I was surfing the Internet the other night and was visiting TechSoup. If you don’t know, techsoup.org is a pretty good technical resource solely focused on non-profit organizations.
I came across this article explaining how including images in blast emails and appeals can be actually hurting response rates. As identified in the article, the two likely culprits are that images are being blocked by ISP’s, and that images are also triggering Spam filters.
Here’s a link to the article: Do Images Help or Hurt your Email Campaign?
Though the results are more or less anecdotal, they don’t surprise me. As the war on SPAM intensifies, I personally believe it is just a matter of time before email as we know it will change to a fee based service- what better way to eliminate SPAM than for the ISP’s to charge for all email?
Unfortunately, that will affect our community harder, but I don’t think it’s necessarily that bad of an idea. For example, organizations are already used to paying to send physical mail, why should email be any different? And secondly, charging for email will ensure that the message gets read and delivered. Right now, your fortunate to get a 40% open rate when you send an email- I think that needs to be pushed back to or near 90-100%.
Nothing will happen overnight, but as email response rates decrease, and bouncebacks increase, we’ll all need to come up with a better solution to make sure the message gets through.