Unless you are sending exclusively text-only emails, your email template most likely includes some graphic elements. In this section, we'll briefly discuss different graphics tests that you'll want to consider with your email template.
Why Use Email Graphics Tests?
Even though we've told you that an email that includes too many images will likely have performance problems, graphics are an important element of any marketing campaign. Even though you want to be careful with how many graphics you use in a standard email send, it's also true that nothing converts a user as well as compelling email graphics.
That's why it's so important that you test your email graphics and images to make sure that you're using the most effective technique possible. A small change in which email graphic you use, or how you use your email graphics, can make a huge difference in how well your email (or any marketing channel) performs.
Types of Email Graphics and Images Tests
Here are basic email graphics and images tests that you'll want to consider as you perfect your email marketing program.
Email Graphics Color Tests: It may seem silly, but sometimes something as simple as a change in color can improve your email's performance. Your official brand color may be red, but people may respond to your emails better when those emails are sent using a soothing blue background. Test the color pallet of your email graphics and images. You may even find that some colors perform better by gender or age.
Email Graphics Positioning Tests: Is your main email image in the center of your email? It may actually work better if it's positioned in the upper left corner where people see it more quickly. Or it may work better if it's positioned higher up on the page. Consider two versions of your email template that use two different email graphics positions to see if there may be a difference in results. You may even find that giving the graphic a lower position helps if people don't load graphics initially.
Lifestyle versus Product Tests: Generally, it's accepted that there are two types of email graphics and images. Product images show your product or offering. Lifestyle images show people using your product or otherwise living an lifestyle that people may be able to obtain if they use your product. Consider testing two versions of your email template that have no difference except that in one version you use a lifestyle image and in another you use a product image.
Email Graphics and Images Density Tests: Finally, it's always worth your time to test how many email graphics and images you are using. If you use many images, try testing a version with fewer images. If you use very few images, try seeing how your email performs if you add a few extra images in.
Best Practices for Email Graphics Testing
As with any test, make sure that you're testing a pure A/B split of your list and don't make any other variable changes other than the change in the image. You're looking to see if making a change in how you display and choose your email graphics and images can improve your email performance. You can't do that if you change other factors at the same time.
Also, be sure to use similar alt and title text behind the images. For email clients that don't load images, the alt and title text can impact performance significantly. Don't allow changes in alt or title tags to make the data in your test unclear.
Finally, be sure to plan out your email graphics and images tests so that you know what you're testing. Consider starting with placement or density and then moving on to type or color.