Render Me This: Solving the Riddle of Image Suppression

Rendering has been a hot topic in email marketing for most of 2007, but many clients still aren’t sure exactly what it means or exactly how to deal with it. This is why we ran a webinar last week on this very topic.

In the webinar we revealed the six steps to most effectively deal with image suppression.

1. Conduct a Domain Analysis: To the extent possible, figure out how your subscribers view your emails so you can use your resources most effectively.

2. Review your email templates in a preview tool such as Sender Score Campaign Preview: See what your subscribers see!

3. Design and test for the worst case, meaning “images off”: Make sure to use images sparingly, include alt-tags and never use images in place of text for words.

4. Implement some quick and easy “new rules” of design: HTML doesn’t have to mean one big image. Learn to design smarter.

5. Invest some design time in the text-only version of your email: If this is what subscribers are going to see, make sure it looks good.

6. Put your good reputation to work: Get whitelisted. As we announced last week, Sender Score Certified email automatically has images and links intact at Windows Live Hotmail. And many local whitelisting programs rely on reputation. Following all the best practices around email is going to impact rendering as well.

Additionally, our friends at eROI recently posted a good piece about preview panes. Next to image suppression, optimizing for preview panes is the next big variable affecting how folks read see your email. Don’t bury the lead; make sure your key message gets seen.

If you want more details on these points I encourage you to listen to our recording of the webinar. You can also flip through the slides without audio. And, as a bonus, we put together an Email Best Practices Checklist with information on how to combat and manage image suppression. Download it now. And don’t forget to send a copy over to the design department!

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