As a rule, I don't enable images in emails. And I've blogged about how annoying it is to get blank emails from businesses and nonprofits I'm interested in.
The solution obviously is to send emails in both text and HTML. But that doesn't look as pretty and it makes it hard for tracking open rates in email analytics.
An alternative to plain text
I just opened the email above and cracked up. I've never seen a creative use of "alt text" in that image space. I'm generally impressed when I see someone describe what the image is! But here Chris used humor and my name in the images to try to get me to see his nice graphic: Psst! Enable your images, Marc!
You can see that he'd already merged my name in the subject line and in the salutation. So why wouldn't he use that same ability to merge my name into that image field? Very clever!
Could this help your nonprofit?
So many nonprofits send beautiful emails filled with gorgeous images. But if people don't have images enabled, it's all for naught. Worse, many people don't even know it's their own setting. They think your nonprofit messed up the email.
What if your top one had "Pssst! Enable your images, [first name]!" in it? To do it, the next time you insert an image in an email, fill out both the "title" field and the "alt" or "alt text" field!