5 Freebie Websites with Stellar Stock Images.

You need captivating images on your business’ website, blog or email newsletter, but like most of us, you’re not a professional photographer. Without visuals, it’s hard for readers to quickly gather a visual understanding of your content. But don’t fret! There are countless places on the web to get cheap, or even free, stock images to accompany your marketing content.


Here is our roundup of the 5 best websites for freebie stock images.


1. FreeImages.com

FreeImagesFree Images is exactly as it sounds. The site houses thousands of free images for you to download and use in your email marketing, on your website or blog, or in social media. All that is required is that you create an account. From there, you have access to their diverse range of quality images. You can search for images by typing a basic keyword search, or you can make use of the “Tags” tab, which takes you to a page full of commonly used words like “Business” or “Finance” that will direct you to images associated with those keywords.


2. Pexels.com

 

PEXELSThis site has some very impressive first-rate photos. Search for the type of image you need and click on the image you like. Then you can download images in a variety of sizes: original, large, medium, small, or you can choose the “custom” option and input your own dimensions. One feature unique to Pexels is their own Photoshop Plugin Subscription. It isn’t free, but it is super cheap at only $4 a month or $2 a month if you pay annually.


3. Pixabay.com

PixabayPixabay is another site with totally free images for you to use. Sign up with your email to start downloading images in a variety of sizes. Pixabay offers many high-quality photos as well as a large database of illustrations and vectors. If you’re only interested in illustrated images or vectors, you can click to browse only these types of images. You can also choose to explore “Editor’s Choice,” which offers the most sophisticated and quality photos. Furthermore, if you find several images that you like by the same photographer, you can choose to browse images only by this artist.


4. Stocksnap.com

 

StockSnapHigh-quality images and lots of them. What more can we ask for? Stocksnap is a no-nonsense site, pretty basic, but delivers what it promises. All images are provided by Creative Commons so there are no licensing issues, meaning you don’t have to worry about attribution. Every image includes the number of downloads it’s received and how many people have favorited it. This can help you decide on an image based on if you prefer photos others have already liked or if you want to steer clear of images that have been heavily used. If you make an account, you can keep a tally of your favorite images and use them whenever you’re ready.


5. Unsplash.com

UnsplashThe selection on this site isn’t as varied as the others, but this is a very aesthetically pleasing site full of dramatic images. The images are big and the overall layout of Unspslash is very simple and elegant, giving you the opportunity to browse their beautiful database of images with ease. Downloading is so simple that you barely notice it. If you like an image, just click the download button in the bottom right corner of the photo and the image instantly pops up on a separate page. The site has an incredibly user-friendly download process, but it requires that you resize the image on your own if you need different dimensions. If that’s the case, just save the image in Paint (or another image editor) and change the dimensions to your liking. Make sure you take a look at Unsplash’s “Collections” tab where you can peruse photos from categories.


Other Image & Design Resources

Canva and BeFunkyOnce you have all these great photos in your inventory, take it one step further by checking out ways to edit those images and create new, original graphics. Sites like Canva.com and Befunky.com offer free design tools to edit images and create things like newsletter mastheads, invitations, collages, social media images and more. Stay tuned for my next post to get even more tips on how to utilize these free graphic design sites and create show-stopping images for your marketing projects.

Improving Your Open And Click Rates

Improving Your Open And Click RatesWhat Are Open And Click Rates?

The open rate is a percentage that tells you how many successfully delivered newsletters were opened by subscribers. The click rate is a percentage that tells you how many successfully delivered newsletters registered at least one click.

Why Open And Clicks Are Important

Open and click rates can give you a good idea of how your newsletters are performing with a particular list. If an open rate is strong, it usually means your subject lines resonate with your audience. If your click rates are good, the message content is relevant to subscribers who open the newsletter. So, how do you know if your rates are good?

According to a leading email delivery source, the average open rate for the Real Estate industry is 22%. The average HomeActions subscriber far surpass this rate with an average open rate of 30%. (based on 3 million e-newsletters sent per month). HomeActions knows Content is King.

How To Improve Open Rates

A low open rate generally indicates:

  • Your subject line is not relevant or interesting enough.
  • Your member list is outdated or contains a wide variety of subscribers unrelated to your target.
  • You may be sending too many or too few campaigns​.

Test Your Subject Line

The best way to know what resonates with your subscribers is to try different things. An effective subject line clearly describes what’s inside your campaign, but you’ll want to test a few variations to find out what works best for your list.

Draft two subject lines that differ slightly, for example, “News you can Use for {date}” and “Homeowner Tips for {date}”. We recommend only testing one variable at a time, in this case the subject line, so that your report data is clearly linked to just one change. Then send out your newsletter one time using that subject line, then the next launch, choose the other. Then compare what subject line delivered better open rates. Keep testing/modifying to your get the results expected.

How To Improve Click Rates

Your click rate essentially tells you how many of your subscribers find your newsletter content useful. To improve your click rate, you’ll need to create content that’s useful to more subscribers. Try these suggestions:

  • Embed more links – your newsletter offers 6 personal + 3 social media links, use them all.
  • Insert a Banner from our Library then embed the URL link to take your reader to an interesting site (example-“What’s Your Home Worth?)
  • Include articles on your Open Houses and New Listings – then set a Real-Time Alert to get warms leads right to your Inbox.