The Pros and Cons to Using Images in Your Emails

Often times when a website visitor is signing up for emails, they have the option between HTML and text. HTML can do so many things that makes plain text look just boring. It’s most attractive asset is the ability to incorporate images in your emails. But should images be part of your email? Here is a list of pros and cons.

The Cons:

Images are less secure and this disadvantage is big one; images are more likely to trigger spam filter due to the security risk. And that can lead to lower delivery rates. Due to the security risk, some large webmail services will strip the HTML from emails.Some savvy users are aware of the risks with images and will turn off images in their email preferences, which mean in some cases your email, could show up as a blank page. Image filled HTML messages take more time to load for the recipient and they take more time to format and test than plain text.

The Pros:

Images make a message more attractive to the recipient’s eye and HTML adds options like layouts and columns that text simply can’t. You can really let your businesses creativity shine through. Including images creates branding opportunities that are completely missed when using text.  You can present links as more interesting images, those compelling image links will lead to more click throughs. And even though many webmail clients will strip HTML from emails initially, they do offer a pop up or banner that asks whether the user wants to view the images and HTML. Images and HTML emails are also easier to track and receive statistics from.  Text can be tracked it usually means including long, unsightly tracking links. Users block images because they have come to distrust them, but if you give your recipients good reason to trust and value what you are sending them, they will likely allow your HTML messages to be received.

This is something your business needs to evaluate as what is good for one may not work for another. Your business’s target audience may thrive on text emails, or vice versa. The bottom line is this; text email may be safer but, they will most likely have much lower click through rates. And at what point do you sacrifice safety for click-throughs and response rates?

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