Home > Resources > How to Master Using Images on Email Marketing?

How to Master Using Images on Email Marketing?

Written and researched by experts at AvadaLearn more about our methodology

By Sam Nguyen

CEO Avada Commerce

Drive 20-40% of your revenue with Avada
avada email marketing

Images are like popcorn butter when it comes to email marketing. The right photos send the right message, get the right attention, and get people to take action. Email marketing is an efficient way to reach out and connect with both existing and potential customers. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a small company, a non-profit or an e-commerce business, email marketing works for everyone.

And before you send out your first text, think about how you want your subscribers to receive your newsletters. The overall email design, including text, colors, positioning, and pictures, all play an important role. The right picture would help increase the number of content views and email clicks and influence the conversion rate. Low-quality pictures, outdated vectors, or poorly sorted images can have an effect on the user’s confidence in the brand and, in particular, on the email.

Like a person’s clothing, a picture does the same for your email. It helps to establish the impression you wish to create and represent your brand style. In this article, I will introduce to you tips for mastering the use of images in your marketing campaigns. Let’s jump right into the details.

Read more:

Best tips for using images in email marketing

How to master using images in email marketing
How to master using images in email marketing

The ultimate goal of using your photos in your email marketing is to create an emotional influence. This means that you need to find or take the right picture to help you deliver your message. Here’s what you need to know to get started using photos in your email campaigns:

Image resources

If you’re a photographer, or if you have one on your squad, you can catch the candid moments that speak for your own brand. If not, search for free online photo sources, such as Unsplash, to find the most relevant photos. It is necessary to use only royalty-free photos to prevent any potential copyright issues. Add terms such as “concept” or “idea” to your search keywords to get better results. And if finding the right photo for your campaign is a challenge, AI image generators offer a convenient way to create custom images that can resonate with your audience.

Also, you can create an account on Elements or Twenty20 for a huge image resource. They offer very professional images, styles and quantities.

Clickable images

Every email marketing campaign should have a clear target. This is usually highlighted by the call-to-action button, which brings subscribers to your desired landing page or website. However, it’s not rare that all the subscribers see in your email is the photo you incorporated. Having a clickable image with a CTA linked to the desired landing page or website helps increase click-through rates, and therefore increases the chances of getting subscribers to take the action you want them to take.

Use concentrated color

Marketers pay a lot of attention to how to use color when it comes to creating products or designing a website. These color principles also apply to e-mail and other marketing platforms. Color psychology is particularly relevant in emails, where users spend a matter of seconds looking at the content before deciding whether to click or delete it.

Too much color inside the confined space will make your email feel cluttered and scattered. But a well-placed, concentrated-tone photo can direct the viewer’s eye to primary messaging or the call to action. Below is an example that adopts best practices for color use (in this case, red):

Color is a great tool to convey messages.
Color is a great tool to convey messages.


Although you want to keep all your images true, you need to be imaginative to make every picture speak for itself. The text of the email also affects the picture, and vice versa. Use words and images to create a catchy, meaningful email, imaginative product photography, innovative event pictures, or simple images that demonstrate the day-to-day workings of your company.

Brand identity

Holding your brand name in place is essential to get instant recognition from your email recipients. The quality of your photographs affects the audience’s perception about your brand, and you can control how your brand is viewed with every email you send out. Brand colors, design aesthetics, styling and image form must all be matched to the overall brand identity that you wish to create.

Real images

Keep the images relevant. Get behind the scenes, catch real moments, and realistically display the product to make an impact. When it comes to images in email marketing, avoid artificial poses or unnatural settings. With product photos, use photos that emphasizes the utility and functionality of your products. Try to make your staff part of the picture, with work-in-progress photos that bring out the essence of your brand.

Image file size

The size of the image files will make or break the impact you are trying to create. Too big, or too small, and the entire idea is lost. For email header images, hold an image height of less than 200 pixels and a width of up to 600 pixels. Also, when you adjust the size, make sure you use the right tools to avoid distorting the image. Often send test emails to check beforehand how the picture appears on various devices before sending it to customers.

Text overlay

Text overlay is the method of using an image as a background and adding text to it. Although this adds variety to your social media messages, using it for email marketing minimizes the effectiveness of both the image and the text. If you need to use a text overlay, make sure the text is designed in such a way that it doesn’t get lost in the picture.


The image you use in your emails needs to be relevant to your email content, the subject line, and also the call-to-action. Your message is easier to absorb when the picture is relevant.

File type

Before uploading your images, make sure you use the right file format. The right format of images are JPG, PNG, or GIF. Although PNG works for all kinds of images, it has a larger file size.

Device optimization

Keep in mind that your subscribers will be reading your email on different devices web browsers. Often the image looks great on the desktop, but they may be too big or pixelated on a mobile device. You need to make sure your emails look flawless on all devices. How are you doing that? Often send a test email to yourself, and to a few of your team members, to check how it performs on a variety of devices.

Make your email mobile responsive with AVADA Email Marketing. Check it out here, because it is free!

How to start presenting ideas with images in your email

Let’s take a look at an example. Let ‘s say, you own a bakery, and you’re planning to send an email inviting people to your bread festival next month. The event introduces a new range of breads, and a chat with an expert to help people bake better bread and teach them how to pair it with their food.

Although your email has the perfect catchy subject line, insightful text, and a strong call-to-action, what if you’re hosting such an event for the first time, and you don’t have any image files? Here you have two options: either get creative by taking a photo at home, or find a stock image. Adding special elements of photography, such as a color dash, will allow your photos to stand out, like the one below:


Or you can find an image that better illustrates the idea of bread variety like this:

Bread Variety
Bread Variety

If you want to add the featured expert guest’s name to the subject of your email, send your email with a picture of the expert and introduce them in the body text.

Read more:

Final words

Visuals have a greater chance of attracting attention compared to text. It is natural for people to notice a visual before a text. Your audience will read what your email is all about, but their attention needs to be catched first. This is where photos come into play.

Email marketing is powerful, but you need to be able to stand out and get people to pay attention to what you have to say. Following these best practices in this article for using photos in email marketing is a sure way to get the most out of your newsletters. I hope this article has provided you with valuable information about how to master the use of images in your email marketing. Please feel free to leave comments below for further discussion on this topic. :-)

Sam Nguyen is the CEO and founder of Avada Commerce, an e-commerce solution provider headquartered in Singapore. He is an expert on the Shopify e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems. Sam loves talking about e-commerce and he aims to help over a million online businesses grow and thrive.