Text Is Dead: Images in Email vs. Text

Woman in Mourning

Text is dead

No, I don’t mean every email you send has to be pure Emojii’s. Sometimes text is required to give context or extra meaning to your visuals (source: this sentence). That being said, often you can convey your meaning more efficiently with a smart visual than you could with the written word alone.



(Source: www.Everyvowel.com)

The truth is that humans have a shorter attention span than goldfish, and that isn’t going to be changing anytime soon. The average American worker is trying to be more effective and articulate, while managing a much bigger workload than we’ve ever seen in history.

We’re being pushed by necessity to make shorter and clearer emails that don’t waste the readers time and get straight to the point. We simply don’t have the time to waste—we must find the most efficient and effective form to communicate. Either writing emails or reading them; no one can digest an entire novella with every email.



Reduce the size and wordiness of an email using a simple photo or screenshot. They can be used to illustrate a point, a workflow, or even directions. Boil down your emails to the essentials and use visuals to get those messages across.

Image Creator: Nicole Hoover

Photo Credit: Nicole Hoover

The Big GIF

GIF’s are often disregarded and brushed off as jokes, but it’s time we take a look at the real value a GIF can bring to a conversation. They can show functional and digestible information, or they can show your cat doing a crazy jump over and over again to prove your cat is the best cat. You GIF however you want. As effective users of GIFs already know — humor and articulation do not have to be mutually exclusive.

GIFs are quickly becoming a mainstay in the way millennials communicate with each other. This new generation grew up completely in the internet’s shadow, and they do not disseminate information in the same way as older Americans. More than one-in-three American workers today are millennials. That percentage is only going to increase more and more as Millennials naturally become a larger percentage of the workforce over the years.

Still not convinced GIF’s are a thing? Giphy, a living database of approximately one kabillion memes, has an active user base of up to 82 million every month. That’s more than the size of the entire UK, or around double the population of California. Giphy is a database only—those numbers don’t consider all the other homemade memes flying around the internet.


While GIF’s can be silly and fun, it is definitely a form of communication that can save you a lot of time. To land a killer joke or to prove a point, a GIF is an efficient way to express yourself.


I Dream of Electric Meme

GIFs are effective, videos are great, but meme’s can do a man some good. While sometimes used to declare your love of cats, other times they can be utilized to affirm and support a coworker. As our work and social patterns converge, meme’s can be found for any occasion:











Consider this email chain where we discuss our excitement about an upcoming Game of Thrones episode via cat meme only:


Sure, we could have met at the office water cooler and shouted “Winter is coming!” at each other for thirty minutes each morning, but meme’s allow us to stay on task and work with the occasional micro-exchange of fandom.

While the silliness reaches prepawsterous levels, believe it or not – that is real conversation.  

I concede it’s not a particularly deep one, but that’s the beauty of the meme; convey a simple message as easily as possible.



Meme much? Got Gif gossip you need to share? How about just making a video to sum up a point? If you don’t already have Snagit, download the free trial. Snagit can help you create polished image and video creations with ease, then share them with the rest of us!

Posted in Tips & How To's
Casey Seiter

Casey Seiter is an Education Account Mananger for the Education Team at TechSmith.
His passions include reading, writing, and watching every episode of television available.