What makes a really good email design?

The second part of our design guide series, The Power of Imagery in Email, will equip you with everything you need to know to fill your emails with powerful, creative, and impactful imagery – which will better engage and inspire your audience. This guide is filled with practical advice and inspiration from real examples you can implement into your email design.

Using images in email helps connect you with your audience on a deeper level, provoking emotion and adding excitement to your otherwise text-heavy content.

If done well, imagery helps encourage customers to buy your product or offering, and/or keep them coming back for more. While there are many ways you can add imagery to email, images should be thought out carefully. You need to create a strategy behind your content, and fit imagery around it to tell a story and take your reader on a journey.

This ultimate guide covers how to:

  • Keep your images simple
  • Use images that represent your brand’s personality
  • Create personalized images and iconography
  • Look out for image workarounds for dark mode
  • Make your images accessible
  • Find the right balance between file size and image quality
  • Check for background image support
  • Plus, key takeaways 🚀🚀

Read on for a quick summary and sneak peek of the first three sections, or skip to the good part and download the full guide.

Keeping your email simple

Imagery doesn’t have to be advanced or complicated to make an impact on your audience – sometimes the simplest image or layout can resonate with your readers the most. For example, a well thought out and high quality body image in your email will be more impactful than an email full of stock imagery.

It’s important to get the foundations right:
1. Consistency is key
2. Find out what your audience likes
3. Don’t let imagery be a final thought

Use images that represent your brand personality

Images communicate much faster – and often more effectively – than written text ever could. And while creating a powerful script is important, the same love and time should go into finding or designing the right images to support the message.

Images are the focal point of an email, so make sure you use images that represent your brand. Stock imagery won’t do your emails justice, so when you can, try to source bespoke images or illustrations.

Not all brands have the luxury of sourcing a designer to create bespoke imagery, so don’t worry if this is you! You’re not alone – here are a few things you can try to level up your imagery game on a low (or no) budget… (download the guide for tips on this!)

Personalized images and iconography

Not all teams have the resources to create illustrations, but those who do should certainly take advantage! Illustrations help provide consistency across different mediums: web, email, app, etc. and help resonate with your audience.

Personalized images
You can add personalization to images too – to help connect your brand with a customer. For example, Really Good Emails (RGE) added Taxi’s logo into the email below, which is a nice personal touch. It also catches the reader’s eye – they know it’s about them, so they will be more inclined to read on. Plus, they have a fallback option (as mentioned in the copy “we inserted a picture of you if we have it) so that those who didn’t add a logo in their RGE account still feel included.