Being quoted on a Campaign Monitor blog post! It is and will be the height of my Internet fame. Great to see it sparked an investigation!
To be honest I’m not surprised, unfortunately the majority of people aren’t aware of settings or preferences in most programs, therefore won’t look to change the status quo.
Nice find Ros, now I can back up my assumptions with research :)
Having just moved my autoresponder service to GetResponse they disparagingly call plain text email as returning to the 80’s yet it is for the very reasons that you highlight that I stick with it.
I wish to focus on the message and not have to focus on how to get the message delivered, it is after all hard enough to get them opened!
Images do add an extra element to the message but they can also hide malicious content and this is the pervading message that most non technical people are receiving. Not to trust html email.
Of course as more people move onto mobile Internet they are not going to be pleased when you waste a portion of their precious monthly allowance on an image that adds little to the message.
I almost never hit “always display” until perhaps a year of receiving an email and occasionally opening.
If only all were using Gmail then we could send actual video in that email easily!….the holy grail!
@Kelly – It’s hard to say how often this happens. To take the ‘Negative Nancy’ view, could it be just as likely that the recipient will hit ‘Delete’ if they can’t view the email? Or to use the example above, could many recipients assume that images are not being displayed because ‘the email client knows what it’s doing’ and never enable them?
These are all contingencies that we have to prepare for, even if they run against the generally positive outlook that designers and marketers have :)
I never read a text placed between ugly blank image frames… I find the whole message disgusting!
So, I guess the people who have images disabled will never read an HTML message… I can optimize all I want, but they simply won’t read it!
Not hitting “Always display…” out of laziness is always an issue. I’m guilty of it. Kind of like continuing to hit the delete button rather than unsubscribing. I vote design/test for worst case.
Thanks for this follow up. I definitely understand as marketers we have to expect the lowest common denominator, but what about individual email/sender behavior? My hunch is that if an email is wanted and valuable, the user simply hits “Always display images from this sender” and image blocking is no longer an issue. Any thoughts on this?