Get Ready to Nail the Image-to-Text Ratio in Your Marketing Emails

Line Art showing Emails going to a computer with balanced images and text

When you break it down, the body of an email really only contains two component parts: text and images. The images make it look great, and the text tells people what you have to say. But what’s the best balance of images and text? How do you find the right ratio for getting the absolute best out of the email marketing you do?

It’s a big question. The truth is that if you can’t get that balance right, you risk getting caught in spam filters and annoying your potential clients. And that means your email campaigns ultimately go nowhere. 

Not sure if you’re hitting it or missing it with your marketing emails? 

Keep reading to find out why too many images will hurt you, why too much text will do the same, and why the “60/40 rule” for email is probably the best place to start. 

The Problem With Image-Heavy Marketing Emails

Images can really bring your emails alive and get your message across. They’re fun and effective, and they grab your readers’ attention! Of course, that means that there’s a huge temptation to jam all kinds of compelling images in every email—or even send emails that are made up of one giant image! 

However, cool your heels on that because image-heavy emails can also be pretty problematic. Here’s why:

  • Some email clients don’t automatically download images, so some users won’t even see them. 
  • Image-heavy emails could be clipped due to their size, so readers only see part of your email.
  • Image-heavy emails are hard to find later because image text isn’t included in inbox searches.
  • Image-only emails are often sent straight to the user’s spam folder.

You can mitigate this to some extent by doing little things, like optimizing your images for mobile viewers and adding descriptive alt text to your images for recipients that have images turned off. 

However, while those are good practices overall, you should still watch out that you don’t have too much of a good thing with your email images. Otherwise, your deliverability is at stake! 

The Problem With Text-Heavy Marketing Emails

Text-heavy emails, on the other hand, let you really exercise your copywriting skills and give recipients something robust to dig into. And it definitely doesn’t hurt that text-heavy emails are very easy to load on any internet connection or email platform. 

It sounds great! However, text-heavy emails have some downsides, too:

  • Text doesn’t immediately capture attention like images do. 
  • Text can be overwhelming or boring without images to break it up.
  • Text lacks some of the “personal touch” and branding that great images provide.

So, you obviously want text in your emails, and you obviously want images. But how do you get the best of both worlds without the negative effects? 

How to Get the Balance of Text and Images “Just Right” in Your Emails

The standard recommendation for text-to-image ratio in emails is the “60/40 rule,” which means you should be shooting for a minimum of 60% text and a maximum of 40% image. You also want to make sure you have at least 400 characters (60-100 words) of text in the body of the email that aren’t part of your images. Generally speaking, this is the ratio that is most likely to give you the best deliverability and the best engagement.

That said, though, this isn’t an exacting science. If your email reputation is excellent, and you’ve addressed other deliverability issues, you probably have a little more leeway with your image-to-text ratio. So, take a holistic view of your email campaigns, and don’t sweat it if your image-to-text ratio isn’t exactly 60/40 in every email you send. 

Just like with anything else you do to market your business, the real test is how it performs for you and your target audience. Keep tabs on your campaigns. See how they perform. Test them with fewer images or more text, and see how your audience responds. And, if you need a hand getting it “just right,” don’t be afraid to reach out to us. 

Hey, check out our World of Marketing episode with Toby Crandall to find out how to dramatically improve your email reputation, or schedule a marketing analysis with our team to get personalized advice. 

Questions? You can always give us a call at 888.886.0939.

 
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