We have all been there as marketers, we think it might be a bright idea to send something colourful, something that unifies your brand. A picture is, of course, a fantastic tool to really personalise your email content, but using ONLY images can be a painful approach to achieving success in your email marketing endeavours…

Here’s 3 reasons you should never send image-only emails:

1 – Email Servers Block Images

“Only secure content is displayed” You have probably seen your fair share of this message, more-so in your spam folder. Email servers can block off images, and if that is your only content, your recipient isn’t going to appreciate having 10-20 seconds of their time wasted. Your images might be blocked, because:

  • They are stored personally and not in the public domain
  • The email server doesn’t recognise the file format
  • Firewalls are blocking images that are sourced from a URL

2 – Your Emails Can’t Be Traced

By only sending image-only-emails, your recipient don’t have any words to reference should they want to get in touch or retrace your communications with them, even if you have text within your images, this isn’t archived as a searchable reference. Sure, there’s the subject line, but having that followed by images is just setting you up to hit a roadblock of disappointment…

3 – Image Heavy Content Dampens Accessibility

How many of your email subscribers are visually impaired? How many use mobiles?  How many are using HTML blockers? You have to consider even the minorities in your subscriber list who might lose out as a result of only incorporating images in your email content.

Did you know over 70 percent of mobile users will delete an email that doesn’t look right, or isn’t displaying all of the content? This is why it is so important that you utilise your text content in order to sell to the reader. An image is great, but if it doesn’t have a useful description or caption, it’s an image with no meaning or relevance.

Here’s a great example Ringly – see how they have provided each image with a well labelled description (image alt text).

If you’re an online clothing retailer and you have a clearance sale, how are your recipients going to know this, if you’re just sending images? Caption the discounted price, tell them time is counting down, include a CTA (Call To Action) button – An image will always work if you give it the vocal support it requires.

Tips To Improve Your Emails – While Still Keeping Your Images

  • Implement the 60/40 rule, 60% text, 40% images – This will minimise the chances of suffering from deliverability issues.
  • Remind yourself of who your audience is – If you are selling B2B, text-heavy is probably going to work better. If you’re selling to a younger audience, or a mobile user-heavy market, an image focus is probably going to fare better.
  • Test to see how your emails look without images. If you know some of your audience have HTML blockers, amend your email content so that they still get a valuable experience, even without the image/s.
  • Remember, emails are opened more often on mobile devices than they are on desktop or web based applications. Therefore, when appropriate, use live text over images to optimise the experience for mobile users. This is a good workaround for businesses and brands that like to send ‘image-only-emails’ communications. But we’d always recommend 60/40 rule.

(References: Adestra – 70 percent of mobile users will delete an email that doesn’t look right)