Quick Guide To Experimenting With Visual Content In Emails

At a time when the human attention span is next to non-existent, visual content has come as a boon for marketers to attract and engage their audiences. If you are not already using visual content in your email campaigns, you are missing out on a substantial chunk of engagement.

Since the beginning of email marketing back in the ‘70s, technology has come far. But unlike most other examples of early tech, email never went out of fashion. In fact, it remains one of the most effective ways to connect with your audience. But email marketing has become more challenging as well.

At a time when the human attention span is next to non-existent, visual content has come as a boon for marketers to attract and engage their audiences. If you are not already using visual content in your email campaigns, you are missing out on a substantial chunk of engagement.

While making use of visual content in emails has many advantages, if not done right, the strategy can backfire. Bad visual content in emails even has the potential to mess with your brand image.

In this post, we will understand the different varieties of visuals that marketers can use in their emails. We will also be discussing how to use each one of them to maximize the results of email campaigns.


If you feel that your email engagement rates are diminishing, an infographic can give a little lift on your email. A clever infographic can transform a boring email into one that people may want to read or even share.

What are infographics?
Simply put, an infographic, is a representation of information in an easily digestible, graphic format.

Email campaigns are aimed at delivering information about a brand/product/service to the target audience. However, sometimes, there is a lot of information to be shared. Infographics are a great way to capture the attention of a user and ensuring engagement, even if they don’t want to read what would otherwise would be a long form email.

How to use infographics in emails?

  • Turn long-form content into easily digestible data with a simple infographic.
  • Year-in-review infographics are a great way to summarize a user’s account activity in an engaging manner.
  • Easily explain new product offerings in an entertaining way.
  • Turn statistics and numbers into visual data and communicate urgency as holiday approaches.

Advantages of using infographics in emails

  • Infographics help you present complex data in an easy-to-understand manner.
  • Infographics have more sharing potential. In 2016, infographics were shared on social media 3X more than any other form of content.

With the right layouts, colors, design, and relevant information, infographics can be really effective. They have the potential to not only supercharge email campaigns, but even to “go viral” – email is a good fire-starter to help seed and reach the first ring of contacts.


Video is probably the hottest topic in the visual marketing landscape right now. Videos are engaging, entertaining, and if done right, inspiring. Video is good for business too. Just look at the  whole world of Youtube sponsorship. Plenty of examples where videos have helped businesses achieve almost-unreal sales results.

How to include video in emails?
Most email clients don’t currently support videos in emails. For this reason, marketers have had to find ways around. The top three picks for us are:

Static Images With Play Buttons
If you are hosting your videos on third-party websites such as Vimeo or YouTube, this is the easiest way to include them in your email campaigns. Simply include the right frame of the video, with a play button on top, linked to the page where the video is hosted.

Animated GIFs
While GIFs are not technically videos, they do come very close. GIFs are a series of frames that are displayed one after the other, giving the illusion of a video being played. Since GIFs are an old technology, the biggest advantage is that they will work with almost all email clients.

Embedding Videos
You can’t directly place your video as email content. Most of the times the email client wont allow it. Also, if you have sent the email with the intention to take them to your site, you should use the static image or Gif approach instead of embedding the video.

Because when it comes to embedding, if you are doing your videos right, there is no reason your prospects visit your website to watch them.

Advantages of using videos in email campaigns

Apart from helping marketers put across their message in a quick, crisp manner, videos have a number of other advantages.

  • Simply including the word “video” in the subject line, you may experience a boost in open rates.
  • A Forrester research also revealed the including GIFs in emails showed CTR to improve by 200-300%.
  • Videos are great for grabbing the user’s attention right from the beginning. If the user is subjected to the entirety of your message, there is a greater chance of conversion.

While videos are extremely advantageous for email campaigns, the format is no guarantee for success. Chances are, once you have a professional looking video, you will be able to use it for a while. For this reason, it is recommended to avoid cheap video making tools and services, and go for a more professional approach.

Extra Storage, a storage facility business, used videos in their emails with the intention of educating their customers. This way, potential customers were able to learn about the offering without ever having to even visit their website. In this example, by embedding videos in their emails, Extra Storage was able to achieve a 50% boost in their email conversion rates.

Product Images

When it comes to email marketing for e-commerce businesses, effective product images are critical to success. If your objective is to boost sales with your emails, product images are indispensable. After all, you cannot expect your potential customers to buy your products without ever taking a look at them.

However, simply showing your products is not enough. It is important to include images that show your products in use. For instance, if you are a clothing brand, simply showing the picture of a t-shirt probably won’t be very effective.

If a model is wearing the t-shirt in the image, it will give the users more information to make a decision.


Visuals can be the hook that will help you engage consumers at a time when they’re being bombarded with emails. If your brand is generating and sharing high-quality visual content, your efforts will show results. You will notice improvements in not only conversion rates but in brand recognition and loyalty as well. Make sure you produce quality though, because high-quality content will drive high-quality results.

Deepasha Kakkar

Deepasha Kakkar is a visual marketer, founder of Crackitt, and a consumer behavior aficionado. She helps businesses & organizations hone their identities, craft their brands, and share their truths using beautiful handmade animated videos and compelling infographics. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.