All About Email - The Last Word in Email Publishing

Monday, April 14, 2008

Making Images Work

I get around 30 email newsletters every day. Most have amazingly high image to text ratios. Many have no alt text at all, and of those that do, the majority have banal descriptions such as image of whatever, or even worse the image file name.

I feel sorry for the companies who are creating their own designs, or whose agencies are too lazy to learn the fundamentals of email marketing.

Whatever numbers you believe about images disabled, we all know it is a growing percentage of our databases.

So Alt Text must be used. But not just any old alt text. Plain and banal descriptions are unlikely to engage a reader enough to make them enable images. Crafting Alt Text is copywriting skill in its own right.

If images are disabled, you want compelling text which makes the reader wish to see your images. Next time you receive an email newsletter, think how you could have improved the alt text – what might make you want to see the image?

Alt Text has one other use as well - as a “hover caption” – and what better way to annotate your images and build on their marketing message?

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