A Picture Is Not Worth 1000 Words…Or Is It? – Email Thursday



Welcome to Your Daily Concept – Get smarter everyday. Today is email Thursday.

My name is Andy and I’m the Email Marketing Manager here at Exclusive Concepts. I’ve been discussing images versus copy with many of our clients lately and I figured this would be a good time to talk about how both images and text can influence a recipient’s reaction to an email campaign. So today’s topic is A Picture Is Not Worth 1000 Words…Or Is It?

Everybody responds to different types of stimuli. For some, flashy graphics and slick images are what incite a response. For others, graphics get in the way of what the message is about. For those individuals, text is the main call to action that they respond to. Either way, it is important to understand the difference between running campaigns that are graphic based and campaigns that are more text-based.

When running a campaign that is mostly graphical, it is important to include your ALT tags. In the above example, this email from Jetblue is almost entirely graphical. With images blocked, not much of the content comes through. However, Jetblue has decided it is worth it to have a clean, simple graphical interface to their emails. By taking such a simple approach, they are appealing to their audience who has informed Jetblue what they like to receive. This information is garnered through email metrics like click rates, tracking codes and landing pages. Personally, I like this email tactic as it results in a simple and clean look. Uncluttered and straightforward, this email speaks to the vacationer in you with warm, inviting colors and a call to action that says “Let’s Go” or, in other words, “It’s time for a vacation” and who can argue with that kind of rationale?

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This email is different from the Jetblue emails in that is is primarily text based with multiple calls-to-action, each one for a different reason. For the Jetblue email, they are speaking to a potentially younger and more hip audience regarding a topic that is light and fun… vacation and exploration. This email is about the financial markets and is meant to act as a “teaser” to get the user to click through to READ more, not to book a vacation. This is an informative email and it is text heavy. The other is a fun email and it is graphic heavy. Sure, this email uses a graphic but if the graphic is blocked or doesn’t load, the email really doesn’t suffer. The information and Calls-to-action are still clear and don’t rely on slick images to get the message across.

Understanding what your users respond best to is a very important aspect of deciding how to craft a message or a series of messages. If you are catering to a young, hip audience then you may get a better result from an email with more graphics. If your audience is older and the content is more serious, a less playful tone with more straight-to-the-point text may be the way to go. Now, I’ve received emails from both Jetblue and USAA that experimented with a variety of graphics and text but I’ve seen emerging trends over the past few years that seem to indicate that the examples I’ve shown you garner the strongest response from each audience. It is this in-depth understanding of your audience through analysis and testing that will enable you to optimize you messaging strategy to maximize response rates. Oh, and when it’s time for a vacation, I almost always click-thru the Jetblue emails to see what kind of deals I can get. I guess that means I’m hip.

At Exclusive Concepts, we offer Optimized Lifecycle Email Marketing for our clients who are looking to maximize their revenue through this unique and ever-growing channel. If you are looking for a way to get a lot more revenue from your e-mail approach, consider our Optimized Lifecycle Email Marketing service to augment your other marketing efforts. We’ll show you how it works if you’d like – just give us a call at 800-504-4324.

Thank you for listening – have a wonderful Email Thursday!