US Data Corporation Direct Marketing Blog

Email Marketing: A Balancing Act Between Images and Text7:00 am


By Melissa Cober

Email Marketing: A Balancing Act Between Images and TextImages are a great way to spruce up your email marketing; they make emails much more visually interesting than plain text, and often increase engagement metrics as a result. However, sometimes email marketers take this desire to design flashy emails too far, and end up turning the entire email into one big image. While these image-only emails may be very visually appealing, they also come with some big disadvantages that you may want to consider before jumping aboard the image-only email marketing train.

Why can too many images hurt your email marketing engagement? There are a few reasons for this. The main reason is that the majority of email providers initially block images for security purposes. This means that, when someone receives your email in their inbox, they will only see blank spaces where your images should be. They have to go through the trouble of enabling images for your email before they can view it properly. If all of your email content is contained within those images, then readers may not have any reason to enable images in the first place, since they don’t know what’s in it for them. This will decrease open rates and click-through rates on your email marketing.

Another factor to consider is that large images usually mean large file sizes, which translates into longer loading times for your email. Even if your images aren’t blocked, people may get impatient waiting for your email to load and move on to something else. Email users, especially those reading emails on mobile devices, are notoriously impatient, so fast loading time needs to be a priority for any serious email marketer. Large images simply aren’t conducive to this.

Finally, it is important to remember that, more than ever, people are reading emails on many different screen sizes, and different mobile devices interpret emails differently. For instance, iPhones resize emails to fit on the screen, so no scrolling is required; however, this also means that the text in your images will be much too small to read. Android phones, on the other hand, do not resize images, so the text may be readable, but people will have to scroll quite a bit to get the full message.

So, what can you do to avoid this dilemma? A good rule of thumb is to balance images and text in your email marketing. You don’t have to eliminate images entirely from your email marketing, but make sure that your entire marketing message is not contained in those images either. If you provide both text and images in your email marketing, then the text gives people a reason to enable your images and see what you’re all about. The text will also adjust automatically to be readable on different screen sizes.

Another thing you can do is add descriptive alt tags to your images. Many email providers allow readers to see an image’s alt tag before the image itself is enabled. This means you can use that space to entice people to enable images on your email; you can include any offers or discounts, product descriptions, or even your company’s slogan. The point is to not leave your readers in the dark about your email’s content.

To keep loading times down, try to include several smaller images in your email marketing instead of one very large image; an image with smaller dimensions usually results in a smaller file size. We generally recommend keeping all image widths at 600 pixels or less. Not only will this keep file sizes down, it will also ensure that your emails display properly across email programs. You should also try to use image formats that generate smaller file sizes, (a JPG or GIF is usually smaller than a PNG).

Ultimately, people will not read emails unless they feel it is worth their time and energy, and by designing your email creative as one big image, you are denying them the ability to evaluate its usefulness to them. As tempting as it can be to design very flashy emails, make sure you don’t shoot yourself in the foot by making that your sole priority. It is possible to design email marketing that is both flashy and utilitarian; striking a balance between images and text is key. By using the tactics above, you can design beautiful emails that will actually get read and clicked on. Happy emailing!

Image Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Search

Newsletter

Sign up for our free mailing list to receive our newsletter, special promotions, and more!

Follow Us

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ RSS Feed

Like Us on Facebook

Learn More About...

Email Marketing

Marketing Strategy

Direct Mail Marketing

Data Cards

Fun Marketing Facts

Mobile Marketing

Social Media

Happy Client Highlight

Work Tips

Recent Posts

5 Tips for Convincing Clients to Try New Marketing Strategies

Is Direct Mail Marketing Still Effective with Millennials?

Email Marketing Relevancy Is More Important Than Ever

5 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Email Marketing Guidelines

Marketing 101: What is Direct Marketing?

Archives

April 2017

January 2017

November 2016

October 2016

September 2016

August 2016

July 2016

June 2016

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016

February 2016

January 2016

December 2015

November 2015

October 2015

September 2015

August 2015

July 2015

June 2015

May 2015

April 2015

March 2015

February 2015

January 2015

December 2014

November 2014

October 2014

September 2014

August 2014

July 2014

June 2014

May 2014

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013

September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

August 2012

July 2012

June 2012

May 2012

April 2012

March 2012

February 2012

January 2012

December 2011

November 2011

October 2011

September 2011

August 2011

July 2011

June 2011