Generally, emails that fall into the spam category will contain either all text or all images. If it is the latter, it’s because they try and hide their spammy copy in images so it doesn’t get picked up by spam filters.
Click here to read our PDF that gives you a list of the top spammy words to stay away from…
Here at Jericho we are all about best practices, deliverability and improving your open rates. So a good balance of images to text is the way to go. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to this, however an 80:20 ratio is always best. That means 80% of your email should be copy, and 20% images.
Click here to read the SEO Addendum on Text To Image Ratio. It very simply outlines a good text to image ratio.
The next thing to tackle once you have a good ratio of text to images, it to make sure you include alt text against all of the images in your email so that those people that don’t see the images by default can still read what the images are and get an idea of what your email is about. If your alt text is good this often gets the recipient to download the images just so they can see what you are talking about.
One main reason that we always include alt text is because so many email clients are blocking images by default now more than ever. A 2009 report from Merkle states that only 48% of email recipients see images automatically. This means that if an email campaign relies heavily on images, it’s probably not being read by over half of its intended recipients.
Campaign Moniter has a great post about image blocking in email clients - click here to read their post.
What this all means is that you have to be prepared for the images in your campaigns to be blocked automatically when recipients receive your email. Here are some key points to prepare your email campaign against image blocking:
- Begin an email with HTML text or logical ALT text. We can determine what a recipient sees in the preview pane or message window. This means we can optimise what they see when they are quickly scanning through their emails, and make sure they know what your email is about, and are intrigued enough to download the images and or open the email.
- Use ALT text. This seems so obvious to us, and it is best practice to include alt text against all of the images in your campaign, however there are many emails that still go out without ALT text.
- Use captions for contextually-important images. In lieu of proper support for ALT text across the board, we can add captions to images which are vitally important to the content of an email.
As a closing note, image blocking is something that we all have to take into consideration, especially now when so many email clients do not display images by default, it’s likely that they will either not display in most preview panes, or simply get junked/deleted.
The good news is that there are both practical and highly creative approaches you can take to this issue, most of which are easy to implement. If you have a favorite technique for ensuring your message gets displayed in any inbox, we’d love to hear it.