Overview:

I am building a UX report on best practices for creating emails for marketing campaigns. One recommendation I am providing is to build your designs without images and then add them after the fact to support your subject matter. This recommendation is based on the fact that to make an inclusive design, that you should make the assumption that images will not automatically be downloaded as some email providers have conditions that may result in images not downloading without user interaction.

Question

To put weight behind this recommendation I would like to provide some analytics such as on average 20% of email recipients will not see images in emails without intervention.

I have been unsuccessful in finding this data or something that can support the recommendation. Does anyone have some insights on this subject?

  • 1
    Wouldn't the analytics be qualified by the intended audience group? I imagine that if you were trying to solicit potential clients in the government sector for example, that their security requirements would strip away much of the additional content. – Michael Lai Oct 21 at 1:41
  • This is a great point. My target audience in this situation is not military but that is not saying thery may not access their emails on a restricted network. This is the insights I was looking so I could tell my dev team that if they completed a tasks that included crucial information as text and not only as an image, we could increase conversions. I have used Mike W. response in my story, it got the job done, whether that is 100% accurate I do not know, but it was better than a wild guess. Great insights Michael. – Bromox Oct 21 at 1:45
  • There is an unsaid rule that every answer on UXSE starts with: "It depends... " because even though content is king, in UX "context is king" :) – Michael Lai Oct 21 at 1:49
up vote 1 down vote accepted

According to this infographic: The 2017 Email Client Market Share [Infographic], the percent of users (when comparing Dec. 2016 - Dec. 2017) using clients that block images by default is 21%. I found that number by adding up all the clients that we NOT Iphone, Ipad, Gmail, or Apple Mail since we know that those clients show images by default and the rest do not¹. That doesn't neccesarily mean that all 21% of them have their images blocked since users can disable that feature; but it could be a useful insight for your report.

Another article I found from Litmus (an email building an analytics service): The Ultimate Guide to Email Image Blocking goes into more detail about which clients are blocking images and how to work around it.

According to Mailchimp

"Assume images will be initially blocked by email clients, or that certain images—background images, for example—will completely fail to load."

you will need some programming knowledge to be able to implement such a thing. Here's a link to a StackOverflow answer that does something similar. https://stackoverflow.com/a/13108507/3159529

  • This would be great research to conduct but I doubt I would buy in for this workflow. we use marketing tools like mailchimp and mandrill. I was hoping that there was a industry standard expectation that you can expect 20% of your users to not see the images in the email without intervention. – Bromox Sep 17 at 18:12

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