This promotional email landed in our inbox. A travel agency wants to seduce me into investing in a holiday home. It’s a message with a clear goal. The ROI will also be easy to measure afterwards. The only problem is that the message is almost entirely composed out of images. Have a look at our remarks.
If you really want to create a message with images-only, you need to make sure that you encourage readers to download the images when they don’t have them turned on by default. Otherwise you will miss out on a part of your audience.
1 It’s written in the email marketing bible and we like to point it out again and again. Recognition of your brand is one of the biggest priorities in email marketing. That happens here too. In the Alt tag this turns into flat text ocfourse. But the information is not exactly the same. It was a clear choice to go for the essentials. It should also be seen in one single glance. We will make a little remark, if they opted for a somewhat larger font, the name of the group would have been on two lines, just like the real logo.
2 The subject line is repeated immediately after the logo. By playing with the font is the version without images is almost identical to those with the images turned on. Only, it that still necessary? Just above, the same text is also already included in the message. Not as an image this time, just as text. It is clearly targeting the email clients that display the very first line of text – the preheader – to complement the subject line. Only they don’t really reach that goal. Repetition is a first problem – don’t forget that this text was also used for the subject line – and it’s not even the first line of text. The very first sentence refers to the web version of this email message. Finally, the text is aligned on the right. When reading the alt-text version this is still clear, it reads like one sentence. In the version with the images a white patch with text grabs attention… So it could be possible that I look directly at the slogan below on the left, while missing the text in the blue box on the right.
3 The text with white background – we now look at the version with images first – is the commercial story, the slogan as it were. This has been well taken care of. Not more than three lines, about three-quarters of the width. Just what a good eye can handle without problem. A short phrase. The key words are in bold. These eye-catchers are ready for scanning readers. If we look at the version without images on the left, we see that the exact wording was not included this time. Only the key words – the bold on the right – were included in the alt-tag. An alt tag can never replace your message completely. Therefore it is wise to opt for the key words only.
4 A clear and visible call to action, that’s clearly what they’re going for here. A button in the shape of a circle in a good contrasting color. It is an eye catcher in the rest of the image. They also wanted to give more value to the CTA: The word “plus” is placed in a larger and bolder font. Its purpose is to give the reader a stronger feeling that extra info or benefit is right around the corner. The CTA on the left is repeated textually in the alt-tags, but in two boxes. Probably not because the author really wanted to do that, but a table in html simply has its limits.
5 Before we get to the CTA, there are still a couple of arguments listed. Lists in email messages usually work well for scanning eyes. If you were to read the message again – do the test – with only the logo, the subject, the bold words and this list, and you end with the CTA, you will have the complete message. It’s a pity that the actual message is make more complicated by the small print which is being referred to by the little numbers next to the text. This is often too confusing.
It would be better to start talking about the fine print on the landing page. It also allows you to go deeper into the message you’re trying to tell. We also noticed that those numbers aren’t included in the alt-tag of that element. Have a look at the list items: they are split up per row. We first thought that they did this to put a different link on every argument. But on every single element in this email, the same link is being used. That would be the registration form where you need to fill out your contact data. The extra information that is listed don’t have a link on them at all. It would have been better to use different landing pages with extra information about every topic, with the same form on the right.