Why you must use “alt text” in your email images

So, it would appear that emails with images in them get more response than text-only ones. There are exceptions, such a relatively brief single-item messages (like this blog’s emails, I guess). But if you can put an image in the email, it’s a good idea.

Here’s the problem though. A large number of recipients (I’ve seen it claimed “most” of them) have images in their emails switched off by default. This may include you, in which case if you’re reading this on an email, you won’t be able to see the image below, of an email which I sent a couple of weeks back but with images turned off.

What images off looks like

However, on most email clients you will be able to see a label in the blank image area, saying “What images off looks like”. That’s the image “alt tag”, and it may make you more likely to switch the images on and take a look.

What do we learn from this?

Firstly, make sure you always include an image “alt tag”, and if you don’t know how to do that, find out. Secondly, don’t make seeing the image integral to understanding the email. Or you may have been wasting your time.

1 thought on “Why you must use “alt text” in your email images”

  1. I’d also like to suggest that a simple line of text right at the top of the email is critical. My email client doesn’t show images, and only a small portion of the top of the email shows in preview. I don’t have time or interest to scroll down advertising or unsolicited messages, so if you want to catch my interest you need to put some words on there that will show up !
    No words to grab my interest and an instant delete key is the only route.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.