Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Tough to stomach

In last week's Insight enewsletter, we included an article, "Seven tips for improving your email design", that discussed, among other things, why you should using meaningful alt tags for your HTML images. An alt tag is the verbiage that appears instead of a graphic that an ISP or email server is blocking. Too often the email designer simply uses the in-house label of the photo for the alt tag. That may simplify matters for the designer, but it can make for some unappealing reading for the email recipient. For instance:

The alt tag for the main image of this enewsletter, from a consumer magazine publisher, reads "Woman holding her stomach". I immediately envisioned a woman doubled over in pain, which did not put me of a mind to click through.

Then again, when I did click through (purely for journalistic reasons, of course), the actual photo--of a hand pinching several inches of flesh from a flabby torso--wasn't much more appealing.--SC

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