Five Quick and Creative Ideas for More Compelling Email Visuals

Let’s be honest: our attention spans these days are pretty small.

Almost microscopic.

This spells trouble for email marketers who only have a few seconds to encourage people to actually get through their messages.

So, how can you make your readers “Ooh!” and “Ahh!” instead of sleeping on your emails?

Oftentimes it comes down to your email visuals.

While not every email sent needs to be a huge production, choosing the right images is crucial to getting more eyes glued to the screen.

That’s why we’ve outlined five ideas to make your emails pop!

(And no, you don’t have to be a graphic designer to make these work)

1. DIY Graphics Tools

If you want to do something right, sometimes you gotta do it yourself.

Instead of relying on stock photos or plain-text emails, consider the amazing tools out there to produce pro-looking images yourself.

For example, Canva allows you to create your own sleek graphics including logos, headers and image macros. They have a ton of templates you can work with in addition to using your own images!

Meanwhile, Fotor is a fantastic tool for cropping and editing photos you’ve already got on deck.

Want to create a collage? Need to give your pics the Photoshop treatment? No problem!

Know what else rocks about these tools?

They’re totally free!

The takeaway here is that professionalism doesn’t have to come with a major price tag.

With these tools and Sendlane’s own design features, you can put together an email that looks like a million bucks!

2. Double-Dip Your Social Photos

If you’re already publishing photos to Facebook or Instagram, why not double-dip those snapshots in your emails?

Big brands do this all the time with hashtag campaigns and user-generated content. Social photos are low-hanging fruit whether you’re taking them or your followers are doing the legwork for you.

Whether it’s a selfie or a snapshot of your team in the wild, social photos are a great way to inject some much-needed personality into your email campaigns.

If nothing else, this is a brilliant way to bring together your social media and email campaigns rather than treat them as totally separate.

Anything you can do to save time while marketing is a major plus, right?

3. Slide In A Sneak Preview

People love watching videos.

YouTube. Webinars. You name it.

To tap into your contacts’ binge-watching tendencies, including a “preview” screenshot of your latest video is a smart move. We see this all the time as an alternative to embedding video into your emails.

In fact, we recently did it ourselves to promote our awesome Fourth of July excursion!

If you’re creating video content in any form, a preview photo is a great way to build hype around your broadcast versus just a text link that could go unnoticed.

4. Make Your Messages Scroll-Friendly With Graphics

There’s a good chance that many of your contacts are reading your messages via mobile.

That’s why it’s more important than ever to ensure that your messages are scrollable, easily guiding readers from Point A to Point B.

Doing so is pretty simple: it’s just a matter of how you format your emails and imagery.

For example, check out how Airbnb splits up its welcome message with colorful illustrations and unique call-to-action buttons.

Here’s another example from Trello, taking a similar approach while using a contrasting green button to make their CTA’s can’t-miss.

In short, formatting matters! Breaking up your emails with graphics and buttons ultimately makes them easier to read.

You can use tools like Canva noted above for creating these sorts of in-email graphics yourself. There are also sites like the Noun Project where you can snag royalty-free icons for your marketing emails, too

5. When In Doubt, Get Colorful

Last but not least, let’s talk about color!

No matter how you cut it, bright and bold colors are a surefire way to force your readers to stop in their tracks and look at your messages.

While it makes sense to include colors that are on-point with your brand, colorful imagery will always be more enticing to readers than nothing at all.

Warm colors in particular (orange, yellow, red and pink) are perfect for catching people’s eyes. That’s why you’ll so often see them front and center in hero images like the one above.

Oh, and warm colors are perfect for your call-to-action buttons so they stand out from the body copy of your messages.

Do Your Email Visuals Pop?

Your readers’ time and attention are so, so valuable.

That’s why you need to hit your contacts with everything you’ve got image-wise to score those precious clicks!

If you’ve never really experimented with imagery in your emails, give any combination of these tips a try. A newfound sense of flair could be just what your messages need to stand out from the crowd!

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Caitlin Hutchinson

Caitlin Hutchinson

A native of San Diego, California, Caitlin has a passion for developing creative and engaging marketing content. She is primarily responsible for overseeing the development, execution and delivery of digital content across all of Sendlane’s channels as well as maintaining an online presence of Sendlane's team culture. She has enjoyed being a part of a powerhouse team where she has had the opportunity to wear a variety of hats and take her knowledge and creativity to the next level. When not focusing on increasing Sendlane's online presence you'll find Caitlin playing music on her guitar or piano and spending time with her Husband and their rescue dog, Piper.
Caitlin Hutchinson