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The Case for Using Images in Your Professional Writing Content

Which do you prefer? E-letters with engaging images or just plain text?

This is a subject we first brought up last week in “When Using Images in Your Professional Writing Copy.” That post acknowledged that there was a debate but overall avoided actually discussing it.

Its main purpose was to show what to do – and not do – when working with images. After all, this is something amateurs can mess up way too easily, potentially damaging their customer engagement and sales.

If you want to read the whole article, it’s available right here. But the following snippet is what we’re going to focus on today:

I just learned something new the other day.

Apparently, text-only e-letter or email presentations can actually work better than those including images, depending on the industry.

It’s not particularly a line of reasoning I relate to. In fact, I have to admit I don’t like it at all.

But it isn’t about what I like. It’s about what target audiences best react and relate to.

We’ll discuss the “text only” argument next week. For now though, here’s why images do work when used correctly.

Ever heard of Easelly? It advertises itself as employing “infographics that are both fun to create and engaging to read!” Therefore, it’s got an angle to work here, as it fully admitted in a blog post last year:

Sure, we might be a bit biased because we help people create engaging, effective infographics and animation, but we made sure to stick with the facts, latest findings, and reliable insights that we can find.

Here’s some more of what it says:

There’s no two ways about it – thoughtful content and beautiful visuals can help make your story, message, or content into an engaging piece that gets the attention of your audience.
While thoughtful, text-only content has its pros in communicating with impact, there’s been a significant shift in recent years [favoring] a combination of text and visuals – eye-catching infographics, beautifully crafted animations, clever gifs, and stunning Powerpoint presentations.

And then it goes on to build a pretty decent case to do precisely that.

When it comes to “text vs. images in everyday communications,” the post points to a study that found people did 323% better following directions when text and illustrations were combined rather than text only.

Knowing that, its next segment on “text vs. visuals in education” should come as no surprise:

  1. 1. Using visual aids in the classroom can improve learning by as much as 400%.

  2. Around 65% of people are visual learners.

  3. Visual aids help improve motivation, clarification, vocabulary, efficiency and engagement.

Then there’s “text vs. visuals in marketing and business communications.” In that section, it quotes Newsweek’s Emily Gaudette. Last April, she wrote a piece for The Content Strategist, saying:

“Visuals aren’t just flashy; they can help define and complicate a brand’s identity by giving marketers another language to speak. And it’s not just logo design – branded visual content tells its own story through color, rhythm, humor, and tone. If you can show your audience who you are, you don’t have to waste time telling them over and over.”

And, back to the original article:

“An analysis of blogs in different industries done by Quicksprout revealed that articles with data-driven visuals such as charts and graphs receive more trackbacks – [258%] more than blog posts with other types of images.

In other words, if you want to use images, you have a lot of reason to think you’re right.

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