Articles

23 Mind blowing sites for newsletter images in 2018

by Chris Bradley
Newsletter Images

Facebook posts with images see 2.3x more engagement.

Articles with an image every 75-100 words get double the number of social shares.

So it's no wonder that, 65% of recipients prefer to receive email with newsletter images in.

But where do I find free newsletter images?

What are the licences for email stock photo, and what do I need to know?

What about creating images for email? What are the correct email banner sizes?

We've got you covered. 

In this post we'll answer each of these questions, and why images are a key part of newsletter design. 

Plus review the best sites to find, create, edit and use images for email.

Lets get started.


The 23 best sites to find email newsletter images

When I think of stock photography I think cheesy pictures of people in suits shaking hands.

Thankfully this is a thing of the past.

You will not find any sites containing generic or 90's web stock images here.

These sites have been hand picked, based solely on the quality and relevance of the images.

Email images might help your newsletter perform, but only if they are actually good.

Bonus: Search over 1,000,000 high quality, royalty free images right inside Publicate. Drag and drop the images straight into your email newsletter, without leaving the platform. Try The Newsletter Builder Free

Heres What You Need To Know About Licences

The majority of the images on these sites are free from copyright restrictions. If it has been set for Public Domain Dedication, it means it can be used;

"You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission."

But, it is certainly worth checking each indiviual image that you want to use. (Don't worry, it's easy to tell).

Some images will require attribution. Which means mentioning who and where you got the image from when you use it.


Unsplash

Unsplash Stock Image Site

About: This is top of the list for a reason. Unsplash boasts a huge collection of community submitted pictures. 

And what a community it is. There are some really talented photographers here. All kindly offering their work for free.

Licence: Free use. Attribution appreciated, but not required

Of Interest: Check out the collections that the community have put together. Great for finding relevant images for your newsletters on a endless topics.


Pixabay

Pixabay Stock Photos

About: Over 1.3 million images with a huge variety. Chances are you'll find what you are looking for here and in high quality. Your not limited to just images either. Pixabay also offers illustrations and vector graphics too.

Licence: Free use. Just stick to these common sense rules

Of Interest: Pixabay has a great search and filter system. Making it super easy to search through images by category, size and colour.


Pexels

Pexels High Quality Email Images

About: Pexels boasts over 40,000  images, and claims to be adding around 3000 new ones every month. All images added are either uploaded by the community or handpicked from other sites.

All pics are nicely tagged by a human so they are easy to find.

Licence: Free use

Of Interest: Pexels highlights its top photographers. So you can find inspiration by person as well as category.


Burst

Burst By Shopify

About: Burst is a free collection of quality photos provided by shopify. They know high quality images sell products, so why not help customers with a collection of them. Perfect for your ecommerce newsletters too. The web page browse function isn't great, but the collections are well populated.

Licence: Free use

Of Interest: Aside from pics you'll also find a load of tips and business ideas. Obviously Shopifys upsell is to get you to start selling things online. But for free quality images, fine by me.


Stock Snap

Stock Snap Images For Email

About: A large gallery of high quality images. With "hundreds" being added every week. Images on here seem like the perfect Instagram snaps. With beautiful filters already applied. 

Licence: Free use

Of Interest: Easy to discover great images with the recently added and trending. You can also filter by categories and popularity of free photos.


Foodies Feed

Food Related Newsletter Pics

About: As the title, this is the first niche gallery. Offering high resolution food related images for email. If your email newsletter is about food, look no further.

Licence: Free use

Of Interest: This site does unfortunately suffer from heavy advertising. They also try to get you to sign up to speed up the download process. But, the pictures of food are fantastic, with a lot of choice.


New Old Stock

Vintage Free Email Images

About: As it says on the site, vintage photos from the public archives, recapturing history. Unfortunately the search feature is none existent, so lots of scrolling is required. But you won't be able to find stock images with more character.

Licence: Possibly mixed

Of Interest: The perfect vintage newsletter pics are just a scroll away. Not to mention how interesting it is peering back through history.


