According to MDG Advertising, articles with relevant images receive 94% more views than articles without images. That’s one of the many reasons infographics have become so popular in recent years. Don’t you want 94% more of your audience to connect with your content? If you’re in a communications, marketing, or human resources role within your company, I bet you do.
Whether you’re producing an employee newsletter or an executive blog (or even an external publication), it’s critical that your audience walks away with a clear understanding of the messages conveyed. In the case of an internal e-newsletter, your audience is the employee base and it's important that they understand what’s happening within the company, how it’s relevant to them, and why it matters.
As much as internal communications professionals would like staff members to read every single word that's written, chances are there will always be the employees who scan your content. Make sure your visuals are effective so even those who glance at your email newsletter will understand the takeaways.
You don’t have to have a professional designer on staff to create effective visuals. It just requires some thoughtful decision-making and a few, helpful tips.
- Work in conjunction with your template. Select images that complement your layout and existing color scheme. Pick an image that uses one or several of the same colors that are already within your design.
- Pay attention to the details. Alignment and repetition are key design components that will help readers scan your email newsletter and easily comprehend it. Try to make all your images the same width and use auto resize options in your email application. This type of continuity will create a more professional end result and will make your newsletter easier for people to read.
- Don’t be afraid to crop or alter the pictures you use. Zoom in to focus on something specific within the photo and minimize the background. Drawing the reader’s attention to focus on one item, and getting rid of other things that may clutter the photo, can be an effective way to transform an average image into something great. Use the image editor of your email application to make things easier.
- Choose a good photo from the get-go. Instead of taking time to improve a mediocre photo, why not just select a stronger photo at the very beginning? Choose images that have fewer elements rather than ones that have too much going on in them. Select photos where it’s easier to grasp the subject. You want something memorable and eye catching.
- Opt for quality. Only use high-resolution images when you’re producing professional publications. Don’t ever use fuzzy images, especially logos. If you need to use your own logo, be sure to get a high-quality image from someone in your marketing department. A sharp, crisp image makes all the difference in the world. If you need to use someone else’s logo, you can usually find what you need on Google. Simply go to Google Images and type the company name followed with the word "logo." Right click the image and save it.
- Be current and relevant. Avoid old-school illustrations and amateurish, animated gifs that do not blend in with your newsletter layout. They will be eye catching, but will cheapen the look and feel of your newsletter.
- Don’t become complacent. Unless it is a recurring column, change your images from issue to issue to keep the newsletter fresh. Utilize a large image for the top story to increase engagement.
- Think outside the box. If you don't have a picture of the specific subject you’re discussing, you can use an image that is more conceptual. For example, if your article is titled “5 Steps to Creating a Better Marketing Plan,” you could use an image of someone walking up some steps. (In this article you're reading, I used pencil tips to represent the 10 tips I'm sharing. In this other article, I used a "Just Married" sign as I wrote about the coupling of an intranet with email newsletters.)
- Develop a list of photo resources. There are lots of stock image libraries out there to help you find what you need. You can purchase a nice image for $10 or less in most instances and there are plenty of free options out there, as well. If you’re sending your email to the entire company (or an external subscriber list), you want it to look great; spending a few bucks is money well spent.
- Pay attention to the details. Always use the best file type to meet your needs. If you plan to use company graphics or icons, make sure to get a PNG, transparent high-res image to ensure it will work on every background color.
By incorporating relevant images, you’ll make your email newsletter a more powerful communication tool that more people will want to read. And isn’t that something worth boasting about during your next annual review?
This article is part of a five-part series. The other four parts are linked below:- What Layout is Best for Your Company's Internal e-Newsletter?
Intranet or Email Newsletter: Which is Best for Employees?
Image Credit: freeimages.com/ivanprole
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