Why fancy graphic design isn’t always your friend online

I have worked with many clients over the years and some take some serious convincing that WORDS are as important as IMAGES in their marketing pieces.

With online such a key delivery and marketing tool, words are more important than ever before.

If you engage in email marketing, you should always balance words with design. Yet most of the “promotional” email lists I end up on (mostly online retail) insist on image heavy emails – going with the “picture speaks a thousand words” angle – that often are WASTED online.


Because MANY people use gmail (or hotmail) for their primary address. And these programs are automatically set NOT TO display images (you can change this setting, but most people don’t). So this means you can invest in a designer to craft the most beautiful piece of creative…and half your audience will never see it.

This is good news for zero budget marketers – as more of us can write than can design! So as long as your COPY is good, your emails can be effective.

To illustrate: I’ve included a screen shot from an email I received in my gmail account. It’s for the VicSuper Super Woman Money Program, which is one I have been working on with them this year.  There is a logo/image across the top that isn’t displayed BUT the email still works without this. So that if people DO get images, it looks great, and if they don’t, you still get an idea of what the email is about – so you’re more likely to click “view images” if the email interests you.

In summary – images should COMPLEMENT the words, not seek to REPLACE the words in email marketing.  And your emails should be able to stand up without ANY images at all, as this is how MANY of your prospects may receive them.

PS. If you want to see what the email looks like with pictures, view online version here.