To use or NOT use images in email marketing

July 10, 2020 |
By Haris Alexandrou

Images are a much-debated topic in the email marketing community, some fiercely argue for the use of images are some arguments are against the use of images.  Of course, the choice to use images is not always present. In some cases, the use of an image will not make sense while in others an image might seem fitting, but does it improve the performance of your email? 

Benefits of Images  

Let’s first discuss some of the benefits of using images. 

Unlike other channels namely Social media email is a message focused channel meaning your focus should be on the message, not the design.  The message should first and foremost be your priority when drafting your email marketing.   With that being said however images can be a powerful tool if used correctly, humans naturally process images up to 10x faster than written text.  If you’re looking to get your message across instantly using images can tell a story, promote a particular offer, or establish consistency between emails.    

Right Ratios

There is a common agreement that using 30% imagery and 70% text, known as the 30/70 rule, is optimal. While it may be tempting to stick with this the best ratio may vary from industry to industry, hospitality, and food industries have seen more success with a higher image ratio. Whereas business to business (B2B) marketing performs better with more text as it will likely have more information to convey.  

The best way to find out what works for your industry is to test it. Start with testing no images vs. images and expand focusing on image heavier emails until you find your sweet spot.  Measure metrics such as CTR (click-through rate) to find out which image to text ratio is best for your business. 

Another side of the argument is to include only an image in your email including any text inside the image, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of using only an image. 


  • Easier to assemble than creating in HTML 
  • iPhone and Gmail users download the image automatically 


  • Some email providers block images by default 
  • Images are not responsive and may not be suitable for mobile devices 


Before considering using only images we first suggest looking at where your emails are being opened more frequently. If your emails have a higher rate of opening on servers such as Outlook or Android you should not use an image as it will be blocked.  On servers like Gmail or iOS give a campaign with images a go and see what kind of results you get. 

Do you have any questions or want to get started with your email marketing campaign?

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