Adding images to email, is obviously very desirable from a marketing perspective, as they add significant impact to newsletters. However, with an increasing number of email clients blocking images by default, their inclusion has always meant the battle to get them seen in your recipients inbox. This is a battle that gets ever harder as more and more clients block images by default, so we thought it would be worth revisiting the issue. First of all, we though it would be good to give an up to date picture of the situation, and to this end, have found an interesting post on the Campaign Monitor website:
Image Blocking in Email clients
Of Particular interest is that fact that they list the current status re-image blocking for all the major email clients.
The post does go on to give some innovative (if slightly extreme) ways to get around this, including converting your images to a matrix of HTML color blocks (Think 80’s video games and you will get the idea of what’s possible!).
More realistically, this issue need not cause too many sleepless nights if you follow the following simple rules:
- Don’t use image only emails as all your recipient will see is an empty box.
- Make sure the message is clear even without the pictures (Use the pictures to enhance rather than deliver the message).
- Make sure you fill in the ‘alt tags’, as these will display instead of the images until the images are downloaded.
- Use cascading style sheets (css) to style alt tags to give them more impact. (There is more on this in the Campaign Monitor post.)
- Encourage people to add you to their address book, as many clients, including outlook will display images by default if the sender is in the address book.
Most importantly, make sure your recipients value your messages by keeping them relevant & interesting, that way they are more likely to click the “download images” button, and get the full benefits of your design efforts.