How to Use Images in Email Effectively

How to Use Images in Email Effectively

When you’re not sure how to fully leverage images in your email marketing, you can end up scratching your head longer than it takes to design the entire email.
I get it. Email marketing production gets complicated quickly, and you want to make sure your emails are not only eye-catching but readable.

1. Email Image Sizing

Most Email Service Providers (i.e. Mailchimp) have a set width they constrain the entire body of your email to.
That sizing can vary between 600 and 700px. Check your email service provider to see what their default is.
If in doubt, design all of your images 700px wide. Your Email Service Provide will auto-adjust.

2. Email Mobile Responsive Images

We know that over half of emails are read on mobile devices.
When you’re thinking about inserting images into your email campaigns, always think about how it will look on mobile.
That might mean making your emails longer so that they render better on a portrait sized screen.

3. Text On Images

a) Accessibility
When you’re thinking about putting text on images, you can’t forget about how to keep your overall digital marketing strategy accessible.
People who rely on text-to-speech readers on their computers and mobile devices rely on there actually being text that their technology can read to them.
They can’t read the text that is embedded in your image.
That’s why it’s imperative to include “alt-text” on each image. This option is available in every Email Service Provider.
There will be a box in your image settings that is called “alt text” that lets you type out the text on the image.
b) Mobile Responsive
If you put tiny text in an image that is designed for desktop, and shrink it down to mobile, you’ll want to check out how it reads on mobile.
I see this all too often. Text placed on an image that looks okay on desktop, but is barely legible on mobile.
Make sure your font sizes are at least 28px if you plan on doing this.
c) Disabled Images
 Some email clients like Outlook and gmail will auto-disable images from unknown senders.
That means if ALL of your content is in images, these subscribers will have to go the extra step of enabling images in order to see your content.
We know as marketers, that every additional step we ask a user to take, is a place we could potentially lose them.
Having alt-text will help this OR limiting your use of images with text placed on them.
Here’s what an email looks like if it’s all image with text on it and it has not been optimized for mobile or alt-text

4. Image-to-Text-Ratio

So maybe having your entire email ALL images isn’t the greatest strategy for some. If you keep all of the above in mind, you can probably get away with it.

I’ve heard that having an all image email can get your email marked as SPAM. I have not seen that to be true.

Some recommend to keep your images to 20% of the entire email campaign because of this.

My recommendation is to sprinkle images throughout your campaign. If you’re strapped for resources, include a nice header image with the title of your content and then place everything else as text and buttons in the email.

Plus, if your email is mostly text, it is much easier to make sure it is mobile responsive across devices, browsers and email clients.

Check out the example below.

Wrapping up, here’s what you need to remember about including images in your campaigns.
  1. Visual appeal of an email is important, but don’t let beautiful design trump usability.
  2. If you’re using a lot of images, make sure they are mobile responsive and have alt-text.
  3. Break up your images and include text with them to make sure they are legible across devices.

4 Steps To An Effective Email Newsletter Strategy

The biggest conception about email marketing is that you should be sending a newsletter to your list.

Newsletters are the critical foundation of any email strategy. I’ve harped on them pretty hard in the past.

Here’s why: the way we think of newsletters is really outdated.

One of the top complaints I get about newsletters is that all of this hard work goes into them and then they get sent out, off into the ether with hopes they’ll convert.

It’s usually with newsletters that pack a TON of content into them: articles, thoughts, resources. You name it, it’s in the email.


Here’s where it goes wrong.

Email newsletters aren’t like paper newsletters. I know what you’re thinking, Duh!

But some folks have yet to catch up to how the digital world actually shapes how we consume content.

With digital marketing, attention spans are short.

Look, the days of sending a paper newsletter that someone sits down and reads from front to back are over. But people still seem to think that’s what email newsletters are supposed to look like.

Asking someone to read your best five resources in one go is asking A LOT of people who are used to scrolling through feeds, reading headlines and not the articles, and needing information in meme form.

Here’s what to do instead.


Hook with Headlines

Headlines are important for hooking people into your content, so you can lead them to your offer.

They have to be short, engaging, personable, and emotional.

What’s the biggest takeaway from your email?

Why should someone care?

What belief are you helping your subscribers overcome?

What are you trying to help people achieve?

This idea can also be applied to subject lines. They require the same effort.

You need to give people the why-they-should-care-factor right away or they’re attention is gone.


Focus Your Subscribers

Instead of splitting your subscribers attention between five different topics and ideas, keep them focused on ONE.

 That helps you focus too.

Go for ONE idea or theme in your email and offer supporting resources to supplement your theme.

 Those resources could be:

  • Content
  • Guides
  • Offers
  • Incentives

 Try to avoid overwhelming your subscribers with too much content. Again, short attention spans are at stake here.


Help Your Subscribers Convert

If you’re wishing and praying your subscribers will just KNOW how to hand over their hard-earned cash, you’re asking them to additional work to figure it out.

That’s not helpful.

If your ultimate goal is to get your subscribers to purchase, you have to GUIDE them to where to purchase.

