How Product Photography Can Help Your CPG Brand's Emails Stand Out

Email Marketing Expert

Posted By Peyton Fox | September 25th, 2023

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Why you should invest in good product photography

Visuals reign supreme in the digital age, and your product photography serves as the virtual storefront of your brand. They’re the first thing customers see; that first impression can make or break a sale. This is especially true for your email marketing campaigns! Good brand photography is just essential for your emails!

The good news is that quality product photography doesn’t need to break the bank; start with what you have and integrate various techniques to find what best suits your brand. Good product photos not only exist to make visually attractive emails but also to enhance other marketing efforts aimed at boosting revenue.

Why is good product photography so important for your CPG brand?

You wouldn’t want to buy a product if it looked unappealing, would you? Your customers don’t want to either! Think about it from a consumer’s perspective. They want to know that they’re investing in a functional, thoughtfully crafted, and visually enticing product. When your product images look sharp, well-lit, and expertly touched up, they show potential customers that you are passionate about what you offer, genuinely care about their satisfaction, and that your products are worth every cent.

Good product photography captures the viewer’s attention and makes them interested in that product. You want them to imagine eating, drinking, or using your product so that it can encourage them to buy. 

Poor product photography can hurt your brand’s image and following, making it look unprofessional and unattractive, ultimately turning customers away. 

Good vs. Bad Brand Photography

Anyone can take a photo and share it- it’s how you use your product and photography techniques to make it stand out. Crafting visually compelling images is vital in the food and beverage industry. You want to make your audience stop and take notice. Let’s explore examples of how professional CPG photography can elevate or hurt your brand.

How Product Photography Can Help Your CPG Brand's Emails Stand Out
Good Brand Photography Email
How Product Photography Can Help Your CPG Brand's Emails Stand Out
Bad Brand Photography Email

Planning Your Product Shots for Email

Through careful planning, you keep your visual branding consistent, making your emails instantly recognizable. Planning also saves you time and resources by streamlining the process and allowing for year-round usability of images. Moreover, understanding your audience is vital when planning shots to ensure they resonate with your target demographic. Well-planned shots also enable storytelling, conveying a message or emotion that aligns with your brand’s identity. Professionalism, versatility, and visual appeal are the outcomes of thoughtful planning, ultimately leading to higher engagement and conversion rates in your email marketing efforts.

Crafting visually compelling photos is vital for your brand and how customers view it. Put some thought and consideration into your CPG photography and take some time to plan and understand the elements to a beautiful product photo.

  • Composition: Composition helps tell the narrative of the image, It keeps everything together, supports all visual components, and makes  a dynamic looking frame. Pay attention to the color scheme,  pick colors that compliment your product without distracting it. 
  • Year Round Usability: Take product photos that have a year round usability to keep a consistent looking brand and are flexible for various styles, and long term planning. That is not to say seasonal photos should be avoided BUT the bulk of your photos should be usable all year long.
  • Understanding Your Audience: Before diving into the world of product photography, taking a step back and getting to know your audience is crucial. Think of it as a friendly conversation rather than market research. By understanding what your audience wants and expects from your brand, you can tailor your product photography to speak directly to their hearts. When planning your product photos, consider the emotions you want to elicit. Aim to excite them and make them crave a delicious meal or a freshly brewed mug of coffee. Understanding these emotional triggers is crucial for your shoot. To get started, start by recognizing your target customers. Think about their demographics – age, gender, location, and lifestyle. These essential insights can provide valuable hints about their visual tastes and preferences.
  • Props and Styling: Style your photo to highlight key features to bring your product to life and tell a captivating story. Use props or backgrounds that give the product more context for your brand’s image. For example, coffee brands may include mugs or coffee beans as props, creating a relaxed, cool vibe, background, and color scheme.

The 5 Key Shots To Take For Your Brand

1. User Generated Content

Product Photography Can Help Your CPG Brand's Emails Stand Out Example 1
Email By Peace Coffee

Who said your images had to be done in a studio? Utilize real-life examples of customers using your products in your emails, on your website, and on your social media pages. User generated content showcases real genuine perspectives on your products with real people, humanizing your brand and products and making them enticing. 

When you put user generated content into your CPG emails, you’re not just sending out messages; you’re forging connections and building a community. It’s a way to say that you love what customers are doing with the products, boosting customer loyalty and making people want to stick around. 

2. The Moving Photograph

Untitled design (1)

Photos don’t need to be static and unchanging. Consider capturing your CPG products in motion GIFs or moving shots. Good examples of moving stills include liquid pouring or moving across the screen, gif of ingredients or cooking demonstration, or product usage such as spreading a condiment, stirring a drink or opening a package. The magic of motion in your email marketing can be a game-changer, they capture your audience’s attention and make them curious to explore more of your brand.

