E-mail newsletters can be a very effective part of your technical PR and marketing strategy – there’s no news there. That said most of us neglect the images in our newsletters to an even greater extent than we ignore them on our Web site.

We don’t forget to put them in of course; we just forget to optimise them. 

The first thing to consider is how the image will be viewed by the recipient. Images in HTML emails don’t display automatically in most email clients, so adding an ALT attribute is crucial. In this context, alternative text or alt text gives the recipient a quick overview of what to expect, either before their email client loads the images or before the reader downloads them. In addition, it also alleviates the suspicion of SPAM mail. 

If the e-mail is hosted independently on your site as a HTML page, which we highly recommend, then the ALT tags will improve the search-ability of the newsletter page itself. You could also go the extra step and buy a domain where you could host all of your newsletters. This will help with SEO, as it provides more relevant content and inbound links leading visitors to your company website from a discrete domain. 

Another benefit of including ALT text on your images is that it helps improve your text to image ratio on your email. Having an even text to image ratio is something that increases your email’s chances of getting through SPAM filters and landing in your customers’ inbox. After all, your main goal is to get a decent response rate and you can’t do this if you don’t get your message across. 

If an image is worth a thousand words in print, when it comes to web and e-mail communications, the figure increases exponentially. So it’s worth making sure your pictures are optimised properly before they go out. 

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