Adventures in Mobile Marketing

Designing for Images Off

With more and more hosted mail systems using “images off” as a default, email marketers have to become savvy with the methods of design, without the crutch of images. How do you design a good HTML message knowing that many of your viewers will have images disabled? Here are two extreme examples of good and bad design, with images off.

Bad Design
Red Envelope. I feel bad for them since in general their marketing is great.


Turn images on, and you see a nice variety of products for sale. What should they have done? Scroll down for guidelines on images-off design. In general though it can be summed up as: concise alt text.


Good Design
Done well, the subscriber sees almost all the content and is prompted to click the “view images” tag at the top of Gmail (or AOL, or any of the increasing numbers of webmail systems turning off images by default.)

Eddie Bauer:

Eddie Bauer Images Off

And, with images on:

Eddie Bauer Images On

The basic design considerations for images-off webmail browsers are (and I haven’t done HTML design in ages, so I welcome contributions)
- use alt text to describe the image
- do not describe space fillers, or repeat the alt tags (if the image is broken up)
- use the same messaging guidelines as usual emails
- do not use text in images, and if you do repeat the text in alt tags
- HTML background table color can help fill out the design, but not required

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Written on Tuesday, 19. June 2007 at 17:17 In the category design, techniques. Follow the comments via RSS here: RSS-Feed. Read the Comments. Trackbacks- Trackback on this post. Share on FriendFeed

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