If your goal is to get someone to fill out a form on your site, you have to GUIDE them to that form.

If your goal is to have people schedule a call with you, you have to GUIDE them on where to do that.

You have to make it really easy for them to take the next action you want them to take.

That looks like clear calls-to-action that click through DIRECTLY where you want them to go.


Friendly Follow-Ups

Short attention spans are your biggest challenge with email marketing.

Just because someone opened your email doesn’t mean they:

  1. Read the email.
  2. Remember every single detail of the email they just read.
  3. Took an action they intended to take when they read it.

That means you have to keep following up.

That can look like:

  • Reminders about an offer that is time-sensitive.
  • Targeted email sequences that follow up when someone browses on your website.
  • Including details about how to access your offer in every. single. Email.

They don’t have to be pushy or icky.

They have to be helpful, and that’s it.



One of your primary challenges in email marketing (and digital marketing in general) is short attention spans.

People are inundated with digital distractions all day every day. That’s what you’re up against.

In order to see newsletters that convert, try these four steps:

  1. Hook with Headlines
  2. Focus Your Subscribers
  3. Help Your Subscribers Convert
  4. Friendly Follow Ups

flourish + grit: the story behind the name

Flourish & Grit honors balance.

(Hello, Libra over here!)

It doesn’t take one thing to get by in this world. It takes a village of support & experience.

Flourish & Grit symbolizes the balance of the aspiration and experience it takes to persist through the hardest of circumstances.

Let’s break down the meaning of both words and what they hold together.



The word flourish has FOUR meanings:


  1. (of a person, animal, or other living organism) grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly favorable environment.
    “wild plants flourish on the banks of the lake”
  2. (of a person) wave (something) around to attract the attention of others.
    ““Happy New Year!” he yelled, flourishing a bottle of whiskey”


  1. a bold or extravagant gesture or action, made especially to attract the attention of others.
    “with a flourish, she ushered them inside”
  2. an instance of suddenly performing or developing in an impressively successful way.
    “the Bulldogs produced a late second-half flourish”

source: Oxford Languages

How complex and dainty of a word to describe the ambition of most businesses: To not only grow, but do so quickly, and in a way that looks and feels good.

Combine that with grit.



The definition of grit:
  1. courage and resolve; strength of character.
    “he displayed the true grit of the navy pilot”

source: Oxford Languages

Grit encapsulates the years of invisible labor it took to get you here.

The studying, the experimenting, the heartbreak.

That work isn’t often seen. Only you hold the weight of these memories.

Grit got us here. To this moment. It’s those experiences that led us to this path.

Can we go through hard things? Yes. The sum of which make up our worldview. How we work, who we trust, and what we are drawn to (and repelled by).

Did we overcome those things to stay standing right here and now?

Yes and no.

Overcoming something means we’ve left those hard things behind. As we all know, the good and the challenging experiences of our lives never fully leave us.

How about we incorporate instead of overcome?

Our challenges are a part of us. We learn to grow and thrive with them, not against them. To overcome, would be pretending that hardships never happened. And we all know that ignoring something doesn’t make it go away.


Flourish + Grit

To flourish in a way that feels and looks good means to recognize the things that lifted us up to this moment and what seemingly set us back.

To move forward, we need to recognize all of the pieces that make us who we are (the bragable and the hard to speak), and allow us to find and trust those who help us grow.

We did so many things on our own, but that doesn’t mean we have to keep going that way.

After all, we are human. We need to lean into our own path as well as invite others in to journey alongside us.

That is how we build the future we’ve been dreaming of: bold, bright, and wide open.


Best Practices for Growing your Opt In Database with Quality Leads

The world of privacy settings, email marketing, and general inbox fatigue is constantly changing.

  • How will I know I’m not violating a policy or regulation?
  • How will I know my emails are getting to the right people?
  • How will I know if my emails even get read?
  • How will I know (if he really loves me, SING IT WHITNEY)

One way to keep your email marketing strategy humming along (with Whitney Houston in the background) is by creating an opt-in email database.

While you’re queuing up the ultimate Whitney playlist, we’ll cover:

  • What an opt-in email marketing database is
  • Why an opt-in email database is important
  • Best practices for growing your opt-in email marketing database
  • Whitney Houston’s Star Spangled Banner from Super Bowl XXV – best rendition of the national anthem ever, CHALLENGE ME

Great, now that I can’t get Whitney out of my head, what is an opt-in email marketing database exactly?

Opt-in email marketing is email sent to recipients who actually signed up for your email list.  This is the opposite of sending out unsolicited emails, because the recipient actually gave you permission to enter their inbox. 

Why is an opt-in email database important?

  • To enhance your email marketing engagement with subscribers that will actually open and read your content
  • To maintain integrity with your subscribers by sending them only the emails they signed up for
  • To comply with email marketing guidelines such as CAN-SPAM the act and the  GDPR.

1. Use what you’ve got! 

Sometimes getting started with a new process or concept for email marketing database design can be intimidating.  It can feel like you’re starting from scratch.  But there is one way to start by building on to what you’ve already got. 

