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Recently we launched the All-New Campaign Monitor because we saw a revolution in email marketing taking place right before our eyes. More and more marketers are pushing the envelope with email marketing design, sending beautiful and engaging emails. What makes those emails so captivating? Big, bold hero imagery.


All-New Campaign Monitor - big, bold hero imagery

The most engaging emails today have images that stretch edge-to-edge across different screen sizes. They use clear, compelling text over images with strong calls to action that motivate subscribers to act. As marketers continue to evolve their websites with modern, responsive design, they want their emails to do the same. Marketers want their emails to look like websites because marketers want to deliver a consistent and seamless brand experience across all digital channels no matter where, when or how customers choose to engage.

With the launch of the All-New Campaign Monitor, we unveiled new functionality to help you create stunning emails with our easy-to-use drag-and-drop email builder. Now your designs can flow edge-to-edge across thousands of screen sizes and devices. We know how important it is to get an image pixel perfect and that’s why we embedded image editing capabilities right into our email builder. Simply drop an image into your template and then crop, brighten, sharpen, and enhance the image to create professional-looking designs in minutes right from within the builder. You can also add text over images and call-to-action buttons over images to create modern, beautiful email designs and drive more engagement.

We hope you like what you’ve seen in the All-New Campaign Monitor. If you haven’t had a chance to see the new features in action yet, log in and check them out! Not a Campaign Monitor customer? No worries, you can create a free account in a snap.

Here are a few tips to get started:

How to create big, bold imagery in your email campaigns in a few easy steps

1. Log into your Campaign Monitor account and select “Create a new campaign” in the upper right corner (instead of copying a previous email). Once you’re in the email builder, add a new section to your email. You can create a hero image using any of the section layouts. For this example, we’ll select the single-column layout.


All-New Campaign Monitor - big, bold hero imagery


2. Click anywhere on the new section and you’ll see the left sidebar update to display Section Settings.

All-New Campaign Monitor - big. bold hero imagery


3. Under the Background and Border section in the sidebar, add your new background image. Make sure it’s wide enough to look great across different screen sizes. Update your background color to match your design. Since some email clients don’t load background images this ensures your subscribers will see a background color that’s on brand. Note: It’s always a good idea to run an Inbox Preview Test before sending to see how your campaign will display across different email clients.


All-New Campaign Monitor - big, bold hero imagery


4. Under Layout and Spacing header in the sidebar, select the full-width layout.


All-New Campaign Monitor - big, bold hero imagery


5. Customize your headline and text using our inline editing features. You can also save your headline as an image file and drop it into the builder on top of your background image. Every good email has a clear call to action. With our new button customization options, you can modify your call to action buttons to match the look and feel of your brand. Adjust the spacing to make sure everything looks pixel perfect.


All-New Campaign Monitor - big, bold hero imagery


6. Lastly, preview your email on mobile and voila, you have a beautiful email campaign with big, bold hero imagery in just minutes with no coding required.


All-New Campaign Monitor - big, bold hero imagery

Wrap up

Now you’re ready to give it a try and make your email campaigns pop with engaging hero imagery that will blow the socks off your subscribers. Stay tuned for more All-New Campaign Monitor pro tips in the coming weeks.

  • Thomas Morrison

    I like the way you are making big, user-friendly improvements to your editor so anyone can create great content with no coding knowledge required. For those of us who know a bit of code, it would be awesome if we could add html blocks and edit them in real-time (i.e. you would see how your campaign is changing as you edit the html).

  • Immanuel Debeer

    Has this been rolled out to all users? I can not get the background to go full width…

  • Behrooz Saeed

    Big hero images with lovely overlaid text is fantastic but we were under the impression that some quite common email clients (namely the dreaded Outlook) don’t support background images so it wouldn’t work for those? Do you guys know something we don’t? Please do share if you do.

  • marshapearson

    LOVE the idea – but mine seems to only align to the left, so it is especially unattractive on mobile. Would be nice if I could opt to center the background image.

  • Brigitte

    Hi Thomas, glad to see you’re enjoying the improvements in our email builder! Thanks for the feedback about adding HTML blocks into the builder–that’s a great suggestion. I’ve added it to our feature request log.

  • Brigitte

    Hi Immanuel, yes, it has been rolled out. Try selecting the “Create a new campaign” button in the top right corner and then selecting one of the Featured templates (rather than copying a recent email) to see all the new functionality. We’ve rebuilt the template designs in the library to a new, more powerful template, which will give you much more flexibility with our drag-and-drop builder. Once you’re in a new template, click anywhere on the background image and you’ll see the left sidebar to update to display Section Settings. You’ll be able to make the image full-width under the Layout and Spacing header. Hope that helps!

  • Brigitte

    Hi Behrooz, unfortunately some versions of Outlook don’t display images by default or show background images (we really wish they would). I’d recommend selecting a similar or on-brand backup color for your background. The key is to make sure that the text color and background color are different so your copy will display. For example, don’t have white text on a white backup background color. I always like to run an inbox preview before sending so I can see how the email will display across different inboxes.

  • Brigitte

    Hi Marsha, happy to hear you’re liking the new features! When thinking about which hero or background image to use, I typically try to select an image that has content on the left and leaves enough space to add text above it or is a little more abstract so text displays well on top of the image, even when in mobile preview. In the example above there’s plenty of blue sky to allow for a big headline to display above the car. Other times I’ve also used the new image editing capabilities to lighten, darken or blur a background image to make the text really pop.

  • Suzanne Sheridan

    When I import a hero image to full-width, I am only seeing a tiny portion of the image which only increases in size when I add text to it – what is the recommended image size?

  • Brigitte

    Hi Suzanne, glad to see you’re checking out the new features! You want the image large enough to look good on larger screens while also looking nice on smaller screens. I’ve found images that are 1280 – 2000 pixels wide often work well. You can choose to repeat the image or not in the left sidebar. I also like to think about the height of the image in relation to how much text I plan to include. If you want to show more of the image around the top and bottom of your text, try adding Spacers from the content tiles and then increase the spacer pixels to show off more of your image. You could also select a more abstract or patterned image, similar to the hero banner in this blog post.

  • Lisa Jeffries

    Hi Brigitte! Are you all optimizing the image size rendered based on device accessing the email? It seems like a 2000 pixel image could take a long time to load on a mobile device with a poor connection, for example. Thanks for the enhancements – can’t wait to get in and try it myself!

  • Tim Wilkinson

    This new feature is ALMOST awesome. I’m surprised that with the growth of mobile, the edge-to-edge feature doesn’t work well on mobile. For example, we are a skiing company. So we have lots of great images. On desktop a photo of a skier descending a steep slope with powder looks great…but then in mobile all you get is text with a background of white or blue and noone knows what it is! A solution is how our website renders on mobile (bellacoolaheliskiing dot com)….there’s a big background header image with text overlaying and then if someone is viewing on a small device, the image re-sizes and the over laying text becomes a text box underneath the image. This works and looks great! And if Campaign Monitor could do the same, customers will be very stoked no doubt you’ll see an increase in usage.

  • Megan

    Not having much luck with this. I’ve tried resizing images to be between 2000-1500 pixels, and it still only shows a small portion of the image i’m trying to upload. Not really sure what i’m doing wrong.

  • Megan

    Here is another example:

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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