Best Practices for Images in Email Marketing

don't attach images to your emailsWhen you send an email to your opt-in list, what are the best ways to handle images? How you manage images can strongly influence your email’s success. Make sure the images are inserted correctly,  and balanced with the right amount of text.

Avoid Attachments

Do not attach images to your email. Why?

  • Computer users have been trained to avoid attachments
  • Even if the recipient knows you, they are still told to not open attachments
  • Bulk emails with attachments can get filtered as spam
  • People do not know that image files are generally free from viruses

If you are using your regular email system (such as Outlook, Gmail, hotmail, AOL, etc.) to send out emails to your list, it may be difficult to tell whether the emailer will treat your images as attachments. Sometimes an email looks perfectly formatted on your screen, but when you send it, the sender or recipient’s email system chops it up and turns the images into attachments.

Instead of using blind carbon-copy, you should use a professional email marketing system to send out your emails.

Use Both Images and Text

Your email needs both text and images, in a certain ratio, to reduce the chance that it gets filtered as spam. One of the tricks that spammers have used is to put images in their emails with no text. They put in their images (a picture of text). This helps them get through the spam filters because they do not have any spam-triggering words in their email such as free, sex, weight loss, the brand names of certain prescription drugs, etc.

Professional email marketing systems include a spam test feature, which tells you whether your email is likely to be filtered as spam. These systems also tell you what is wrong, and sometimes how to fix it.

Be aware that images are turned off by default on many email programs. Gmail shows a blank white area, while Outlook shows boxes with an “x” in it. Without some enticing text, the subscriber is unlikely to turn on the images and see your email in its entirety.

Get Evidence

So how can we prove that what we are telling you is right? You can find out the answers yourself if you have access to email statistics. If you use a professional email marketing system such as Constant Contact or MailChimp, you will know:

  • how many opened the email and turned the images on
  • how many marked the email as spam
  • how many emails bounced (and you can quickly remove the bounces)
  • how many clicked a link in the email

If you sent your email as one big image with no text, you would not get the click statistics you need. You might be able to measure whether the subscriber clicked on the image, but you would not be able to direct them to more than one destination. Statistics of this type will help you discover who is interested in what, and how to approach them.

Use the right tools and image techniques to get the best results with email marketing.

About Wayne Akey

Providing ACH and credit card payment solutions guaranteed to save businesses time and money. You can find Wayne on Google +. A specialist in ACH Integration for software/ASP providers looking to emdbed payment processing capabilities. Read about Integration. View my LinkedIn profile here

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