E-mail Design: 23 Percent ‘Unintelligible’

A new study from the E-Mail Experience Council turned up this frightening fact: e-mail from 23 percent of the retailers reviewed was “completely unintelligible” when viewed in an inbox.

The reason? When designing e-mail marketing messages, marketers overlook the fact that images are blocked, by default, for approximately one in two e-mail users. The e-mail council points out that workarounds — namely the use of HTML text and images — are not sufficiently being used in e-mail design.

A Broken Image From My Inbox:
Email Design.jpg

Need further proof? Here’s one message from my inbox, right.

The survey of 472 marketing executives, sponsored by SubscriberMail, also found that 47 percent of the respondents had taken action as a result of image blocking. Those actions include incorporating a “click to view” image link in the upper portion of the e-mail or adding alt tags.

Why results can marketers see if they optimize messages for image blocking? Jeanniey Mullen, executive chairwoman of the Email Experience Council, points out that e-mail marketing current generates an estimated return on investment of $48 for every dollar spent. If messages are optimized, she said estimates show the return could climb to $53 by increasing the open rate, clickthroughs, and conversions.

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