the fun part…

Your Back End. for most businesses that’s the place they make the most profits.

So neglecting it is the last thing you should do if you really want to scale your business to the moon.

Famous back end follow-up is Email Marketing.

An expert consultant will not only show you the best email marketing practices you can use in your business…

But also, he’ll suggest new ideas you didn’t even know existed till this point.

How to Get Started With Conversion Rate Optimization

After you pick what you need help with, it’s time to find out how to start with conversion rate optimization.

Firstly, you need to find a consultant that specializes in what you need help with.

Simple right? Wrong!

Hiring a consultant can either be a walk in the park or an endless lion chase.

What do I mean by that?

Basically nowadays everyone pretends to be ten times better than they actually are.

You don’t want to individually outreach people that say they’re good on their social media.

The best way to ensure results is to prepare a detailed job post and put it on freelancing platforms like Upwork.

That way only people that have experience and results in the industry will reach out and start a chat with you.

Again, be very detail-oriented in your job post and make a step-by-step checklist covering what you need before proceeding to hire your ideal match.

Measuring the ROI of Conversion Rate Optimization Consulting Services

Let’s say you hire a CRO Consultant and begin your first conversion rate optimization journey.

How can you know that you made the right choice?

Well, an easy way is to ask your consultant for expectations you can have during the project.

What increase in revenue can you expect in the first month? What will be changed and what will stay the same?

And most importantly, if you’re currently not doing it, start checking your sales and conversions daily.

I’m sure that the marketing tools you currently use track enough data to see if your consultant really makes a difference in your business.

Your ROI (Return On Investment) is crucial and you can’t craw through the desert blindfolded for months.

Meaning you can’t trust empty claims. You either get results or not. There’s nothing in between.

6 Point Checklist For Finding the Right Conversion Rate Optimization Consultant

This section will be useful for you if you haven’t hired consultants in the past.

So if you have any questions or concerns about the process you’re about to go through, just follow this detailed plan and you’ll end up with trackable and real results.

#1 Write down exactly what you need from your consultant on a google docs file

I’m sure you’ve used google docs before. If you haven’t it’s Google’s alternative to Word.

So the first step of your journey is to clear your mind on what exactly you need from your consultant.

  • What part of your business drives the most sales?
  • Do you believe it can drive even more sales? (it probably can)
  • What aspect of your business have you been neglecting until this point?

The answers to these three questions should give you a good idea of what you need help with.

If you end up having 2-3 different answers then you should pick the one that can generate the most sales in your opinion. 

#2 Create your job post

After you know what you need, it’s time to get it.

The easiest way to do it is to create a job post on a freelancing platform.

That’s a quick way to find medium-tier consultants that can do the job fast.

But if you’re a big business looking for the best of the best, you should consider talking to a leading consultant in a proven marketing agency.

Agencies have a lot more clients and that way they have access to much more relevant analytics for what works.

We recommend NP Digital as it is the best marketing agency when it comes to SEO and CRO.

So if you’re ready to take your conversions to the next level, book a call today and talk to an expert in no time:

#3 Make sure your consultant has proven results in the field you need help with

This is critical. Always make sure your consultant has a proven track record behind his back. 

An easy way is to ask for previous results these consultants have generated for similar clients. 

Of course, if you’re talking to a marketing agency like NP Digital, you don’t need to worry about results.

Then it’s time to set up some calls. Try to talk to at least 3 consultants and always ask for their opinion about the strategy you should be using.

That way you’ll have different perspectives and maybe find out something you missed when doing your personal assessment.

#4 Hire them and do NOT be cheap

After you’re sure who’s the best consultant of the bunch, you should begin your contract.

But don’t jump the gun too fast. You never know what could go wrong.

So before you start a long-term retainer with your CRO Consultant, you should first hire him for a test project.

Find a small thing they can optimize to start with.

If they do a good job, then move to a larger project.

And don’t expect results from consultants that charge 5 dollars an hour. 

Go all out on this project and hire the best of the best so you get your desired results.

#5 Track the results daily

Tracking your ROI is extremely important as we mentioned previously.

You should always do the math and see if your consultant makes you money in return.

If you’re not happy with the results and don’t see a positive future at some point in your contract, just end it.

Still, if they did a great job until the point you decide to end the contract, always make sure to leave him a positive review/testimonial that he can use for future clients.

#6 Keep investing until you stop getting results

But what happens if this consultant never stops generating results?

That’s more common with agencies that specialize in multiple marketing skills.

And if that’s the case for you, just keep investing until they stop.

You wouldn’t want to throw away your golden goose, would you now?

If the results from the first month exceed your expectations, you should consider raising your consultant’s salary/working hours. 

Let him manage and optimize even more parts of your business. 

Of course, don’t force him to do it.

If they just optimize your funnel and you want to focus on social media presence, you should first ask him whether they do that as well.

If he’s not up for it, you can look for another talent that can handle this part of your business.

It’s time to make you some money!

Please use the process I just shared with you and do it now.

If you procrastinate on hiring a CRO Consultant, you can really lose on a lot of money.

Your conversions are the thing that drives your sales.

So leave what you’re currently doing and go get your Conversion Rate Optimization Consultant.

Also, have you ever worked with a CRO Consultant? If yes, how was it? Share your experience in the comments below:

The post Conversion Rate Optimization Consulting appeared first on Neil Patel.

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