Free Nature Stock

Free Nature Stock Images

About: Nice and simple. Royalty free nature stock photos. For you to use anyway you want. There is a basic search bar, and a couple of popular tags. If you're looking for pictures of stars, sunsets or mountains for your newsletter... you're done!

Licence: Free use

Of Interest: Check out the Archive, it makes for a much easier way to navigate through the pictures.


Gratisography

Gratisography Stock Images With Attitude

About: A strong collection of unique pictures. The site was initially set up as a personal project and has grown from strength to strength. Definitely the one if you are looking for an original and eye catching email image.

Licence: Free use

Of Interest: You can download convenient picture packs. Which include 15 pictures and a bonus unreleased picture. The curator of the site does ask for a donation in exchange. Which seems fair ro me.


Picography

Picography Newsletter Photos

About: Picography has a great collection of urban focused images.

You can search through the database, and they do also have categories. The free images you will find here are pretty eclectic so you're guaranteed to find a head turner. Perfect for email banner images.

Licence: Free use

Of Interest: The urban focus of the images and categories makes this collection stand out. For email newsletter pics that pop!


Negative Space

Negative Space Free Stock Images

About: If you are after "work place" images that don't look like boring stock photos then negetive Space is the one. With a big library of high quality "business" style free images, perfect for your emails.

Licence: Free use

Of Interest: With categories like Macbook, desk and coffee you'll be able to find the right image. Great for when animals and scenery doesn't really get your message across.


Finda Photo

Find A Photo For Your Newsletter

About: Stripped back and lightweight. Finda Photo focuses on helping you to search for the free photos rather then browsing for them. It also searches through many of the platforms mentioned in this post, so can be a bit more of a 1 stop shop.  

Licence: Free use

Of Interest: Check out the search by colour. Very helpful when you are being strict on colour code or branding.


MMT Stock

MMT Stock Email Images

About: Created by Jeffrey Betts, each image is added, tagged and loved by a human. With new pictures every week. Not a huge collection, but stuffed with high quality jems.

Licence: Free use

Of Interest: The best of 2017 is pretty cool. Showcasing the best images of the year and leads to the other categories.


Skitterphoto

Skitter Photo Stock Email Marketing Images

About: Started by some amatuer photographers from the Netherlands in 2014. Fantastic people that just wanted to share the great work they had created. It is now a community of photographers sharing their best work, free for you to use any of the free images for email marketing.

Licence: Free use

Of Interest: They have organised the free photos into many categories for easy browsing. There is also a featured and admin picks which have some real finds in.


Lifeofpix

Life Of Pix For Free Email Background Images

About: A great community of photographers. Offering high resolution pictures and free videos. There is a definite arty feel to the pictures on this site. Great for unique pictures.

Licence: Free use

Of Interest: Every week they celebrate a photographer of the week from the community. Great for inspiration for all your email mraketing image needs.


Stockpic

Stockpic High Quality Newsletter Image

About: A strong collection of "people" focused images. If you're looking for human centred visuals for your newsletter you'll find it here.

Licence: Free use

Of Interest: Check out the Latest 100 and favourites sections for all email stock photo needs.


Death To Stock

Death To Stock Photos

About: This site has a free and a premium version. The free version is a collection of high quality free photos on one topic, delivered to your inbox each month. The premium version gives you access to over 2000+ images.

Licence: Free use

Of Interest: Head to the Graveyard for back catalogue collections. These can easily be downloaded and used in your newsletters.


Picjumbo

PicJumbo Stock Photos For Email

About: Another site offering the latest photos straight to your inbox. You can also search through the entire database on the website though. Premium collections offer all in one packs if you want multiple email images at once.

Licence: Free use

Of Interest: You'll find lots of instagram esque email newsletter imgaes here. Especially in the best of the best free images section. Refresh your browser to randomise this section.


IM Free

IM Free Royalty Free Stock Images

About: A curated collection of free web design resources, all for commercial use. Not just images, you'll also find collections of icons and vector graphics here too.

Licence: Free use, but attribution is required on some.

