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Content MarketingMarketing

Marketing E-mail Must Include Text, Should Not Be Only Images

Email Marketing before Images are displayed

Marketing e-mail with image only content

I receive many e-mails each day. You do too. A great majority of them are marketing e-mail from companies whose lists I have subscribed to in order to get their latest offers, or updates. I’ve noticed that some e-mails do not include text—They include images only without any text to support or explain them.  Many of the images are very appealing.  However, images alone don’t always work.

Many e-mail recipients and providers block the automatic display of incoming images.  This is wise because viruses or malware may be transmitted by images. Therefore, limiting the display of images can prevent the automatic  download of  viruses and malware.  Occasionally, after you decide you can trust the sender, you choose to “Always Display Images from this Sender.”

What do you see if marketing e-mail images are blocked?

Sometimes you see nada. Nothing. Blocked or non displayed images can leave your e-mail looking like a ghost town…there’s no one there…and no particular reason to want to see them. Look at the image at the top of this post (click the image for a larger view). Based on the e-mail subject, I know someone is hoping to see me on Easter Sunday, but unless I have trusted this sender, I don’t have any idea why I might want to display images.

This marketing e-mail sender prompts image display with Alt Descriptions

Alt Descriptions Used in Email

I think it would be be better if there were a paragraph of text at the beginning of the e-mail introducing the subject. Or an invitation to display images. Then I might be intrigued and choose to “Display images below.” Without text, I might just send this e-mail directly to the trash folder. Look at the example above (click the image for a larger view), it is far more intriguing because it invites me to display the images and gives me a reason to allow them. Notice also that there are Alt Descriptions used for the images which are not displayed. These tip me off to what the images are and make me want to see them. In the example above, both of these tactics are used.

When you insert images into your e-mail, be sure to locate and complete the Alt description field attached to the image. Different email marketing programs display them in varying manners, but they are all associated with the image properties at the time of insertion of the image.

So, the next time you are formatting a marketing e-mail, be sure to use Alt descriptions and to invite your user to display images. Your click through and open rates will increase, hopefully resulting in more sales, and isn’t that what you want?

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