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Get the Most of Your Email Images With Alt Tags

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Jim Hitch of Emma email marketing has recently posted a series on making the most of your alt tags. This five part series addresses the issues faced with images not always loading in emails and how to set yourself up for the best possible results using alternative text (alt tag). Best practices are to set an alt tag for all of your images but Jim exposes various ways to continue to set yourself apart even when images don’t always load. Following examines the highlights from each installment of his series. In addition, see Jim’s full posts for additional insight and great visual examples that he has encountered regarding these items.

Five Great Ways to Use the Alt Tag:

  • Part 1 - Set an alt tag for all of your images within an email.When sending out HTML emails, it is always recommended to have an established backup plan in place. Since about half of the email programs out there don’t display images by default, the fallback is to rely on the alt tag that displays the alternate text that shows when the images don’t load.
  • Part 2 - Brand your message. Beyond the classics of the subject line and the from name and address, identify yourself by placing the brand name in the valuable top-left spot. This continues to communicates who you are and connects with the recipient, even without the help of images or your logo. When your logo does not display, have your text mimic the styling of your brand’s image. If you have special emphasis based upon capitalization or all caps, continue to stay branded even in your alt tag.
  • Part 3 - Add your offer in the alt tag. If you are providing a special offer in our email, ensure that is located withing the alternative text. Even if the images load, the recipient will be able to identify the offer and be more inclined to accept the call to action. In addition, if you can make your alternative text offer a hyperlink to another page with the offer this will continue to increase your chances of conversion.
  • Part 4 - Reinforce the emails theme by changing the color scheme. The common blue atl tag doesn’t have to interrupt the brand experience you’ve worked so hard to create. In fact, with some HTML knowledge, your backup plan can actually reinforce it. Mimic the feel of the image that is to be displayed in its place. If the image has text, mimic the font size, style and color to continue with the developed theme.
  • Part 5 - Ask your readers to load the images. Through your alt tag you can help increase your images loading by requesting the recipient to enable images to view pictures. Jim notes that he realized that sometimes the images aren’t just part of the message, they are the message.

Take your future emails to the next level by enhancing your images with alt tags.

Written by Adam Blitzer

November 11, 2008 at 4:19 pm

Posted in Email Marketing

2 Responses

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  1. Thanks so much for reading and spreading the message, Adam. Here’s to all email marketers making the most of their alt tags.

    Jim Hitch

    December 29, 2008 at 6:16 pm

  2. Absolutely. I don’t know how many corporate e-cards I got that showed up as one gigantic red X in Outlook (and/or Gmail) for me.

    Adam Blitzer

    December 29, 2008 at 8:47 pm

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