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How to embed images in your marketing emails

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How to embed images in your marketing emails

Email marketing has long been a moving target — from the evolving landscape of email service providers to constant changes in infrastructure and security. Despite this, visual imagery remains one of the key elements of successful email marketing campaigns, even though it poses one of the biggest challenges to email marketers.

Many marketers are skeptical when it comes to embedding images in email marketing messages. This is due to the results of email campaigns, the actions of inbox providers, and the unfortunate consequence of bad actors spamming email recipients.

A fundamental challenge for email marketers is making sure their audience will be able to view the images embedded in an email. Some providers allow users to selectively download the images by clicking on them, while others completely block the content.

Because some inbox providers don’t support images, engagement drops, and deliverability can be negatively impacted, along with your sender reputation.

Images in emails render differently depending on the devices the recipients use. According to data from Constant Contact, roughly 60% of emails are opened and read on mobile devices. Each of these images needs to be optimized to ensure mobile and tablet users are seeing the proper version of it. Without responsive design, images of different sizes could skew the email — potentially making it unreadable.

Using alt text (alternative text) can help improve user experience when images are broken. The alt attribute is used in HTML and XHTML documents to specify alternative text that is to be shown when the element to which it is applied cannot be rendered. When an image does not render, alt text is the text that the recipient will see in place of the image. Consider using an SEO-driven CTA in your alt text to drive engagement.

However, marketers would be wise to ensure their email images display correctly so they don’t have to rely solely on these attributes.


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Choosing the right format

Many email marketing platforms allow users to build their email campaigns using responsive design elements so images render properly on any device. Proper file formatting is recommended for images — JPEG and PNG files tend to be standards for static images, although GIFs are becoming increasingly popular in email marketing as well.

There are dozens of use cases for GIFs in email. From directing attention to a specific call-to-action, highlighting specific products to demonstrating emotions, GIFs have found their place in the email marketing space — and they are a hit with consumers.

GIFs can even be used as a “how-to” mechanism in the body of an email and are a popular alternative to including a full-length video. GIFs can help humanize your brand and be shared across many social platforms in addition to email campaigns.


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Methods for embedding images in your emails

There are three primary methods for embedding an image into an email: Linking the image, inline embedding, and Content-ID (CID). All three methodologies have pros and cons and require a certain level of expertise to implement, but all are valuable techniques.

Linked images

Linking an image is probably the easiest way to include an image in your email. Linking an image requires you to upload the image from your computer to the email service provider and allows you to insert the image in the appropriate space. This method also decreases the size of your email.

If your email images are stored in a digital asset manager (DAM), the image can be downloaded and uploaded into the email service provider or can be inserted directly if the two systems are integrated.

For marketers who are emailing audiences compiled of thousands of recipients, the linked image must be hosted on a content delivery network. Emails with linked images will call for the CDN’s hosted image through an embedded HTML tag.

The major downside of linking images is the potential for latency issues when the image is being downloaded from an external server.

Inline embedding

Inline embedding is another popular method for embedding images into emails. Inline embedding requires a specific type of coding scheme called “Base64 string” for the image. The encoded string allows you to embed your image using a standard HTML tag.

One of the issues with this method is that Microsoft Outlook blocks the embedded email images. Depending on your business, Outlook users could be a large portion of your recipients.

Content-ID

Content-ID (CID) is one of the oldest practices for embedding images into marketing emails.
CIDs involve attaching the image to the email and referencing it with HTML tags in the email’s template, which embeds the image when the email is opened. While it may be one of the oldest tactics, it’s one of the most technically advanced methods and requires a certain level of expertise.

However, using CID images in your email marketing can hurt your deliverability. CIDs tend to make emails very large, causing latency issues when opening a CID embedded email.

Email CID images also have issues rendering across different types of inbox providers and notoriously do not work well in web-based email applications.

Choose the embed method that works for your brand

Weighing factors such as how email images are impacting your brand’s deliverability and sender reputation should be the primary objective. Remember the goals and KPIs of the email campaign and how — or if — images should be included in a particular campaign.

If you are a part of a B2B or B2C organization, it is important to understand how your audience interacts with the images in your email marketing campaigns. This knowledge empowers email marketers by providing insights into how recipients are engaging with the content and should influence the decisions made around imagery in marketing emails.


