A few weeks ago, Gmail introduced a new way of dealing with images. By processing them through their proxy servers, recipients no longer have to choose to load them on arrival, creating a better reading experience and, as far as email marketing is concerned, a much better delivery system.
Unfortunately, it appears that, since the changes were introduced, some users have reported broken images which will not load.
Some people have reported images missing entirely, while a smaller minority have, rather worryingly, discovered them in the wrong placeholders.
It should be stressed that this issue relates solely to Gmail, but there are a few things you can do as a marketer to ensure your emails are readable for those with Gmail addresses.
It is impossible to force an image to display properly, but it is worth abiding by the following rules when constructing email marketing campaigns:
Don’t overload the message with images
One often does the trick, but if you must place several images in your email, keep them away from the top (or ‘above the fold’). Ensure there is enough descriptive text in that area to counter for instance where recipients can’t view the images. They still need to know what the message is all about.
Don’t forget ALT text
This is essential. Ensure every image in your email has ALT text behind it. If it doesn’t load, the recipient will know what should have been there.
Stick with text
Use text to convey your message. Good copywriting often beats images hands down in email. Similarly, call-to-actions don’t have to be images – try using text links instead. If you’re clever with the wording, people will want to click them. Check out our recent guide to creating great CTAs for some inspiration.