Do you already have an email marketing database for other types of content, promos, or campaigns?  Great!  You’ve got a list to start with! 

Chances are the audience for your current email marketing database may benefit from other products or services you have to offer. 

If you’ve created a lead magnet or premium content that would add value for most of your current list, start by testing it out on that list to build up subscribers. 

We’ll talk more about that next.

Supercharge Your Lead Magnet

Start attracting qualified leads with your lead magnets.

2. Use what you’ve built!

So you’ve got an opt-in email marketing database, but what the heck are you supposed to send them and how does that help grow your opt-in database? 

Hot tip – lead magnet or premium content. 

Send potential subscribers a sample of your big-industry-knowledgeable-rubik’s-cube-solving brain to entice them to learn more. 

Some examples are:

  • Industry reports
  • E-books
  • How-to guides (like what you’re reading right now)
  • Checklists
  • Worksheets
  • Blogs
  • Free Courses

Even repurposing existing content in a new format can be helpful:

  • Blog post = social media post
  • YouTube video = blog post in written format
  • E-book = mini-course

Pro tip: Dig deeper into creating a sweet and sticky lead magnet with Honey Lead Magnets.

A great way to gather opt-ins when people come to your website for their freebie, is to create a simple pop-up box asking for an email address in exchange. 

This opt-in offer can be placed in so many locations on your website:

  • Pop-up
  • Top bar
  • Body copy
  • Footer
  • Cart Checkout

Check out Active Campaign’s Opt-In Email Marketing Pop Up Box:

Hubspot’s Opt-In Email Marketing Top Bar:

Hot Tip: Keep the language simple and the pop-up box clutter-free. 

Next, we’re taking it to the next level!

Supercharge Your Lead Magnet

Start attracting qualified leads with your lead magnets.

3. Use what you know!

You’ve got an opt-in email marketing database, but how do you grow it?

You grow it by giving people more of… you!

People love a guru- someone that has seen it all, walked the path, and came out the other side like a shiny beacon of hope (in my mind, I picture Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, wiping out weird lake zombies with a blazing wand spewing fire, but you get the picture.  Oprah works here too.  She’s great.).

So use what you know! Be that guru and share your knowledge with the masses! 

Establish your authority with:

  • Posting on social media
  • Uploading blog posts
  • Short YouTube videos
  • Guest spot on your friend’s podcast

The more you put out there, while sounding like the guru you are, the more chances are that people will find you and want to work with you.  Or at the very least, subscribe to your opt-in email database. 

Hot Tip: Try to put your most authentic message out there.  People gravitate towards REAL people.

Let’s Review

Keeping up with ways to shift your email marketing strategy can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.  Leveraging resources already at your disposal while focusing your time and energy on the right activities can help grow your opt-in email marketing database in no time. 


access now


  • Strategy: What to put in your lead magnet to attract your ideal clients.
  • Building Blocks: Every technical piece you need to have in place to publish and share your lead magnet.
  • Promotion Strategy: Where and how to promote your lead magnet to start blowing up your list.

Automation and Tagging in Constant Contact

How to automate email campaigns in Constant Contact.

There are a TON of Email Service Providers (ESPs) out there.

They each have their pros and cons, and whether or not they are perfect for you depends on what you want to accomplish.

You started in Constant Contact because you wanted to send out a simple newsletter.

An update about your products, services, business, and life once per month is all you really wanted to do.

But you’re ready for more. You’re ready to start getting more intentional about your email marketing which typically means an automation or two.

I’ve got some good news and bad news for ya.


Let’s start with the good news

Constant Contact is perfect for simple automations.

You can trigger a series of emails once someone joins your list or purchases a product or service.

It’s simple and easy to set up.

In fact, they have an entire help article on how to do just that. Go ahead and check it out and get the step-by-step process.

Your welcome series would be an excellent campaign to set up for that scenario.

Here’s roughly what that would look like in an automation:

  1. Trigger: Contact joins your list.
  2. Send Email: Welcome Email
  3. Wait: 2 Days
  4. Send Email: Welcome Email 2
  5. Wait: 2 Days
  6. Send Email: Welcome Email 3
  7. Wait: 2 Days
  8. End Automation

 That’s about the extent of the type of automation Constant Contact can do.

Which Brings Us To The Bad News

If you want to personalize your automation beyond something simple, Constant Contact isn’t going to cut it.

For example, let’s say that your welcome series includes a special offer for joining your email list.

And let’s say that you have 5 emails in your welcome series.

IF they take advantage of your special offer in the second email, you don’t want them to get the rest of your emails.

So how do you eject them from the automation so they stop getting the emails that are no longer relevant to them?

(Sorry to be the bearer of bad news!)

Like I said, Constant Contact is an excellent tool for doing simple email marketing work. If that’s what you’re interested in doing, then keeping doing it.

If you want to get more sophisticated with your email campaigns, it might be time to start exploring a new ESP.


Need some help choosing your next tool?

Check out my FREE Guide: Top Vetted Tools to Awesome-ify Your Marketing.