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The problem of image-based newsletters: Cool but Spammy

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Image-based email
Image-only emails are rather risky. But why a majority of the brands ignore this fact? 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?

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

What is image-heavy email?

That is emails that are almost purely images with little 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 efforts to please you with the design of this offer. 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.

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 the lower conversions and CTR.
Read also:  Top 3 Tips for Writing Engaging Marketing Emails

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 is no 100% proof that email goes 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.
  • Use images ALT text to describe the key points of your offer.
  • Create emails with lightweight graphics formats no more than 5 MB:

Images size in email newsletter

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

Free your imagination and impress subscribers with the bright mass mailing campaigns design without any risk.

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Written by: Anastasia Sukhareva