Of Interest: Everything is nicely categorised into clear collections. Which also tell you the number of items in each collection. Check out the black and white collection.


Jaymantri

Jaymantri Stock Email Images

About: A personal collection of increadibly high quality images. All with an artisitc abstract feel. The site doesn't seem to have been updated much since 2015. But it is still a great resource.

Licence: Free use.

Of Interest: Head to "All Photos" for easy browsing. It will really help you to find the right newsletter image.


Kaboompics

Kaboompics Stock Photo Site

About: In my mind some of the highest quality pictures in this list. You can also search by colour and category, making it easy to find a varity of email stock photo.

Licence: Free use.

Of Interest: Filter the search by "Photoshoot" to find collections of related imges. Some interesting topics and compilations.


Shotstash

Shotstash Stock Newsletter Images

About: Some cool categories can be found here. Abstract, architecture, business etc etc. Good quality professional photographs. A slightly limited database though.

Licence: Free use.

Of Interest: New photos added daily, so worth checking back if you don't at first find the right image for your email marketing.


Styled Stock

Styled Stock Find Stock Images

About: Looking for a more feminine feel to your newsletter images? Styled stock is the web page for you. Easily search by colour and categories to find what you need.

Licence: Free use.

Of Interest: They also have an email newsletter to receive exclusive, not shown on the site images.


Bonus: All the top 3 in 1 place

Publicate Newsletter Creator

About: You can search Pixabay, Unsplash and Pexels from your workspace in Publicate. Access millions of the best images, from one search bar. 

Licence: Free use.

Of Interest: Not only do you get the top 3 in 1 place, but you can drag any images you find straight to your newsletter. No need to download and upload, just drag. You can even resize and crop right in the editor.

Try Publicate Free Now


Newsletter image size best practice

The most common use for email images is email background images and banners.

So what are the best email banner sizes?

Generally as a practice 600x200px is seen as the standard. With the rise of retina displays you may want to consider doubling that and using 1200x400px.

Try to keep it under 1 mb for deliverability, and stick to PNG and JPG for the format.


Editing Newsletter Images

So you've found the right email image. But, you want to add some text to it, or alter it in some way.

What are your options?

Well, if you have Photoshop, or Sketch if you are on a Mac, then you'll probably already have the answer.

But, if you are looking for something more lightweight then check these three options out.

Canva

Canva Simple Newsletter Image Design

"Amazingly simple graphic design"

Canva is the revolutionary platform that makes editing images as easy as can be. Create, design and edit anything, all in one beautiful online interface. No need for downloaded software programs like Photoshop or Sketch.

It also has zero learning curve and a ton of free stock images and icons for you to add to your designs and style as needed.

Stencil

Stencil Graphic Design For Newsletter Template Images

"The fastest design tool for bloggers"

Stencil lets you add text to any image from anywhere on the web.

Very similar to Canva, but the preference of some bloggers for its speed.  The free version is more limited, as you can only create 10 free images. There is also a limit on the number of backgrounds and images that you can use.

But good overall functionality.

Pablo

Pablo Create Social Media Images

"Design images for social media"

Easily create text over image for your social media shares.

It has a really simple interface and even has each social network image sizes pre-set. All you have to do is design and download.

It also plugs into Unsplash and Pixabay so has over 600K images ready to search. Rather than having to upload your own each time.

What About GIFs? If you're wondering how to find and use GIF in your newsletters, then check out this comprehensive email GIF guide . Covering where to find them and 12 great examples of using GIF in email.

Summary

Using images in newsletters works. People appreciate relevant visuals.

Finding the right newsletter image doesn't need to cost anything. In fact there is an abudence of amazing sites offering quality email stock photo for free.

We've outline 23 of the best in this post.

You can even use free online software to edit the image. Making it easy to get it just right for your newsletter template.


Ask the Author, Chris Bradley

I'm the founder and CEO of Publicate. I like to share my thoughts on content curation, content marketing and the journey of building Publicate.
Come say hi @briscradley

Email Newsletters
Publicate is the easiest
Newsletter creator
ever.
Try it now

< Back to all Articles