How to Choose the Most Appealing Images for Your Email and Content Marketing

Email marketing offers clickthrough rates up to six times higher than social media, generating the highest ROI of any marketing channel.

But an email is only as good as its content.

The importance of images

Images are a common language. It draws our attention to everything and can increase the tendency to read a passage by 80%. Customers themselves indicate that they prefer to focus on images rather than text.

Images also help us to remember information. After three days, people are likely to have only 10% of the information they consume; but when the information is combined with a relevant image, remember it six times more often, according to a study by John Medina.

Choose the right image

With an abundance of images available to marketers today, it can be difficult to know where to start. How brilliant should it be? Should it have a specific color? What themes or activities should you represent? Should there be people? So, how much?

To answer these questions, we need to understand what makes an image more or less attractive and under what circumstances. A / B and multivariate tests can play an important role, of course, but they tell us that one image works better than another, not because it works. Knowing this is essential to be able to learn lessons and take an approach to database marketing in the future.


A study by MIT researchers found that images of people are the most memorable, followed by “human-sized space” (for example, a supermarket aisle) and a close-up of objects. The least memorable images were natural landscapes unless they had an unexpected element (for example, unusually trimmed shrubs).


Colors convey messages, evoke emotions, and influence behavior. In fact, up to 90% of instant product reviews are just colored. Although there are few tests with specific colors that generally work better than others, research has shown that there are gender differences in color preferences, while men prefer stronger colors and women prefer softer colors. Other studies have shown that muted colors, such as blue, can make vacancies on the site (such as file downloads) appear more quickly and generate stronger buying intentions.


A 2015 study found that using an image filter on Flickr and Instagram increases the chances of seeing a photo by 21% and the number of responses received by 45%. The reason? Increased contrast and lighting, which can enhance colors or emphasize specific objects. But not all filters are created equal. High-temperature filters had a greater impact on the ignition, while “out-of-date” filters reduced engagement.

The role of personality

Insights into these three areas (subject, color, and filter) can provide valuable guidance for choosing the images to be used in your next campaign. But what explains the individual differences in the attractiveness of the different images?

The Big Five is today the “most used and most sought-after personality model” and is supported by a wide range of independent and peer-reviewed research. The model was considered applicable in all languages¬†¬† and cultures and also has a genetic and biological basis.

A careful approach

A single image can have a significant impact on the execution of an email campaign and the extent to which customers receive an engaging and personalized experience.

To choose the most attractive image, you must consider several factors, including the subject, the hue and the filters used in the image; the message you want to communicate; and the personality of your customers.

Fortunately, technological advances and greater data availability mean that we are now seeing digital tools on the market that can provide image insights before they are evenly distributed in an email campaign.