Beware of Graphic Images in Event Invitations

It’s not uncommon for an event committee to create a beautiful graphic “invitation” or “save the date” for an upcoming event.  It’s also not uncommon for that image to be the entire body of a PMail promoting or announcing the event.

Trouble is, over half of the intended audience never gets the message.  Why?  Because many computer email clients (Outlook, etc.) and smart phone email clients default to suppressing graphics in Emails.  The idea is to reduce bandwidth and load times for emails.  In Outlook, for example, you have to find and uncheck a “Don’t download pictures automatically” box to see graphics that are part of the email body.  On many phones, the user has to click a button to open a graphic in an email.  Most users miss that, and as a result many graphics in email bodies are never seen by the intended recipients.

 

It takes only a few best practices to get around this problem:

  1. Be on the lookout for any graphic, particularly about an event, where words are embedded in the image itself.  Remind yourself that no one will see those words if they don’t see the image.
  2. Restrict the use of images in Pmail invitations to only event logos or other “decorative” graphic elements.
  3. If necessary, rebuild the invitation, with all the event information (event name, date, time, place, registration info, etc.) in text, where you can control fonts, sizes, colors, etc.   In most cases you can essentially duplicate the artist’s “pretty” invitation graphic by just snipping out the logo and other images and making them part of your PMail.
  4. Most “invitation” graphics include a frame or line around the outside — use a 1×1 cell Table in DACdb for that, then put all the rest of the info inside the table.  You can set the border size and color.   In most cases, the you’ll want the info inside the border to be centered.
  5. If the invitation graphic is just so complex you don’t want to tackle rebuilding it, insert it in the PMail body and then duplicate all the important information in text either above or below the image.  That way, event if the recipient never sees the image, they still get the important information you had intended to convey (text is always displayed).

Be ever watchful of this pitfall.  I see invitations all the time from all kinds of organizations where all the informational content is embedded into a graphic image.  I’m sure those senders wonder why more people didn’t get the message — it’s because they never saw it.