Using Photographs, Images, Illustrations
Photographs, images, and illustrations are a critical component of today’s HTML
emails. Including image files in HTML email is important (users now expect images to
be part of HTML enabled email) and, thankfully, including images in HTML email
messages is relatively easy to do. As with anything, there are several rules of thumb that
should be followed – below is an “Image Etiquette” list.
Keep the size of any image file below 20Kb (and smaller, if possible)
through optimization methods. You can make an occasional exception,
but no one will put up with receiving an image greater than 100K.
Stick to popular, industry standard image file formats.
Upload the image files to an Internet server and refer to the file’s web
address – also known as its URL (Uniform Resource Locator). The
URL identifies the location of the image to the email client, so that it
knows where to go on the Internet to find the file and download it to the
user’s computer for viewing.
If you send a message that refers to an image file URL, make sure you
don’t remove the image from that server, or else the user will see the
“Red X” – see more below.
Optimizing Images for the Web
If the recipient of your email newsletter connects to the Internet on a dial-up 56k
modem (and most people still do connect that way, according to research reports and
our own anecdotal surveys), any email that exceeds 100Kb in size will take more than a
couple of seconds to download and appear on screen. In today’s short attention span
environment, a scenario like that guarantees that some recipients will not have the
patience to wait and will close out of your message. But, it doesn’t have to be that way.
There are techniques for slimming down the size of your images in your email. If you
use High Impact eMail and the ReadyShare, all of these issues are automatically taken
care of for the user.
Cropping an image is one of the best – and easiest – ways to reduce the size of an image
file. If there is extra space around the meat and potatoes of the image, simply cut it out
of the file by cropping. Most photo editor programs (such as Photoshop or ACD See)
provide a simple way to crop images – you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the crop
tool of your photo editor and start using it right away.
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