Gifs and stop-motion shots, when strategically placing these dynamic images right at the top (above the fold) of your email, have a knack for grabbing attention and encouraging clicks. Studies have backed this, showing that such dynamic visuals tend to garner more clicks and interaction compared to static images.

With the countless emails that come into an inbox, it’s important to stand out from the rest and pull people in. Bottom line is, GIFs garner more engagement in emails than static images, they’re mobile friendly, and a great way to show how to use your products.

3. Negative Space

Product Photography Can Help Your CPG Brand's Emails Stand Out Example 3

Don’t feel the need to cover up every space in an email with product images- leave the email some space to breathe! When shooting your products you want to utilize negative space and give your images some room to breathe, creating a focal point for your viewers. 

Incorporating negative space into your product photography is like creating a canvas that allows your products to take center stage. This practice provides balance and tranquility to your images, enhancing their overall appeal.

By avoiding the temptation to overcrowd your design, you create a focal point that directly draws your viewers’ attention to your product. An overly cluttered image can overwhelm and distract, but a well-utilized negative space guides their attention and highlights what truly matters.

Remember, negative space makes your product stand out and leaves room for text or graphics to complement your message. So, when framing your product shots, think about how you can leverage negative space to create impactful visuals.

4. Context Shots/Lifestyle Shot

Product Photography Can Help Your CPG Brand's Emails Stand Out Example 4

Incorporating lifestyle and context shots into your product photography is a powerful way to connect with your audience personally. These images go beyond showcasing your products; they tell a story and create a sense of authenticity that resonates with your customers.

Lifestyle photos show how your CPG products fit into your customers’ everyday lives. Whether it’s capturing someone enjoying a morning coffee or savoring a meal prepared with your ingredients, these shots show relatability. When people see themselves in these scenarios, they’re more likely to feel connected to your brand.

Context shots provide a practical view of how someone can use your products by answering questions and removing barriers to purchase. If you’re a beverage brand, show how to make a drink with your ingredients for selling cooking ingredients, and show step-by-step shots of your product in a recipe. These visuals serve as mini-tutorials, making it easy for customers to imagine themselves using your products.

Furthermore, lifestyle and context shots are invaluable in email marketing. When your subscribers receive an email featuring these relatable and practical images, they’re more inclined to engage with your content. These visuals create an emotional connection and serve as a valuable educational resource.

5. Hero Shot

Hero Image

When in doubt- use Hero shots. A central shot with usage of props, background, lighting and mood to capture the spirit of your brand and present it in the best possible light. Think of it as a sneak peak shot into what your brand has to offer and create a good, positive impression. Include hero shots in your emails for a great and easy way to grab viewers’ attention and begin a storytelling narrative of your products. 

Hero shots are the secret weapon of every marketing and advertising campaign. These central shots, decorated with props, background settings, controlled lighting, and mood, do more than showcase your product or service; they serve as the very essence of your brand. Think of these images as a sneak peek into what your brand stands for and a portrayal of what it offers. Hero shots create an instant, good impression on your audience, drawing them in and grabbing their attention.

Hero shots are one of the most powerful forms of email marketing imagery because they convey what your brand is about, what your brand offers, and what your products can do for consumers. Hero shots grab attention, tell a compelling story, and create a consistent brand identity, making your emails not just promotional tools but also building ongoing connections with your audience. They evoke emotions, boost conversion rates, and showcase your professionalism. In the competitive world of email marketing, hero shots are your secret weapon for standing out, making a memorable impact, and driving results.

Closing Remarks

In food and beverage brands, the importance of product photography in email marketing cannot be expressed enough. It’s a way to connect your product’s visual appeal with your consumers’ hearts and minds. While good photography doesn’t need to break the bank, it has to resonate with your audience, bringing professionalism and quality. 

Diversify your email marketing arsenal with various visuals, from user-generated content to dynamic GIFs, attention-grabbing hero shots, and authentic lifestyle/context images. These add depth and relatability to your emails, fostering connections with your audience. So, experiment with various techniques and discover the product photography that propels your email marketing forward.

If you are feeling lost on who to turn to for your brand photography, we’ve have several clients work with Soona and loved their results!

Schedule Your Call

In our meeting together, we will run through your current email marketing setup, the hurdles you are facing, and more. At the end of our call, I’ll be able to detail how my team and I could help.

When booking, you’ll see a few questions that must be answered prior to our call. We are very selective about what brands and clients we work with to ensure we can succeed with your email marketing.