Image vs. Text Email Marketing

What's the big deal with image emails vs. text?

Will Evans

Image vs text email templates, which option is right for you?

Before choosing either text- or image-based templates, brands should run test campaigns with both.

This is done in order to see which option their customer base is most receptive to.

Though not absolute, we have seen some correlation between the metrics (open rates, click-through rates, unsubscribe rates) for image-based templates and certain industries.

We’ve noticed that brands that rely heavily on aesthetics tend to have more success with image-based templates.

An example of this being the fashion industry.

Our assumption is that brands that require more education and nurturing are more likely to have better results with text-based templates.

... but remember testing is key!

The tips and tricks you need to grow your email + sms revenue, direct to your inbox.

The question of whether to use text- versus image-based templates depends on the nature of the product or service.

Understanding the essence of the product and it's core offer, will help a brand settle on the right template.Text-based templates typically have higher open rates because they have less HTML.

The amount of of HMTL code in an email, and how long it takes for an email service provider to render it, can have an effect on inbox placement and deliverability .

When an email contains less HTML code, less processing for rendering is required.

As a result, these messages can sometimes receive better inbox placement.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that all text-based emails will automatically find their way to the customer’s inbox.

But all other factors (server health, compliance, etc.) being held equal, text-based emails tend to have better inbox placement and, consequently, higher open rates.While text-based emails typically have higher open rates than their image-based counterparts, they don’t necessarily command higher click-through rates "CTR".

If you've been sending more image based emails and then suddenly switch to text based emails, it might confuse subscribers.

Some brands also bury the call to action link deep into the email copy on text based emails.  We almost always recommend putting a call to action in the first few sentences to help boost CTR. It depends on the brand and the relationship that brand has with the subscriber, but we have noticed sometimes text based emails have higher spam and unsubscribe rates.

We think this is sometimes directly correlated with these emails having a higher inbox placement and subscribers might become more surprised that an email is in the inbox.  Thus, they quickly mark the email as spam or unsubscribe.

A good rule of thumb is to slowly role out text based emails to highly engaged segments (14 day engaged, 30 day engaged etc.) and then monitor the results.  If spam & unsubscribes look OK, then you can broaden out the segmentation.

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