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The problem of image-based newsletters: Cool but Spammy



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cool emails
Image-only emails are rather risky.  However, it’s also rather doubtful to say that it’s impossible to add them into your email marketing case. But why a majority of the brands ignore these images for newsletters fact? Maybe, they never dive into the pros and cons of image based newsletters deep enough to figure out what to apply in their practice with maximum use. Just look in your inbox. Are they so brave sending such newsletters or maybe they use some secret knowledge, hidden from the ordinary email marketer? Let’s find that out.

Well, it could be until today, because we are going to analyze all the pros and cons of using image-based newsletters in business.

What is an image-heavy email?

That is emails that are almost purely images with little text newsletters to no actual HTML text.

Actually, it is totally opposite to the MailChimp recommendation about the 80:20 text to image ratio. For example, Goby’s online-shop promo:

Inage-heavy newsletter example

Why everybody loves it?

  • Email Marketers and Designers – because the visualization of the newsletter content gives a freedom and space to realize any web design idea.
  • Subscribers – because it is a real pleasure to receive an email like this:

Images in the newsletter

The person who has been working over this Star Wars Undies campaign put a lot of effort to please you with the design of this email marketing image. It gives a feeling that this brand really cares.

There is a list of advantages for business:

  • Visually appealing emails increase conversions to your site.
  • Emails with images have a 42% higher click-through rate (CTR) compared to text-only emails.
  • Use of illustrations improves brand awareness.
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It’s obvious that eye-grabbing messages look and convert much better than boring plain text newsletters. But every beauty has a dark side, so let’s get acquainted with image-heavy email risks.

What is the danger of images overuse in email campaigns?

  • Spam filters can’t read images, so they suspect that there are some secret links or content hidden in the image only newsletters. This is why such a campaign can go into spam.
  • Subscribers can block illustrations displaying at their end (or it could be blocked by default in the email client settings). So, instead of the bright email they’ll see incomplete or completely blank message.

 

Blocked image-Only newsletters

 

  • Visual content takes more time to load. This also can be a serious issue for readers on a 2g – 3g mobile connection. People don’t like waiting. It leads to lower conversions and CTR.

But if sending an HTML email as one giant graphic is a mistake, why brands still do it?

Secret tips to stay creative using images in emails

There are obvious pluses and minuses of images of newsletters that you should consider before you start your email campaigns. The key to success is an understanding of spam filter functioning logic & requirements, and also some knowledge of behavioral patterns of your average user. Also, you may inquiry useful data/statistics/best practices from authority research in the field to come up with cool newsletters on your own. Here are also some  useful tips to consider:

  • There is no 100% proof that cool email newsletters go to the junk folder only because of the image-based content. In the previous article we wrote about the reasons why your campaigns may be flagged as spam.
    Just test your email campaigns, analyze the spam report and fix the risky elements for atomic beauty conversions.
  • Use images ALT text to describe the key points of your offer.
  • Create newsletter image with lightweight graphics formats no more than 5 MB:
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Images size in email newsletter

  • And the obvious one: Use background graphics and add HTML content in front of that image-based email (headlines, body copy, buttons, etc). In case if the image didn’t download, the text would be readable.

Now that you are aware of the basic pros and cons of newsletters and the images to use/not to use in your email campaigns to personalize letters and illustrate the content, free your imagination and impress subscribers with the bright mass mailing campaigns design made from scratch without any risk.

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Written by: Anastasia Sukhareva