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Why You Should Optimize Images for Your Email Marketing Campaigns

Why You Should Optimize Images for Your Email Marketing Campaigns

Email design can be a lot of fun! Planning an email campaign requires creativity and imagination. But email design also involves technical issues that you can’t overlook — such as how to optimize images for email marketing.

Optimizing the images in your email campaigns is an important step. This makes sure all of your readers can view those images. Here are some things to keep in mind as you optimize images for email marketing and make sure the images render properly across a variety of email clients.

Email design can be a lot of fun! But email design also involves technical issues that you can’t overlook — such as how to optimize images for email marketing. Click To Tweet

Why should you optimize images for email marketing?

The answer to this question is simple: You should optimize images so people can see them!

If your images aren’t optimized, your email has the potential to look unprofessional. The message won’t be as effective as a piece of marketing content. And what’s more, your email might not even load at all, since large file sizes can slow down your email load time.

When you optimize images for email marketing, your subscribers will be able to get the full impact of your carefully-designed email — which means they’ll be more likely to make a purchase or do whatever you want them to do.

Here are a few best practices to follow to optimize images for email marketing.

How to optimize images for email marketing

Use high-quality images

The first and most important point here should go without being said, but we’re going to say it anyway: Your images need to be high-quality, not blurry or pixelated. This TripAdvisor email wouldn’t have nearly the same effect if the image of those beautiful mountains was blurry — that would make the entire email look unattractive and downright unprofessional. Make sure your images have a resolution of at least 72 dpi and increase the dimensions so the images will be clear and sharp.

Subject line: Get away in New York this weekend 

optimize images for email marketing

Pay attention to image size

It’s important to get the height and width of your images right. If your image is the wrong size, it might not come across as high-quality — it can potentially look grainy. The best image size for email marketing is around 600-650 pixels so your images won’t stretch out and get blurry when viewed on desktop.

Choose the right file format

There are a few different file formats you can choose from as you optimize the images in your emails:

  • PNGs. PNGs work for all kinds of images and are more high-quality than JPGs. They don’t compress when uploaded and are also a great choice for any image that includes text. However, PNGs have a larger file size, which means they load more slowly.
  • JPGs. Used for photos only, JPG images have a small file size and load quickly. But they don’t work with text, they’re not transparent and they compress when uploaded.
  • GIFs. Great for logos and animations, GIFs also have a small file size and don’t compress. The colors you can use are limited, though, and images might look grainy.



You don’t have to commit to one type of file format. Use different formats for different images depending on your goals for a certain campaign.

Be mindful of file size

Images with large file sizes can make an email take longer to load, which is one reason you may want to choose JPGs. If your email doesn’t load quickly, you’re out of luck: Most people will only wait a couple of seconds for the message to appear. Keep your file weight as far under 1MB as possible so readers don’t click away.

Don’t send image-only emails

Image-only emails, or emails that don’t include any text outside of an image, have a lot of negatives. They’re commonly marked as spam. They aren’t accessible. And if something goes wrong with image viewing, your reader won’t be able to understand what the email is about at all.

Don’t send image-only emails. Instead, strive for a text-to-image ratio of 80:20, like this Dove email that has a good balance of both images and text. It’s also important to make sure that you don’t put the most important information in images. Include some copy outside of images so your subscribers can read it even if they can’t view the images — like the product information Dove includes in plain text here:

Subject line: Save your hands this winter & switch to Dove 

how to optimize images for email

Create clickable images

Many readers will click or tap on the images in your email. So when those images are clickable, it helps increase your click-through rate. For example, when you click the hero image in this Sun Basket email, you’re taken to a special landing page (slightly different from the landing page the CTA leads to) where you can start creating your basket. The smaller images are clickable, too.

Subject line: New menu, more Chef’s Choice options

best image size for email

Optimize images for mobile viewing

As you optimize images in email, you can’t overlook mobile users. Mobile is responsible for at least 50% of all opens. And emails that don’t display correctly on mobile are likely to be deleted within three seconds! For best results, make sure your images are twice as large as the width of an iPhone screen and compress your image files.

Wrap-up: Optimize images for email marketing

Looking for a quick and easy way to design marketing emails and edit image size for mobile email? Check out the free BEE email editor to create your messages. You can also use BEE’s “Preview” feature to see how your email looks before hitting send.

Optimizing images for email is a necessity. We hope that with these tips and the BEE editor in your toolbox, it will be a breeze.

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BEE Team