A read more button

A few months ago, I wrote a post recommending against image-only emails because many email clients hide images by default. Today, I received an email that reminded me the hidden image problem can bite you even if your email is almost entirely text.

The email had several short excerpts of articles on the organization’s web site. At least they seemed like excerpts. The problem: I couldn’t find any links to “read more. ” The email snippets just seemed to stop abruptly with no way to continue on to the web site.

I discovered what was wrong only after I clicked the “Display Images” button at the top of my email software. When the images appeared, I discovered that all of the “Read more…” links were clickable graphics.

The link looks nice (a lot better than just some clickable text) — IF you can see the image. That’s a big IF when major email clients — including Outlook and Gmail — hide images unless you click a link to display them (or change the software’s default settings). I’m an email marketer and this email befuddled me for a while. How many recipients never discovered how to click through?

If you insist on using images for your links, you can avoid this problem by entering “ALT” text for the image. When creating an email in MarketVolt, you can edit the properties of any image you insert in an email. One property is “ALT” text. When a recipient opens the email with software that hides images, the ALT text will appear where the image otherwise would appear. If you’ve made the image clickable, the ALT text will be a link. So if you want a “Read more…” image, add “Read more…” ALT text.

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