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Make the most of dynamic images in emails

Make the most of dynamic images in emails Headshot

By Harry Hanson-Smith, International Business Development Director

Here, we’ll explore how dynamic real-time images can help you drive email conversions

Images are one of the most powerful ways to encourage customers to take action in email marketing.

An image can be used to convey practical information about the product, or to gain emotional buy-in by helping shoppers imagine how they will feel once they own it.

But not all images are created equal. Consumers scroll past thousands of marketing messages every day, and are highly efficient at filtering out what doesn’t interest them. To maximize click throughs, it’s crucial to present shoppers with only the most relevant, timely content.

Here, we’ll explore how to use dynamic content in your images to help you drive email conversions, and some potential pitfalls to avoid:


Opportunities for dynamic images in email

The latest technology allows marketers to use customer and product data to deliver compelling email content, personalized to an individual shopper’s profile at the moment of open. This presents a number of possibilities to increase engagement:

Personalize images based on a customer’s unique profile: Hero images and product feeds can be targeted to match an individual’s interests, based on their most up-to-date browsing and purchase history. Show different variations depending on factors like the current weather, or a shopper’s favorite brand. In this example from Sunuva, imagery is based on a customer's prefered color:



Encourage urgency with real-time relevance:  With dynamic images generated at the time of open, email marketers can encourage urgency with current stock levels, popularity messaging, and countdown timers. This bold email from Karen Millen uses a countdown timer to inform customers about a limited duration sale:



Create a seamless cross-channel experience: Dynamic email content means that visuals are consistent with what’s appearing on your website right now, so customers move seamlessly between channels.



But there’s no point designing a beautiful email if no one will ever read it. When deploying dynamic email content, it’s important to keep deliverability in mind.

Here’s how to make sure your stunning emails get seen by subscribers:


Steer clear of spam filters

Many spam filters block image-heavy emails. This is because spammers often hide content in images where it can’t be picked up by your ISP’s filter.

To make sure an email lands safely in a customer’s inbox, it’s advisable to balance image and text. Recommendations for the ideal text-to-image ratio vary between 80:20 and 50:50.

If you’re tempted to send an email composed of one big image, consider breaking it up into manageable blocks of image and text.


Make content accessible

Even once an email has made it into the inbox, many email clients block images from downloading automatically. This means that an email with little or no text will appear blank or broken. To persuade a user to click ‘download images’, there needs to be some persuasive text that describes what the email is about.

Some people prefer to turn off images altogether. To make sure the email is accessible to these users, ensure all images have alt text, and balance visual content with engaging copy.

This will also help recipients find the message later if they search their inbox for keywords in that email.


Keep it light

Don’t use excessive image sizes, as this will impact the email’s load time, especially on mobile devices. An email that fails to load may result in a lost sale, and is likely to reduce a shopper’s overall satisfaction with your brand.


Choose the right technology

Select a personalization solution that integrates customer and product data in real time to allow you to engage shoppers with contextually relevant visuals and messaging.

The Fresh Relevance solution lets you personalize email content in the most appropriate way - either at open-time or send-time, subject to support from your ESP. Open-time personalization lets you personalize digestible blocks of content, so you can design engaging emails without worrying about deliverability.

Get started by learning more about real-time personalization: