For email marketers, spam filters are annoyingly efficient and at many times, overzealous at their job of separating relevant messages from junk. There’s much ado about creating email campaigns that get past these virtual gatekeepers, with techniques ranging from avoiding select keywords and phrases, when best to send emails and how best to describe the message subject. What many marketers fail to acknowledge however, is the text to image ratio in the message body.
Outlook’s Junk Filter can cause major issues for campaigns when it comes to message with images. Default settings on Outlook don’t resolve images which is not only an inconvenience but also increases the risk of your audience not getting your message. Outcome? Recipients simply delete the message.
Spam filters have gone beyond just detecting key words and phrases in emails, forcing spammers to insert their content in images. Filters in turn have been designed to be suspicious of image-heavy messages. As a rule of thumb, emails must not be composed of over 40% percent image coverage. Text on the other hand, must be at least 60% larger or more prominent than images.
Other particulars email marketers need to take note of when it comes to images in emails include the number of images in a message, which should not exceed three, the web host of these images, which must be credible and the layout of these images, which should not be touching. Large images are also a major trigger of spam filters, so make sure you make clever use of banners instead.
Finally, be careful when using image banners to fill the top of message headers. Send yourself a test and think of what your customer or recipient will see if images are disabled in their mail client.
- Does the message clearly show who is talking to them and what it’s about, despite the lost images?
- Is there sufficient content to encourage action like click-thru or further reading?
- Does it LOOK like Spam?
Also, remember that despite having standards, HTML code is an imperfect medium as it’s interpreted differently by different mail clients and browsers. Too often we imagine (and obsess) over how our message looks to the recipient in a perfect environment. Reality is that the environment they will use is rarely perfect so your message needs to be adaptable yet clear.
Take a look at the example below from Google. If anyone has the money and the smarts to do whatever it takes they have. Enform Automailer has Spam and mail client test capability built in to help you check this stuff and make sure you get maximum audience engagement and conversion.