Images are an important part of your email content. When properly used, images provide visual appeal, make messages look more inviting to read, and can improve click-through rates.
SubscriberMail recently made some upgrades to our Rich Text Editor, and some of the image functions have been moved around. If you have been wondering where some of these options went, or if you are a new user to the platform, these tips will make working with images easier.
1. Hosting images
In order to appear in an email message, an image must first be hosted on a server that is available to the internet. In SubscriberMail, the Media Browser provides a place for you to host images on our servers. You can load images into the Media Browser in 2 ways: from inside a Builder content item or directly from the Media Browser. If you are using Studio, you must first load your images directly into the Media Browser.
To access the Media Browser directly, click on the Content tab and select “Media Browser” from the left-hand menu. You will be able to create folders and upload images to those folders.
If you are working inside a content item, there are 2 buttons for loading and selecting images directly below the content window:
- Valid file types are: .png, .gif, .jpg
- Use RGB color mode, not CMYK
- 72 is the maximum ppi you should use;
- Upload images at or very close to the final size you want in the email;
- Compress images to reduce the file size as much as possible without degrading your images. If your entire email, including all images, is no larger than 60 KB, It will load reasonably quickly even over slow Internet connections.
- Animated .gifs can be used in email, and they are well-supported in different email clients. However, Outlook will only show the first pane of the animation as a static image…so the first pane of your animated .gif should be able to stand alone.
2. Adding images to content
Once images are hosted, you can pull them into your content. I normally add all of my text to the content item first and then add any formatting / hyperlinks. From there, I will put my cursor where want the image to go in terms of height, but always on the left hand side. Don’t worry about alignment or text wrap yet, it’s easiest to start on the left hand of the screen and align the image later.
Next, select the image you would like to use. Referring to the screen shot above, you can click the “Select Image from Media Browser” button if you are working in a Builder content item, or select “Media Browser” from the toolbar if you are working in Studio. Pick the folder you want and click on the thumbnail of the image to pull it into content.
3. Editing images
You may want your text to wrap around the image. In order to do this, you select the image alignment using one of the text alignment buttons in the toolbar:
Once you have aligned the image, you may find that the text is creeping up to the side of the image. You can add horizontal and/or vertical padding to images via the Insert / Edit Image button:
After you click Insert / Edit Image, a dialog box will pop up. Select the “Advanced” tab, and you will see fields to enter a number corresponding to the number of pixels of padding. So if the image is crashing up against the text, you can put a “5” in “Horizontal Space” to add 5 pixels of horizontal padding:
If you click over to the General tab, you can resize the image (though this should be used just for minor tweaks as it uses HTML instead of actually resizing the image file):
4. Alternate text
The General tab of the “Insert / Edit Image” dialog is also where you can add alternate text to your image. Alternate text is used to replace meaning that would otherwise be lost if the reader is not able to see the image. Most webmail and desktop email clients and some mobile email clients suppress images by default, so this can be helpful. For example, if you have a call-to-action button, repeat the button text in your alternate text. If the button says “Click Here” and the alt text says “Click Here”, and images are turned off, the reader may see a text hyperlink to “Click Here” instead.
5. Linking images
Linking images such as banners and call to action buttons to landing pages is critical to proper email design. Once your image has been placed in your content item or Studio message, click it to select it and then click the “Insert / Edit Link” button to link it:
In the “URL” field, enter the web address you would like to link the image to. Make sure you are including the proper prefix of http:// or https:// in front of the web page path.
This should help you get started with the basics. In a future blog post, we will discuss some more advanced techniques such as slicing images and linking the slices to separate web pages.