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.


About The Author

How to embed images in your marketing emails

Jennifer Videtta Cannon serves as Third Door Media’s Senior Editor, covering topics from email marketing and analytics to CRM and project management. With over a decade of organizational digital marketing experience, she has overseen digital marketing operations for NHL franchises and held roles at tech companies including Salesforce, advising enterprise marketers on maximizing their martech capabilities. Jennifer formerly organized the Inbound Marketing Summit and holds a certificate in Digital Marketing Analytics from MIT Sloan School of Management.


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YouTube Ad Specs, Sizes, and Examples [2024 Update]

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YouTube Ad Specs, Sizes, and Examples

Introduction

With billions of users each month, YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and top website for video content. This makes it a great place for advertising. To succeed, advertisers need to follow the correct YouTube ad specifications. These rules help your ad reach more viewers, increasing the chance of gaining new customers and boosting brand awareness.

Types of YouTube Ads

Video Ads

  • Description: These play before, during, or after a YouTube video on computers or mobile devices.
  • Types:
    • In-stream ads: Can be skippable or non-skippable.
    • Bumper ads: Non-skippable, short ads that play before, during, or after a video.

Display Ads

  • Description: These appear in different spots on YouTube and usually use text or static images.
  • Note: YouTube does not support display image ads directly on its app, but these can be targeted to YouTube.com through Google Display Network (GDN).

Companion Banners

  • Description: Appears to the right of the YouTube player on desktop.
  • Requirement: Must be purchased alongside In-stream ads, Bumper ads, or In-feed ads.

In-feed Ads

  • Description: Resemble videos with images, headlines, and text. They link to a public or unlisted YouTube video.

Outstream Ads

  • Description: Mobile-only video ads that play outside of YouTube, on websites and apps within the Google video partner network.

Masthead Ads

  • Description: Premium, high-visibility banner ads displayed at the top of the YouTube homepage for both desktop and mobile users.

YouTube Ad Specs by Type

Skippable In-stream Video Ads

  • Placement: Before, during, or after a YouTube video.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Vertical: 9:16
    • Square: 1:1
  • Length:
    • Awareness: 15-20 seconds
    • Consideration: 2-3 minutes
    • Action: 15-20 seconds

Non-skippable In-stream Video Ads

  • Description: Must be watched completely before the main video.
  • Length: 15 seconds (or 20 seconds in certain markets).
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Vertical: 9:16
    • Square: 1:1

Bumper Ads

  • Length: Maximum 6 seconds.
  • File Format: MP4, Quicktime, AVI, ASF, Windows Media, or MPEG.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 640 x 360px
    • Vertical: 480 x 360px

In-feed Ads

  • Description: Show alongside YouTube content, like search results or the Home feed.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Square: 1:1
  • Length:
    • Awareness: 15-20 seconds
    • Consideration: 2-3 minutes
  • Headline/Description:
    • Headline: Up to 2 lines, 40 characters per line
    • Description: Up to 2 lines, 35 characters per line

Display Ads

  • Description: Static images or animated media that appear on YouTube next to video suggestions, in search results, or on the homepage.
  • Image Size: 300×60 pixels.
  • File Type: GIF, JPG, PNG.
  • File Size: Max 150KB.
  • Max Animation Length: 30 seconds.

Outstream Ads

  • Description: Mobile-only video ads that appear on websites and apps within the Google video partner network, not on YouTube itself.
  • Logo Specs:
    • Square: 1:1 (200 x 200px).
    • File Type: JPG, GIF, PNG.
    • Max Size: 200KB.

Masthead Ads

  • Description: High-visibility ads at the top of the YouTube homepage.
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080 or higher.
  • File Type: JPG or PNG (without transparency).

Conclusion

YouTube offers a variety of ad formats to reach audiences effectively in 2024. Whether you want to build brand awareness, drive conversions, or target specific demographics, YouTube provides a dynamic platform for your advertising needs. Always follow Google’s advertising policies and the technical ad specs to ensure your ads perform their best. Ready to start using YouTube ads? Contact us today to get started!

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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

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Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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