Don’t Use Another Image In Your Emails Without Reading This First!

We’ve mentioned before that, when used correctly, images can be a powerful tool to engage subscribers and get them to respond to your emails.

And we just made it easier than ever to manage all your images and put them in your emails with unlimited image storage! Snap event photos, upload all your product pictures, add colorful graphics. No worries, we’ll store everything right in your image gallery – no matter how many you want to keep.

Images make a big impact, and with unlimited storage you might want to experiment (we don’t blame you!), so we’ve got some tips to help you do it right.

Get Some Good Alt Text In Place

Many of your subscribers will have image blocking turned on by default. So if you’re using images, they won’t get to view them.

The fix? Use alternative text – it’s what will show up when images are turned off and should briefly describe what they’re not seeing. You can even try getting creative to let subscribers know they’re missing out, like Upworthy did here:

Creative ALT text example

Mix Up Your Image Types

Sure, photos are cool but you’ve got so many other options:

  • Create an infographic to summarize some interesting stats and present information in a different, easy-to-digest way.
  • Use an animated GIF to draw the eye with a little movement.
  • Share a favorite cartoon relevant to your business (image + humor = a winning combination).
  • Don’t forget about your logo (it’s an image, too). If you’re not already placing it somewhere visible in your messages, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to brand your emails.

You’re not limited to just photos. The possibilities are endless – if you can dream it up, you can probably find an image that fits.

Make Them Work For You

They’re not just there to look pretty. Link images to your website, social media or blog so, when clicked, they bring subscribers to you.

Want to take it further? You can track what links brought the most traffic where, and then use that information when planning future emails.

pictures in emails

Give Plain Text Emails Some Image Love, Too

Like the plain text look? Don’t forget that you can keep your emails plain and still spice them up a bit by inserting images to break up some of the white space. It’s easy to do with a plain template. And it looks great – check out this example from Vegan Coach:

plain text with images

Don’t Neglect The Text

Images shouldn’t replace good content. Create great text and use images as enhancements. Consider the following:

  • The placement: Using an image towards the top of your email? That’s ok, but keep your subject line and header clear, or place text next to the image. It’ll help let subscribers know right away, even from their preview pane, what your email’s about.
  • Your industry: Does it make sense for you to use a lot of images? A restaurant, for example, might include tons of photos of their food to entice customers. But that might not work for what you’re trying to promote, so only use an image if it feels right. Don’t force it.
  • Image size: Are your images too large? Shrink them down. Remember that they shouldn’t be obtrusive. Along these lines, it’s rarely a good idea to send only an image, with no text at all, as your entire email. Say something. Anything.

And Before You Send?

Test, test, test. Then test some more. Send yourself test emails to make sure all your images load correctly, your links work properly and everything’s looking the way you want it to.

Ok, you’re ready. Go crazy, and use images with abandon (while heeding the advice above, of course). And enjoy our gift of unlimited image storage, now available in all AWeber accounts!

What’s Your Best Tip For Using Images?

Got an image-using secret you’d love to share? Found a trick that works like a charm? Let us know below!



  1. Gary Radke

    12/12/2013 4:08 pm

    One thing I’ve learned is not to use linked images from Facebook (or any other site that’s likely to get blocked by increasingly protective corporate firewalls). Learned this the hard way. I designed an email on my home computer and went to open it at work, only to find several of the images not loaded because they were coming from blocked sites. Woopsy. So, now I make sure to test my emails at work as well.


  2. Peter Netz Lassen

    12/12/2013 5:24 pm

    Hi Rachel,

    Absolutely… You are spot on..Emails WITHOUT images are BORING!!!
    Spice up your message with pics!

    I leaned (the hard way):

    1: Make sure you have the rights to use the picture! BUY IT!

    2: Think about the message – I send out a email about digestion and included a garbage can that was turned over!! – Good message – People really eat crap! and expect to live healthy!! DUH!! But that message was NOT taken very well. So think about what the picture says as well – Nobody read my article they just got offended 🙁

    3: Test to variously emails accounts (Yahoo, Gmail – Hotmail and Outlook (Local and the online one).

    Thanks for sharing!

    Enjoy your day!


  3. Kelly Rudolph

    12/12/2013 7:12 pm

    Thank you, Rachel! Great info. I’m excited about the gmail thing AND free storage and the great tips you shared. 🙂 Heading over to play with images right NOW!

  4. Thea Westra

    12/12/2013 9:53 pm

    My quick tip, for fast image editing, I love to use the browser based Saves needing to carry yet another program on my Mac. 🙂
    For text editing I love using
    Hope those are of use to someone.
    As my email signature, I like to use which helps with recognition, branding, personalization.

  5. Sergio

    12/13/2013 9:02 am

    Thanks for the great tips Thea! 🙂

  6. Jan

    12/18/2013 3:48 am

    Great tips Thea. Thanks.

  7. Dr.Spencer Jones

    5/29/2014 1:02 am

    Is it possible to use an image enable link over an image so that when the text is clicked it will enable images. Like in the Upworthy example above, they are showing a “Turn on your images” hyperlink. I would like to know what code to use so that when that link is clicked the images will be enabled.


  8. Justin Premick

    5/29/2014 1:26 pm

    Hi Spencer,

    In the Upworthy example, what you’re seeing is the ALT text for that image. The reason it looks like a link is that the image is a clickable link to the video on Upworthy.

    I’m not aware of any link that would work across all email clients to turn on images.