Don’t put all your Email Marketing Content in Images

Some legitimate email marketing senders heavily rely on HTML and images to get their message across. This is a dangerous practice, for several reasons:

  • Images included in the message bloat the message size, increasing your costs and irritating your prospects.
  • Images remotely loaded from your Web servers will not be displayed if the user is working offline.
  • Images remotely loaded from your Web servers are often not displayed by email clients, even if the user is online (in an attempt to improve privacy and reduce spam).

If you must rely on images, here are three tips for success. We suggest you use them all:

  • Always include a multipart/alternate plain text version of your message.
  • Don't burn critical text into the image -- use HTML text instead.
  • Add alternate text for each image, wherever appropriate; e.g.:
    • <IMG xsrc="URL for image containing text" ALT="Special Offer: buy one, get one free.">
    • <IMG xsrc="URL for image of laptop" ALT="(Picture of beautiful laptop -- load images to view)">

... Richi Jennings, with thanks to PC World Business, for reminding me how not to send email marketing messages.

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