Effective Use of Images in E-mail Marketing

Effective Use of Images in E-mail Marketing

Images are vital for emails, but they can also cause a negative performance. Learn how images can affect your email.

We all know image matters—including when it comes to e-mail marketing.

As important as an image can be for a marketing e-mail’s effectiveness, an image can also detract from the e-mail’s performance. Issues with e-mail image blocking and image file size can cause your e-mail to fall flat or even to never get delivered.

Images Often Blocked in E-mail

In Outlook, the dominant e-mail provider for businesses, displaying images automatically is turned off in the default settings.

What does this mean?

First, this means that many users will not be counted in your e-mail open rates, as e-mail marketing platforms use image pixels to know if a user has opened a message. (Read our article on the topic for the full story.)

Second, this means that a large percentage of your e-mail list won't see your e-mail’s design and, in some cases, won’t even see your e-mail. Some image-heavy e-mails get blocked by spam filters. Other image-focused e-mail marketing messages make it through to inboxes only to show up as a bunch of empty boxes. And a bunch of blank boxes doesn’t help your message—or your branding—get through.

< class="xs-mb bold">Adjust for Blocked Images in E-mail Marketing

To counter the image-blocking problem, ensure that your marketing e-mail has plain text as well as images, and that the plain text includes all your key message points. Keep your essential headings and text separate from your images. This way, if people can’t see your images, they will still get your messages.

Further, to help your e-mail appear as you intended and to improve your open-rate tracking, you should have the alt-text assigned to each image encourage readers to enable images for the e-mail.

What do we mean by “alt-text?” All digital images allow for descriptions to appear when the image does not show up. This helps people with slow connections and data limitations and helps people with disabilities as well. (People with disabilities have hardware and software that reads and interprets alt-text for them.)

For websites, alt-text often focuses on describing the contents of an image. In e-mail marketing, alt-text should ask readers to turn on images or should tease readers with what they will miss if they don’t have images enabled. E-mails that include product images or that include charts and graphs are easy to tease—and easy to get people to take action to see.

Watch Image Size

Large images can mean large file sizes—which can mean that users never get your e-mail.

Images with large file sizes can end up in spam folders and can make the e-mail load so slowly that the user clicks away before they see it. Further, some e-mail providers will truncate large e-mail messages, telling users to click a link to see the full e-mail in their browsers. (No surprise: Few people bother to do so.)

Safeguard against issues related to large images by optimizing all photos and graphics before loading them into your e-mail system. Aim for the combined file size of all images to total less than 100 kb

Don’t Let Image Issues Affect Your E-mail Marketing Performance

E-mail marketing is one of the most effective tactics available today. E-mail marketing is so important that FrogDog has included it as a key component for each of its marketing packages.

If your e-mails have deliverability issues, fewer people will see your message—and you can’t afford to spend time developing e-mail marketing that doesn’t perform.

Need help? Contact FrogDog to see how we can help you get your e-mail marketing to work for your business.

Posted: Aug 15, 2014
Updated: Nov 12, 2020
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