The 60/40 rule

So the 60/40 rule, any email marketing wiz will tell you that that’s a fairly commonly understood rule. In short, it’s 60% of your email should really be text-based and 40% should be image-based. And try not to have too many images in your email. So, few examples. So, this is Dollar Shave Club. So, they’ve got some bold imagery here. I mean, the heading here is probably an image.

But there’s a good balance of text and images going on here and I’ll go into the code and have a look at that. Again here, I mean this whole section’s going to be an image here, but then you’ve got the text here. This will be an image. This will be an image. Then you’ve got text. Let’s have look at the code and see what’s going on. Here, now that will be an image here, the header. Then you’ll text the button will be text underneath, massive image underneath that, text with an image icon in the footer. Look there and here. This is a good use of text and imagery. So, logo, image, new, I would’ve thought that would be text. And then introducing, and the text there, they should be all text, and then you’ve got the big image there and then text, text, text. Those ticks are probably text, an image across. So, there’s a balance there of text and imagery. So, let’s go into some of the emails. So, this is what this email looks like without images turned on. I’ll just refresh that to the images load. Images aren’t loading. I think there’s something wrong with the server, but actually, that’s a good thing for you to see. So, you can see what is text and what is imagery in this email. So those images are clearly removed from their server since the email went out but there’s a lot of imagery going on. So actually, if somebody’s got their images turned off, can you still make sense of this email?

Kind of. Let’s look at this one. So, the image is loading in this one. So, this is, so that’s all imagery. All that is an image. Okay. So that there is text image, image, bit of text, so that’s text as well. So, I would say this is a good balance of text and imagery. I would probably say a little bit too much, 60% imagery 40% text rather than the other around, you’re ideally looking to go for a 40% imagery to 60% text. And let’s look at this, so here we go. So, this is an image. Then you go down, text, text, big image, and then an image on the bottom there. So again, a good balance, this huge image might kind of weigh this email down a little bit and I’ll be onto that in just a second. And here, oh wow, okay. This whole, okay, that whole section here is an image and it’s pretty big, so actually if images were turned off, you’d lose that entire top section here. So that’s text and that is an image. And that is an image. So, I think really this email is an example of something that could be 60/40 text and imagery, but they’ve decided to go with design over usability and basically have a whole image there and all image there and all image there. This could be text and this up here.

That could be text. This could be text and then have an image here. Because what you could do is actually have this image here with that background and have the image cut off just below the text and then have the orange-yellow background here. So, the image and the background colour that blend into one. So, it looks the same, but you’re a bit smarter with it. This is probably a great design, but not great in terms of the structure of the email. Now the reason why you’d want to have a balance and not say have a 100% image-based email is because, images are actually quite heavy and weigh the email down. So, if somebody’s got a bad internet connection and images don’t, or they’ve got images turned off because they’re using a certain version of Outlook, then your message just doesn’t get put across. It’s good practice to have a good balance of the two. All images and really big wide images, which are great and make your email look nice and clear and crisp imagery. But in terms of the loading of the images in the email, that can really slow it down. And as I’ve touched on before, people literally open your email for seconds and then leave. So, unless the images load and the message come across, if images are turned off or it just doesn’t load at all, you’ve lost that opportunity. So, try and have a balance.

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