Some designers think they can export a flyer they designed into a JPEG and voilà! They have an email blast. And while it is certainly true that you CAN blast out a JPEG all by its lonesome as an email, it’s also true that I CAN drive my car backwards with my eyes closed. Neither is a particularly good idea.
Why is sending a JPEG as an email so terrible? Glad you asked.
- If your recipients don’t have images turned on, which is the default for many email clients, sometimes including biggies like Gmail and Outlook, they will literally see nothing in their inbox. A big empty box where your beautifully designed JPEG should be (see example on this page). Many people will not bother to turn images on if they see nothing but emptiness in a message so you will end up in their deleted folder before you can say, “Wait, there really is a JPEG!”
- If your email blast consists entirely of one image, you will have the ability to link that image to, count them, one URL (though my guess is that if you’re not bothering with HTML then you probably aren’t setting up a link either). This might suit your needs if the message of the email is singular and you want to lead the reader to one place or action. This, however, will not work if your email is supposed to give readers options or multiple calls to action. If there are different links to “learn more,” “buy now,” “sign up today,” and “like us on Facebook,” you’re screwed.
- Assuming this email is not an invitation to your child’s birthday party, you’ll want it to look a little more professional than “here’s an image I whipped up on my smartphone and blasted out to my contact list.” Even if the image is embedded in the email (as opposed to as an attachment — oh the horror!), an image-only email just doesn’t have the same business appeal as a well-crafted HTML email.
So, what’s an HTML email have that your image-only email doesn’t? Let’s review:
- Its recipients will be able to see its content in their inboxes, regardless of settings. Images can and should still be components of your email, and while those may not appear right away if images are turned off, important content created as text will be visible to all.
- It has the ability to link to as many different pages as are necessary and appropriate.
- When done well, it will be consistent with the professional brand you’ve built for your business. And people will actually read it.
Don’t forget to ask your designer to make sure your HTML email automatically adjusts for smart-phone viewers. (I’ll do that even if you don’t ask me.)