Email Marketers: Say Goodbye to Images not Displaying

376% increase in email clickthroughs

Email marketers have always struggled with image display in their emails.

Are my images going to show up? Do my recipients have to click the stupid “Download Images” link? Do my recipients really have to add me to the safe senders list just to get images displayed? Well, all of that may change very soon with the introduction of a product called Mozify by Email on Acid.

Mozify leverages a previously known trick to get images to display in an email message even when images are turned off. Huh? Let me explain. The trick is to use what’s called a mosaic in place of an image (temporarily). In the email marketing world, a mosaic is simply an HTML table that is full of lots and lots of rows and columns, each having a background color.

If built properly, the mosaic can render a fairly good representation of what the image would actually look like. What this means is that even if you send an email message to your subscriber and images are off by default, when they open your email, that mosaic will be on full display making it almost appear as if the actual images are really there.
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An email with images blocked
An email with images blocked
The same email with images blocked, and Mozify mosaics in place
The same email with images blocked, and Mozify mosaics in place
The same email with images on
The same email with images on

So why can’t you just build a mosaic table on your own without need for a software product like Mozify? Well, I suppose you could. But, unless you want to spend about a dozen hours building intricate mosaic HTML tables for a single email, you may want to instead consider Mozify which will greatly enable the process. Why should getting your images displayed matter so much to you?

Early beta testing of Mozify has shown up to 376% increases in click through rates 

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As you well know, your email marketing campaigns should have a call to action in them. Increasing your click throughs by 376% should drive up conversions. If you have huge increases in click throughs and still aren’t driving more conversions, call me, something is wrong : ).

Outrigger Resorts was the beta tester who saw the 376% increase for one of their monthly email campaigns. Now, to be perfectly fair, this was a comparison to their previous month’s campaign. The prudent email analytics nerd, Loraine, who sits in the cube next to me, points out that “this is not an A/B test which would indicate a perfect comparison of one email against another.” Had it been a perfect A/B test, and click throughs increased by 376%, she would have come unglued from the chair in her cube, bounced off of the ceiling, and come crashing down on her ficus tree. As it is, with an increase of that size, I’m not worried about all the “A/B-test-perfect-scenario” hoo ha. It’s quite impressive without all that. Although, seeing Loraine fly through the air and crush her ficus would be impressive too, so you be the judge.

If click throughs went up, did any email metrics go down?
Email open rates went down. That’s right. During beta testing, even when click through rates skyrocketed, email open rates actually decreased. How could this be? Well, it’s simple. Sort of. Normally there is a teeny little one pixel tracking image that is automatically incorporated into all outbound email messages. This one pixel image is used to determine if the message was opened or not. If that image is called by the receiving email client, then an email open is registered.

In beta testing, since mosaics were on full display, fewer recipients bothered to click “Download Images.” Why? Because they didn’t care.

Recipients didn’t need the images to display. Instead, recipients just read the email and clicked through on the call to action. Since the actual images throughout the email were never loaded, the tiny one pixel image was never called, and thus no email open was registered. That means the email sending system didn’t actually realize that the email was opened. So, the email open rate decreased. However, let me ask you a question.

Do you care that your email open rates decrease if click through rates and sales of your products increase?

No, you don’t. Well, maybe you don’t care. But our email marketing analytics geek, Loraine, cares. She lives and breathes email metrics. But, she can’t even keep her ficus tree alive, so what does she know.

We are looking forward to seeing more data from customers as Mozify is launched and emails start driving more click throughs without images being displayed.

Here’s a question for you: do you think Gmail, Hotmail, and AOL will start looking for mosaics and blocking them too? Let us know in the comments.

Read part 2 of this article: Why email marketers should avoid the coming wave of mosaics in email and what to do instead

About Nate Goodman

Nathan Goodman is the bestselling author of The Special Agent Jana Baker Spy-Thriller Series. "A terrorist on the loose, a country in panic, and time is running out..." For a free copy visit the author's website. He's also a freelance writer and entrepreneur.