Humans process images 60,000 times faster than text, and the human attention span is only about 8 seconds. With all the information thrown at us daily, it’s no wonder that we’re more receptive to imagery than text.

Here are five ways to harness the power of visuals in your email marketing campaigns.

1. Let your visuals do the talking

To catch the attention of your customer or prospect, use visuals to communicate the main message of your emails.

Create a punchy graphic that quickly tells your email reader that there’s a flash sale, a giveaway or new content offer, rather than losing their attention in a slew of words. It’s the difference between telling your email subscribers that you’re having a ‘huge blowout sale on hundreds of stunning, hand-woven baskets in a multitude of unique patterns and colors’ and just showing them.

2. Use GIFs and videos

OK, so in the age of digital saturation, when everyone and their mother has an iPhone and can take DSLR-quality images, simply having photos in your marketing campaigns is a given, not a guarantee for standing out. Why not catch your customers’ eyes with a little action?

GIFs are a fun way to add interest to an email…but more importantly, they can increase conversion rates by 103 percent. Try creating your own GIFs, such as a product demonstration or how-to, or sharing a relevant meme.

You can also embed videos within emails, but be aware that not all email clients support playback within the email body. One way to get around this is to insert a video thumbnail with a play button that opens up a new tab with the video.

3. Call attention to CTAs with buttons

Don’t just stop at catching your subscriber’s attention with beautiful visuals – go in for the conversion by making sure that your CTA is loud and clear. Create a CTA button that helps it pop from the background of the email by choosing a contrasting color.

4. Build brand recognition with consistency

When a customer opens up your email, they should be able to tell it’s your brand without even looking at the ‘from’ field. Create a consistent experience by including your logo at the top of each email and sticking to the same color palette and tone. Make sure that each team member working on emails is on the same page by creating templates and brand guidelines to follow.

5. A/B test everything!

Don’t forget to A/B test your visual elements, too! Create different graphics, try inserting an image vs. a GIF, and test out different colors and fonts for your CTA buttons to test conversion rates. Then, use the results to further fine-tune your email marketing strategy.

Catherine Chiang - Content Marketing Specialist I Canto

As a content marketing specialist at Canto, Catherine is dedicated to sharing stories that inspire, motivate and educate. Based in San Francisco, Catherine helps our customers tell their stories.