3 Ways to Spruce Up Emails With Compelling Imagery

The following guest post was written by Stephanie Wharton, Content Strategist at Curalate. Curalate is the leading visual commerce platform used by hundreds of the world’s most loved brands. Curalate solutions touch millions of consumers daily by enabling brands to unlock the power of pictures.

Creating compelling email content that truly engages readers can be a challenge — particularly during the holiday season. The right sentences, a compelling message and that friendly-yet-persuasive tone don’t always flow so easily. If you’re finding yourself racking your brain trying to craft powerful words for an email, consider a different language: images.

According to the 2015 State of Marketing Report from Salesforce, 79% of marketers rank email content and design as both the most critical and most effective elements of email. So, as you can imagine, we were surprised to learn in a new Curalate market study—The State of Visual Commerce—that just 8% of marketers strongly believe they are effectively using images to drive email engagement.

When we say images, we’re not talking about your everyday stock photos. With 2.6 billion images shared daily, consumers are growing oblivious to stock images, and are more likely to engage with experience-driven imagery. Strategic, creative images will prompt action from your fans, and leave you in a flurry of consumer engagement.

Here are three examples of creative images brands can leverage in emails to help drive click-through rates and revenue.

  1. Informative How-Tos

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The prevalence of Instagram has driven most fashion lovers to think twice before being photographed. No fashionista wants to be seen wearing the same outfit repeatedly.

As a result, consumers are constantly searching for ways they can repurpose items to work with different ensembles. Fashion brands can capitalize on this by tailoring their content to reach their selfie-taking fans.

Anthropologie does this well. The brand frequently sends emails to fans illustrating how they can repurpose one item into several different outfits. How-tos like this are effective because they prompt consumers to think about multiple uses for one article of clothing. This ends up positively influencing the consumer’s perception of value on the product.

This is a great strategy to use during the holidays, when consumers buy outfits for special events. For example, marketers might see a benefit in sharing imagery that shows fans how they can wear a sparkly dress beyond New Year’s Eve.

  1. Inspire Great Gift-Giving

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When it comes to compiling gift ideas, shoppers often find themselves at a loss. The initial stage of uncertainty is usually followed by in-depth research into what’s trending. It’s an exhausting process.

This is where retailers and publishers alike can step in and help their fans make informed decisions. Email is the perfect medium to educate consumers on the most-desired and bestselling gifts. That social validation is often enough to prompt a click.

Here’s how indie product e-tailer The Grommet does it: The brand pulls analytics about which images are trending most on their site and on social channels, and then uses this information to decide which products they’ll feature in their emails. It’s a strategy they’ve been relying on for a long time because it works well, according to Tori Tait, Director of Content & Community at The Grommet. “We reference the fact that it’s the most trending image across social, or the top-shared image from our site. It’s a way to put a spotlight on what everyone else is digging,” she says.

  1. Share Authentic, Real-Life Experiences

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There’s nothing like seeing someone experience something amazing to invoke a sense of desire within yourself. The millennial buying process is especially fueled by experiences. In fact, some 78% of millennials reported in a 2014 Eventbrite survey that they would rather spend money on a desirable experience over a desirable thing. For example, Sigma Beauty, an international makeup product retailer, has found that consumers are 5x likelier to click through or buy a product when they see that item on someone vs. a stock image of it.

A simple way to do this is by harnessing user-generated content and sharing these images via email. Do you have photos of consumers excitedly unboxing a product you sell? How about an image of someone happily wearing one of your shirts as they explore a cool city? Ask for permission to share, and include it in your next email.

Join us to learn more!

To learn more about how you can optimize your email imagery to drive engagement and revenue during the holiday season, join Movable Ink and Curalate for an informative webinar on Wednesday, 10/21. Register now to save your seat for “Holiday How-To: Driving Engagement with Compelling Email and Imagery.”