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Text-to-image ratio- Large

Boost Deliverability with Optimal Text-to-Image Ratio in Emails

Category : Email Design

Let’s be part of an interesting conversation…

Alex: Hey! I’ve designed an amazing email campaign with lots of captivating images in it.

Sheldon: Well, That’s great!

Alex: But, it’s not generating the desired output. I’m skeptical about whether it’ll reach the inbox or not!

Sheldon: Seems you are wary of an email deliverability issue with your email campaign.

Sheldon: Seems you are wary of an email deliverability issue with your email campaign.
Do you know, most of the ISPs look through the keywords that indicate whether the email is spam or not? Therefore, if your email has a proper ratio of text along with the images in it; it would’ve surely made its way to your subscriber’s inbox.

Alex: So, do you mean to say that minimal use of text and hefty use of images have hindered the deliverability of my emails?

Sheldon: Absolutely!

A proper balance between images and text in the content of an email is what is expected by ISPs. Too many images trigger spam flags at ESPs. It’s all about text-to-image ratio email deliverability, dude!

Alex: What is the acceptable ratio of text-to-image in an email?

Sheldon: Best practice is to have 60/40 text-to-image ratio in your email.

60-40 ratio- HTML email template code

Alex: But, why should email marketers pay heed about maintaining a perfect balance between images and texts in email?

Sheldon:

Reasons to Maintain the Perfect Text to Image ratio in Emails

1. Spam filters don’t allow ‘image only emails’:

Spam filters don’t trust image-only emails. What if a big image is hiding a secret link to something totally different? Or, What if one huge image is used in order to hide some gross products or content? According to MAAWG, 85% of emails are “abusive emails”.

Spam- text-to-image ratio

2. Recipient’s experience:

What if your recipient has kept images off? At such times, the first glance of your email with only images would be completely lame. The only thing that’d be left in your email would be some red crosses.

Alex: Roger that! So, if I send an email that basically comprises of one large image, then it can be classified as spam?

Sheldon: Exactly! A spam email often comprises of 1-3 sentences with typically one link within it. And, it will be caught in the spam filters of the following email clients:

• Outlook 2007
• Outlook 2010
• Outlook 2013
• Google Apps

Alex: Geez! So, one can never send an email that is of 500 characters or less?

Sheldon: If you’re sending an email file of 500 characters or less, make sure you are adding a supporting image within that email. By doing so, the above-mentioned spam filters that will block your email will decrease from 4 to 3:

• Outlook 2007
• Outlook 2010
• Outlook 2013

Alex: Well, that means adding more images won’t brighten your chances of passing through all spam filters.

What does this Spam Terminator look at?

Sheldon: There are several points you need to bear in mind for your next email campaign:

 At least, 60% of text coverage
 Maximum 40% of image coverage
 Include alt tags in images
 More than 3 images in the page

While you are using an ESP, typically 2 images are required as ESP drops a tracking image in the email footer. This implies, it is not possible to send emails without images because of tracking image in the footer.

Alex: Hey I need,

Tips on how to make sure my text-to-image ratio emails are getting through

Sheldon: Well, here you go:

1. Use images to enhance your email message and not to hide content from spam filters. If you don’t do so, it will increase complaints with your subscribers, as well as enrage the admins of ISPs who come across your email messages.

2. If you have higher text-to-image ratio, make sure you are adding text to footer or header of your message. By this, you can remind your subscribers that why and when they have signed up for your email campaigns. The spam filter counts the characters and allocates 12px to each letter of your email message.

3. Alt tags can be your all time savior. Every time, when your image doesn’t load or the images are turned off; you can always bank on alt tags for simply displaying text in the place of an image.

4. Your ISPs want to see a balanced text-to-image ratio. There are some ISPs that are trying to scan images in order to read the keywords/content. But, some only read the text contained in the email. Hence, they are not able to see the CTA in your images. Due to this, it’ll not only make your email look spammy but will even prone ISPs to send it to junk folder.

5. Always avoid the “one image will do” concept. Sending out an email consisting of one large image is not a good idea. Especially, when you want to use more than one CTAs, it’s certainly not a good option. Moreover, using just one image won’t allow you to use multiple links within that image.

6. Bear in mind, there is no preview text for an image only email. If your email is comprising of only one image of big size, the preview text will show only the image file name and information regarding footer. Hence, there it becomes necessary to use text equivalent to image for it.

Preview- Email Deliverability

7. If your email is not having a balanced text-to-image ratio, your recipients will not be able to search your email after some time period. There might come time, wherein your recipient want to refer your email which has been lost in his/her busy inbox. Provide them that ease of comfort in searching the email by using more text in your content. And, there comes again the thumb rule of 60% text and 40% of images.

Alex: Oh! That’s amazing! One of the key aspect behind my deteriorating email deliverability is unbalanced text-to-image ratio in emails. Next time, I’ll make sure to practice all these tips in my email campaign and get through the spam filters.

So, this is how Sheldon came as a savior to Alex’s worsening email campaign situation. Are your email campaigns too not able to generate the desired deliverability? Stop believing on the taboo of “More images, better it will be”. Embark upon maintaining a text-to-image ratio and save your email campaign boat from sinking in the ocean of email marketing. Sail happily!

Have your own ideas to share? Or, a story on how you saved your email campaigns by proper text-to-image ratio? We are all ears. Bring it on!

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Kevin George
Kevin is the Head of Marketing at EmailMonks, one of the fastest growing email design and coding companies. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz, and breathes ‘email marketing’. He is a brand magician who loves to engage, share insights with fellow marketers, and enjoys sharing his thoughts on the latest email marketing best practices at EmailMonks Blog.

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