There is nothing like opening an email on your computer or phone and seeing the following screen:
The average person received 90 emails per day in 2016. As digital marketers, we want to ensure that our messaging stands out in the crowded email-marketing space. Unfortunately, email marketing messages such as the above, that rely on only images and no words, are far more likely to miss their mark. Unless the email has a subject that has captured my attention, this email would immediately get deleted. In fact, I might even take the extra minute to unsubscribe.
Using an image is a great way to grab attention in your email marketing, but adding text content that supports the image is a best practice. That way, if your image doesn’t display correctly in your recipients’ inboxes – showing only a message to “right click here to download image” – they still will have an idea what your message is about.
You are selling yourself and your company short by not including any text-based messaging along with an image in your email marketing content. By taking a shortcut and using only images, more of your email recipients will unsubscribe from your email marketing database.
By balancing the image-to-text ratio in your email marketing messages, however, you will create content that engages more readers. For example, take a look at this Netflix email marketing message:
Netflix has included a large, attention-grabbing image at the top of the email, and below, they have added text content that supports the image. The image immediately presents the promotion, and the text content provides more insight. Even if you don’t “load the images” for this email, you will still understand the message. At the bottom of the message, Netflix add two action buttons (if you need help constructing an effective call-to-action, check out our recent blog post).
Below are a few email marketing best practice tips:
- Test, test, test, test, and do another test before you schedule or send your email blast. I can’t tell you how many emails I receive and just ask myself… Why? Twice last week, I received emails that were either mis-formatted, missing images, or contained broken links. Sure, everyone makes mistakes, but these were very simple things that could have been avoided if a round of testing was incorporated into the email marketing process as a quality control measure.
- Make sure you optimize your images. People don’t have the patience to wait for large images to load in an email. A particular daily email publication that I follow often features vintage artwork and vintage graphic design images of historical significance, but it sometimes takes 2 minutes for the entire email to load. Make sure you are saving your images so the file size is less than 50kb. That will ensure that they load more quickly for your recipients.
- Test on multiple platforms. This is something that we do in-house at Furia Rubel, where some of us work on Macs and some of us are on PCs. Sometimes there is a world of difference between what you see on the screen and what your coworker sees. You can also subscribe to a platform like Litmus, where you can test and view different platforms and versions all in a simple interface.
The appropriate balance of images and text ensures that your recipients are more engaged in your marketing messaging and are more likely to click-through your call-to-action links.