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How To Design Your E-zine For "Images Off"

Apr 15, 2008
Many internet service providers and email clients now default to displaying html messages with the images turned off. Up to 50% of your readers will never see any of the images embedded into your e-zine, but that doesn't mean they can't have a great user experience.

Just follow these simple tips for designing your e-zine messages for "images off":

1. Take advantage of HTML. Even if your readers have their images turned off, your html will still display, so you can design a beautiful message with colors and fonts that contains no images at all.

2. Present your text as text. Instead of creating a button that says "click here", simply use text. Not only is it easier, but all of your readers will be able to see your links.

3. Present your images as text. Maximize the alt tags with all of your images so users who can not see the image will still understand its message. Make sure your alt tag tells the whole story. Instead of "click here" say "Save 45% on our new info product before November 15". Not all email clients display alt tags, but it's worth the extra effort to maximize their use for those clients that do.

4. Use images sparingly. Analyze your message with an objective eye and eliminate any images that are not necessary. Not only will your message look better, but your delivery rate might improve.

5. Don't forget to specify a height and width for each of your images. If you leave out the height and width, some email clients will display your broken image as a 1 pixel x 1 pixel square, and that could throw off your entire layout.

6. Host your messages on your web server and include a link to the hosted version within the email itself. Some readers would like to see your images, but they either don't want to or don't know how to turn the images on in their email client.

7. If all else fails, ask your readers to whitelist you. This is most effective if you make the request immediately after the visitor subscribes to your list. Consider adding directions on how to whitelist on your subscription thank you page.

Time to implement: Designing an e-zine for images off does require a little more thought and creativity, but once you get the hang of it, it won't take much longer than it takes to design your current email messages.
About the Author
Karen Scharf offers several whitepapers, free reports and checklists, including her FREE Can-Spam checklist and FREE email pre-flight checklist to ensure your emails get delivered, get opened and get read. Download your copies at http://www.ModernImage.com.
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