Think of some of the reasons you delete emails before reading them. The biggest offender, for most of us, is spam – those emails you didn’t ask to receive and are likely not at all relevant. As a savvy business owner, you know better than to litter the inboxes of unsuspecting customers. But there’s more to email marketing than avoiding being spammy.

There are loads of email marketing “dos” and “don’ts” lists online. Most of these advise you on how timeliness, frequency, length and type of message all play into the success or failure of your email campaigns. Get your hands on some nuggets of wisdom from earlier this year if you’re just starting out.

There’s one component of email marketing that’s often overlooked, and that’s the actual appearance of your email. Gone are the days where a dull, text-only email in some nondescript font (or worse, Comic Sans *shudder*) was an acceptable form of communication from your business. Your customers expect every message they receive from you to reflect your brand, your voice and your style. How your emails look has a tremendous impact on that perception.

Something to consider: 6% of marketers rarely or never use optimized imagery in their emails.

If your email is lucky enough to get opened, the first thing the reader will see and pay attention to is eye-catching photos and imagery. If those things aren’t inside, you can say hello to the trash bin. A simple, brand-appropriate header image that’s consistent across all of your emails is a great place to start. From there, you’ll need to find a way to get your hands on eye-catching, high quality photos* that are relevant to your business’s offering. Why do they have to be high quality? A blurry or pixelated image looks unprofessional and gives the impression of carelessness. Consider it like a first impression – if your emails don’t represent your business in an appealing, desirable way, you’re not likely to convince the reader to get to know the real you.

*Pro Tip: When we say, “high quality,” we definitely don’t mean large file size. If downloading from a stock photo site, download the low-resolution option for optimal mobile and web viewing. Otherwise, the images could take forever to load or not even show up at all.

You also need to make sure you have permission to use the images you’re incorporating. Sorry, no more snagging photos from Google Images. No one wants you to get fined or sued over a photo. While stock photo sites may seem pricey at first, most offer subscriptions that significantly lower the cost of image bundles from the “per image” price listed.

The Internet Agrees on These Top Stock Photo Sites:

A Starting Place for Email Marketing Services:

Constant Contact, MailChimp and Campaign Monitor are all popular email marketing service providers.

Oh, we do it too. Email marketing is just one piece of the larger Thryv business management solution. If you’re looking for a partner in all of this, lean on us. Thryv experts come to you with the plan, and we back it up with lifetime training and support. Show me more.