Email Marketing: Text vs. Images

Have you ever opened an email to a big blank nothing? Probably you saw a little icon that tells you there should have been an image… but it wasn’t loading for you. Ugh, what a waste of time opening that email.

Of course, you don’t want this happening when your readers open your newsletter. Perhaps you’ve got that all under control but, if not, keep reading.

Image Size Impacts Loading Time

The larger the image, the longer it’ll take to load when someone opens your email. And if it’s too slow, it may fail to load at all for readers using slower internet connections. I don’t mean the dimensions of the image (pixels) but rather the file size. The file size is impacted by the dimensions and also by the number of colours. When I first started doing email marketing, the max file size you were able to upload into a newsletter was 40KB (imagine!). Now you can upload larger file sizes but I still recommend keeping them as small as possible: under 100KB.

Every image that I insert into a newsletter gets compressed first to reduce the file size. Here’s the fast and free app I use every day:

Using Images via URL

Some apps offer the functionality to bring in images via a link to the image hosted elsewhere (like on your website). These are the ones that I often see fail to load. It could be because the original image has been moved or deleted, or the host is offline/slow. I always recommend embedding images directly into the body of your newsletter.

About Graphics and Text

We’ve all seen those large images that are made for print at 8.5″x11″ but then dismally adopted for email and social media. You know, lots of text… including all the details you need but so small you can barely read it (and can’t copy/paste). Best to include important details as text instead of on a graphic. Aside from being awkward for readers, anything like this has a big file size, well over what you want to use. And it results in the next problem…

Avoid Spam Filters

There are as many different types of criteria as there are spam filters but the image-to-text ratio is one thing that can impact whether your email makes it into each subscriber’s inbox. Best to keep that ratio at about 80% text and 20% images to ensure optimal deliverability and keep your sending reputation clean.

Last Words

Looking at “The Big Picture” is often a good thing… except when it comes to email marketing. For this, you need to deal with details if you want to reach and engage your subscribers.