Anthropologie Emails: Enabling Required

Isn’t this a great email? Well, I really like it. It’s visually appealing and packs a lot of punch. It’s playful, easy to understand, mirrors the website navigation and it offers free shipping!

But…what if the email looks like this?

When I opened my inbox, “Exhibit B” is what I saw. No words, just some big gray boxes. I love you Anthropologie and your emails rock. My point is images look great…when they work.  But the reality is that your email is likely going to look like “Exhibit B” for many subscribers.

Many email clients, such as Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail, protect users from spam and viruses and block images by default. Research shows subscribers often scan emails first and then either delve into the content, turn on the images or delete the email. If there’s no content, subscribers with disabled images get nothing and have little reason to turn the images on.

Advances in technology usually fix design roadblocks like this. But with people on the go, mobile phone applications have made email images less accessible. Subscribers on text-only mobile devices don’t have the option to turn images on, so they must be enticed by the glory of content alone.

So, should you can all images? I don’t think so. I believe there is a “healthy” amount of images for email newsletters. Nixing them all together makes the email boring. Using a beautiful single image design (“Exhibit A”) or many images scattered throughout the content may be visually appealing on your screen but isn’t guaranteed to translate well.

As tempting as it might be to use images as content holders, I think it’s best to keep your message in HTML text. A healthy amount of images ensure the email looks good whether the images are on or off. The images should compliment the content and not be the star of the show. It doesn’t mean your email has to be dull looking, you just need to find the right balance and leave the fancy stuff for your website.

The bottom line is that you should include enough HTML text that subscribers can understand the email sans images.

If you need help finding a “healthy” amount of images for your email marketing campaign, want a total re-haul or are just starting out in the chaotic world of disabled images, contact us and we’d be happy to help.