At SharpSpring Mail + marketing, we get many newsletters both from clients of ours as well as through private subscriptions. We’re in the email marketing service business – so we better stay on top of it! If you have a newsletter you’d like us to look at and run our critical eye over it, let us know.

Recently, our country manager in Spain has made us aware of a newsletter he received from IKEA, an international home products company, which highlighted the importance of considering the use of images in email marketing.

In IKEA’s case, the subject line was: A full colour surprise. So, intrigued, he opened it in his Gmail Inbox. Only to find…  a grey email  with no text or images:

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When you create an email newsletter which just consists of one or many big images, it is highly recommendable to use the ALT description of your images which you can add inside the editor. This way, your readers can select to have the images downloaded, but if they choose not to, at least they can see from your ALT description what your core message is.

Never assume that the recipients of the email campaign will press “Show Images” or “If you have trouble viewing this email click here (to view it in the browser).” Better be prepared; communicate to the reader what to do, by inserting ALT tags for images.

The most popular mail programs such as Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook, MSN, Yahoo,  have images disabled by default, which means a large percentage of subscribers may experience the problem of not seeing your message in full. On a mobile phone, users can also select to have images downloaded by default, or only on request. Plus, if they’re big, they take a long time to load, which might cause readers to delete or navigate away from your email newsletter before they’ve even really seen it.

Bet you’re dying to see what that colourful newsletter by IKEA actually looked like? See here:

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  • Author: maryka.burger

  • Maryka has worked across multiple industries ranging from hard news journalism to digital tech companies and advertising. She is an expert at building online presence, and offers a wealth of knowledge on digital marketing, social media and automation trends to agencies and digital start-ups.