Plan Your Emails For Images Turned Off

Images Turned Off By Default 95 Percent Of The Time!

Are you designing your emails accordingly? Probably not. One of the top design mistakes email marketers make is creating an image-heavy concept or one that cannot be recognized unless images are turned on. If your call-to-action or primary message is embedded in an image, you are guilty of this as well! Take the retailers below as example of what not to do. Each has an indecipherable message with images turned off which, remember, is the default for most email clients.

The first in each case is what I see when I open the email (images are not enabled, by default). The second is what I see (ahh!) once I turn my images on!


DSW: Before


DSW: After Images Turned On



Anthropologie: Images Turned Off


Anthropologie: After Images Turned On



Victoria’s Secret: Images Turned Off in Email


Victoria’s Secret: After Images Turned On

All 3 have visually-appealing designs and effective messaging; however, none take the images-off scenario into account.

At WhatCounts, we recommend that you stray away from having one big image make up your email template. Furthermore, we recommend that you include calls-to-action both in and outside of the imagery. Finally, should your design have many images or just one, be sure to include informative image ALT tags.

Image ALT tags can be designated within the HTML code and they serve as a description for the image that may not be appearing for all users. In the case of all 3 examples above, if the images included descriptive/compelling image ALT tags, I may have an idea of what the image would include; I may be enticed to download the images.

So, to recap, here are 3 tips to avoid the “white blah effect”:

1. Avoid emails which are made up of one large image
2. Include strong calls-to-action inside and outside of the email’s imagery
3. Add an image ALT tag to every image in your design

It’s as easy as that! Happy emailing.

Lindsay McFadden
Director, Campaign Production Services


More to explore...

Ready to See WhatCounts in Action?