Not sure your getting the results you had hoped for from your email marketing campaign? Read today’s guest post from Melanie Attia, product marketing manager of email marketing service

Recently Campaigner surveyed its customers about 2011 email marketing plans. Thirty-three percent responded that they were going to continue with their email programs in 2011 and 61 percent responded that plans were underway to increase the use of email in their marketing efforts. It’s a powerful marketing method, in part because it is inexpensive and effective.

Simply adding individual campaigns to an email marketing program, however, is not necessarily the best option. Even the best proactive communication can turn into spam if you’re hitting the inbox too often.

Consider making your emails more compelling with graphics to help your readers visualize what you are promoting. For some, the initial reaction to this suggestion might be that additional graphics would be a daunting task. But that’s not the case.  A good email marketing service should include tools that allow you to search, resize, crop and rotate photos and images without leaving your email template.

Visual imagery is a powerful element that can positively impact a business’ bottom line. To gain the greatest value, follow these best practices when building email newsletters, promotions, and announcements:

  • Use images to enhance your message. Pictures may be worth a thousand words but don’t rely on them to tell the entire story. If a recipient is using a mobile device or has disabled images in emails, make sure they can read what others are visually seeing. A good rule of thumb is to use a 30/70 ratio: 30% images and 70% text.
  • Place larger images below the fold or preview pane. Use this format so readers using a preview pane or have blocked images from downloading automatically do not miss your message. No matter where you place the image, keep it to 600px width to keep it from being cut off on the screen.
  • Include a clickable call to action with your image so you can see how your readers respond to each graphic. Data about who clicks on a photo’s hyperlink will give direction to future interaction. If the report shows traffic, use it in a future email. Don’t forget to include a text click-through for those who have turned off the graphic display option.
  • Never use a background image when designing an email. The chances are great that it will not render properly (if at all).
  • Forgo image maps in email marketing. These are graphics with multiple paths or URL options (for example, click a, b or c). Most email editors do not support image maps and strip them out. Rather than compromise your visual message, use them on your website instead.
  • Before you send out your email, preview the email to ensure that it looks good with images turned on and off.  You can do this by sending the email to yourself.  A good email marketing service will also allow you to view print versions of HTML and text emails, resize the preview window size and to preview the viewing area or simulate different email window sizes, indicate the email file size and show/hide images.

Melanie Attia is the Product Marketing Manager for Campaigner Email Marketing and is focused on managing the Campaigner marketing programs and product messaging. She can be reached at