AOL Disabling Images in Online Mail Clients.July 6, 2007
You may have noticed that AOL recently rolled out a new web based mail client for AOL.com. As part of this change, they are now disabling images by default. AOL are not alone in doing this and they are among a dominant group of clients that block images by default. So the result is that you just have to expect that a vast majority of your contacts will first see your message without images; it’s just a fact of life.
What can be done?
Hopefully most contacts will choose to turn images back on by default, but not everyone will choose not to do this. For those customers who won’t add your From to their address book, and who haven’t turned images on, you need to take the next step: Alternate Text.
Setting Alternate Text
What is Alternate Text? Alternate Text, often called an Alt Tag or Alt Text, is an attribute of an image that is shown when that image isn’t loaded. You can easily add Alternate Text to any image in your message within the image popup in your message editor. And you should always do this to every image as a rule. If you are editing HTML by hand, you just need to add an Alt attribute to your images.That’s it, there’s not too much to do on your part. Hopefully any serious email designers out there were already using Alternate Text for all your images. For those of you who weren’t, now you know, and you should start implementing these changes right away!