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How to optimize your email marketing images

Category: Email Marketing

Imagen  How to optimize your email marketing im

The visual component of an email marketing campaign is crucial for ensuring that recipients better have better understanding of its content. Images are a key element in making it more appealing and increasing the click-through rate. Therefore, they need to be carefully taken care of and optimized before uploading them to the campaign editor: you shouldn't use them in your emails as they are on your computer. We recommend that you follow these tips from our design team.


Why optimize the images in your newsletter

In email marketing, the ultimate goal of optimization is to control the file size of the entire campaign because if it is too large, it may not display properly, slowing down the reading experience, and affectting both deliverability and the sender's reputation. The result can be lower conversion rates and increasing of the unsubscribes.

To confirm that this is a good practice, we list the benefits of image optimization along with a list of several errors that can occur if this task is not done:

  • They take too long to load because they are too heavy: even if it's just a second longer, they magnify in the email client and can be frustrating for potential clients. That's why one of the benefits of optimizing images is to provide a good user experience, especially if you know they have slow connections.
  • They have poor quality because they have been resized: it may happen accidentally, but when images are blurry or pixelated, it negatively affects the perception of the sending company. By using the correct size and format, you maintain the brand's reputation.
  • They hinder content readability because they don't load: this can happen due to using an incorrect file name or folder, or because the user blocks the images, but photos should help understand the message, support it, not complicate it.
  • Not considering all users: by making the campaign accessible, you ensure that all recipients can read and view it in the closest way to how you designed it.
  • Including text within the image: a serious mistake as it complicates the interpretation of the content. Separating the elements facilitates reading, especially on mobile devices where the width of the photo adjusts to the screen, reducing the font size.

A more concrete example: using a single image for the entire campaign is a bad practice and demonstrates that it is not optimized, even if the image itself is, because if the user doesn't have the option to download them, they won't see anything. You need to maintain a good balance between images and text to avoid being considered spam, which is why photographs must also meet certain requirements.



How to reduce the file size of images in your campaigns

There are many visual resources present in an email marketing template, such as fixed elements (header, section icon) or images that change (photos, illustrations). The former will already be optimized in the campaign editor, but for the latter, you will need to spend some time optimizing them.

The three factors that influence the weigh of the images are:

  • Size: Reduce it so that they are not wider than necessary, that is, less than 580 px, which is the email reading width on a computer screen.
  • Resolution: You may have them in high quality (300 dpi), but they won't be printed, so 72 dpi is enough to view them well on any screen.
  • Extension: Using a compressed format like JPG, PNG, or GIF is the best option, just like on any website. It's better to avoid other extensions like BMP or TIFF because they don't provide better quality but increase the file size.

Some designers always use the same format to simplify file management, but it's not necessary. You can choose the most convenient format considering its usage. For example:

  • If it needs to be transparent, JPG is not, but it loads quickly because it's usually highly compressed.
  • If it needs to be animated, it only works in GIF, a format that has a limited number of colors but works well for simple logos.
  • If it's photographs with gradients, JPG would be the most suitable.
  • If you care about quality, go for PNG. It weighs a bit more compared to JPG, but it works well for images that include some text.

There are many free tools for image editing and conversion to make all these adjustments. One very easy-to-use tool is Imagify. With it, you can use three levels of compression and scale them to the desired size with a couple of clicks. This way, you can save valuable KB and make the message download faster.




Fuente: Imagify

Keep in mind that the speed of each user's connection affects how quickly the images are shown. To ensure good loading speed, they should not exceed 100 KB. Acrelia's campaign editor will notify you when the loading time exceeds 2 seconds and provide a graph showing the total number of images, their size, and loading time. This way, you can quickly identify which images need to be corrected.




Other optimizations for your email marketing images

The recommendations from our design team go beyond image file size. Here are some of their considerations that also affect image optimization.

Alternative text

Using alternative text is a key optimization within each campaign. The ALT tag is used in HTML to describe an element such as an image. For example, if it's a product photo, use a short phrase instead of just the product name.

Adding ALT to images is a good accessibility practice in email marketing because it allows the content to be "read" by tools for people with visual impairments. It's also useful if the user has image downloading blocked because they'll be able to know what they're missing and activate this functionality.


Image display

Optimizing a product photo requires different decisions than optimizing a graphic or a simple icon. If the user views the message on a computer, there will be little difference. However, if they do so from a mobile device, you need to consider that the width will be reduced, and it may make it difficult to read any text within the image.

To check this, test: preview the campaign from our editor or send yourself a test and open it from different email clients and devices.


File organization

Take advantage of the folder system from the beginning to keep different types of files organized for each email send. Use one or two descriptive words, a number, or a date. For example: /newsletter/2023

Although file names may not always be visible to the user, it's useful to quickly identify images for reuse or to avoid overwriting them in the next campaign.

In both cases, whether it's folders or their files, to avoid spam filters, avoid using special characters or words that could be considered spam triggers (free, offer, marketing, etc.).

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