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It’s Time to Abandon Image-Only Emails

The idea of sending an image-only email may be enticing for a multitude of reasons – it’s easy to build, it stands out, and a picture is worth a thousand words. But the reality is that image-only emails often translate to a poor subscriber experience that can ultimately damage your overall brand reputation.

The evidence speaks for itself on why marketers should always avoid sending image-only emails:

  1. Image-only emails are impractically large. If your subscriber has slow internet connection or is trying to access your email on-the-go, it’s likely your email will load annoyingly slow – or not at all. Your window to captivate a subscriber is fleeting as it is, and slow email load time will only hurt your chances of engagement.

  2. Without text, your image-only emails are virtually unsearchable. Subscribers will only be able to search your email by subject line or sender without live text in email.

  3. Image-only emails don’t show preview text. Not only is seeing an image file confusing for a subscriber scrolling through their inbox, but it also fails to entice a user by not representing what is inside.

  4. Images aren’t always accessible to all subscribers. Visually impaired subscribers that rely on screen readers won’t be able to access your email. Subscribers using voice assistants won’t be able to read emails because they don’t always recognize ALT text. It’s also possible subscribers’ personal preferences or default settings block images, making your email appear blank.

  5. Image-only emails may be flagged as junk mail. Spammers are notorious for using images to hide the text of their email, so spam filters are more likely to stop them in their tracks.

Although you should never send an email that is entirely made up of images, it’s important to utilize the power of imagery in a healthy mix with live text. Play with background images, styled alt-text, smaller animations, and more. Add visual flavor to your emails while optimizing your emails for your entire audience.

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