Today's Nugget Sponsor: http://thejrcms.com/1
Avid movie watches will often wonder what "landed on the cutting room floor" during the movie editing process. Today's Daily Golden Nugget is one of those snips that didn't make it into Matthew Perosi's Email Marketing seminar at JCK on June 2, 2012.
Typically your email program will hide images from you until you permanently add the sender to an approved list, or a white list. To load the images you simply click the "view images" or "show remote content" button.
While the images are still hidden, the email program will show you the alternative text behind the images. Do you take the time you edit the alternative text behind the images?
Many companies don't realize the importance of "alt" text and how it can make or break an entire email campaign.
On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday every week at about 7am we receive an email from Instore Magazine. Perhaps you are familiar with their "Bulletin" emails? They have made the same mistake with their Bulletin emails each week since we started receiving them back in November 2010.
Before clicking "view Images" you only see an outline of where an image should be. No words, not hints, just an outline. Since this email comes from Instore Magazine you might automatically trust it and load the images. But if you sent an email like that to a customer it probably would have a very low open rate.
Open rates can only be measured if the recipient chooses to view images.
We live in a paranoid world. Computer viruses lurk around every corner, and phishing emails are well designed to trick you into revealing your sensitive information. Your customer is more prone to delete an email if all they see is an outline of empty boxes and an unsubscribe link. Paranoia might even keep them from clicking the unsubscribe link.
The better approach here is to include descriptive text.
Let's review yesterday's edition of the "INSTORE News Wednesday Bulletin" so you can better understand how to write your own descriptive text. Their first box was nothing more than the header of the email. The alt text of that image could have said "Click 'view images' to read Instore's Wednesday Edition of The News."
The second box was an ad for the September Smart Show. The alt text for that box could have said "Click 'view images' to see the upcoming dates for the Smart Jewelry Show in Dallas, TX."
Messages like that explain who you are, the action they have to take, and the reward for taking the action.
The next time you send an email out you should send it to yourself and test what it looks like before the images load. From a marketing perspective you need to reward every small action your customers take. If your email offers "10% off a purchase of $200 or more." then your image alt text could say something like "Click to 'view images' for this week's special offer from John's Jewelry."
That type of alt text explains who you are, what action they have to take, and that they will be rewarded with a special offer. They won't know it's a deal for 10% off $200 until they click, and when they click you are able to better measure open rates.