Balance between images and text

The question is really about the balance between the vision and the essence.

Benefits of images over text

The benefits of using images mainly have to do with engaging your audience and reaffirming your brand. Images are what makes your messages alluring. They speak to your audience and make you relatable. They bring emotion. They convey information in a way text cannot. Most interestingly, images can include text.

It makes some users really play with the idea to incorporate the text in the images of the message and have no live text at all. It is definitely not the recommended approach although there are reasons why the idea is enticing.

The more you use images for text, the more in control you are of using the brand's fonts, arrange text in a way you control how it is perceived. Sticking the text to the image gives you a false sense of control that you know exactly how each user will see your message.

Benefits of text over images

You always need to be conscious of the fact that some users will never see your messages. It could be because of a poor connection, overactive spam filters, it could be that the user switched their images off, or it could be a matter of accessibility. The visually impaired will use screen readers to listen to your message.

The benefit and the disadvantage of text over images is that text is interactive. Yes, that sometimes means that the paragraphs will not appear the same for every contact, or you will not be able to always use the font you would like to.

However, it also means that your message is more likely to reach the end-user regardless of their device, mail program or abilities.

It also means your text will be searchable. It means your messages will arrive to your user faster and will give you the best exposure you can aim for.

So if both images and text are so crucial, how do you combine them.

Practical tips

Images speak stronger than words. You do not need to include that many images in your message in order to make sure they do their job.

The golden rule

The golden rule is your content should consist of between 20% and 40% images and between 60% and 80% text.

There is no ‘real’ way to calculate the percentage – the measurement is still largely subjective. In Flexmail you can use the Message Check to visualise how your message looks in various mail clients. Ask yourself - Does the golden rule apply to your message?

Use your reports

In Flexmail, your reports will tell you whether your audience reads your message on a desktop, web-based, or Mobile based mail client. 

Text version

Your message must make sense without the images.

In the preview vies of your message , you can use the toggle function to see how your message looks without the images. Is it coherent?

Always make sure you generate and review the text version of your message, so your users receive it on non-image-reading devices.

You know best

Whatever you do, what matters most is your own audience. If you discover our advice is not applicable to you, and you still have questions, experiment! Create an AB test campaign with two similar messages and check which one performs best.

Alternatively, use Link Tracking to check how the same links perform when attached to text, to a button, or to an image.   

We hope this article gave you some useful information, some really practical tips and some inspiration to work on your next campaign.   

Would you like to learn a bit more on why spam filters and some email clients are wary of image-heavy emails?  Read this article in our knowledge base next.

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