I’ve bumped into an enewsletter that sends as a single image file (really, that’s it*). So I poked around to find some facts/tips to back me up before “going in.” I automatically went to @KarlynM‘s blog and found:
- Confusing what works for YOU with what gets results
- The revised Commandments of Email Marketing
- Email Basics
I also grabbed “5 tips to ensure your readers can read your HTML e-mail messages” from @hacool who also mentioned that Mozilla Thunderbird is great for HTML email builds.
A quick google for “image blocking” lead me to a post on Campaign Monitor that says 30% of recipients do not even know how to enable images. By default, Gmail, Yahoo!, Outlook and AOL have images turned off until the user manually changes this preference. The post included this nice little paragraph:
Avoid Image-Based Emails
Again, this is something which should seem obvious. But image-based emails are often practiced as a simple, easy method of delivering a pretty design irrespective of the rendering circus among the array of common email-clients. When we ponder image blocking as part of the rendering equation, it’s easy to see how an image-based email could be completely destroyed with a single preference. Furthermore, this doesn’t take into consideration file sizes for mobile/dial-up recipients, accessibility for those visually impaired or the HTML-to-text ratio that popular spam filters apply with their algorithms.
In summary, we should be giving serious consideration to image-blocking and what we can do about it. It’s natural and reasonable why people disable them, but with the right approach we can improve the experience for our subscribers.
So I am sticking with the best practice that seems echoed throughout: design your email campaign so that it is still clear and meaningful without its images.
*There is a fine print text footer, but it doesn’t help.