Email marketing is a science, yet I’m amazed at the number of amatuer designers that insist that email marketing must contain a picture or be HTML. There clearly is evidence that pictures and good design can have an effect on open rates. My argument is that busy executives really don’t care – they want good information, fast, and pictures get in the way.
Marketing Sherpa’s email benchmark book states that 89% of all executives have their Outlook default set to NOT accept images. So an executive receives your email, they look in the preview pane and see a box with an “x” in it. No picture. No benefit line convincing them to keep reading.
As an executive I immediately know that you are not a friend, client or vendor unless I recognize your name in the “from” box, and if you were, I’d wonder why you are sending me this type of email and wasting my time instead of just a regular email with text. After all, that’s how all my other peers send me information – a short concise text based email.
So before you decide that what you see from your competitors and from consumer product companies is the standard, think about your prospect and how they generally get information. Executives want educational information first, the sizzle isn’t important.