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Did You Know Email Content Affects Deliverability?

email inbox spam folder
Article Highlights:

  • Tips to ensure your content delivers for the reader.
  • "...red is a spam trigger so avoid using it whenever possible."

Previously, we discussed the importance of sharpening your “front lines” before you send an email. That is, each email you send needs a strong subject line, first line of text, and recognizable “from line.”

Once you’ve achieved this, your next task is to ensure your email content can be read.

Have you ever opened an email and been unable to view it? Did you save it to try again later, or just trash it? Many of your email recipients will just trash it!

Below are some detailed best practices to ensure that after your “front lines” succeed, your email content can be read.

Pixel Width:

The size of images in your email most compatible for desktop and mobile devices is 450 to 500 pixels. Using this size will fit emails to the average desktop computer while limiting the amount of side to side scrolling mobile users will have to do to read your message.

Text to Image Ratio:

Text to image ratio is a factor to consider when dealing with spam filters. A 60/40 text to image ratio should be maintained for best results. You should also keep the size of each image at 20 KB or less. Remember, the bigger an image, the longer it takes to load on a mobile device.

Above the “Fold”:

The “fold” area in an email describes at what point you have to scroll to read more. You only have a few seconds after the email is opened before the reader becomes disengaged and moves on. Therefore, place your offer or key message within the top 200 to 250 pixels of the body so the recipient can see it quickly and easily.

Readable Text Format:

You should always display your offer in a readable text format instead of embedded in an image. There is no guarantee an image will appear on all devices or the recipient has images turned on.

Font Choice:

Avoid using unconventional fonts. Your best bet is to stick with a common font like Arial, Tahoma, or Times New Roman. For the body of your message, keep the font at a minimum of 12 pt. with headlines at around 20 pt. Keep in mind, larger fonts tip spam filters, so avoid them in your emails.

Color Choice:

When it comes to color, a red font and background are spam triggers so avoid using them whenever possible. Dark background with white knockout text is not a good choice either. Many email systems remove darker-colored backgrounds, making the white text invisible.

Call-to-Action Button:

A clickable “Learn More” or “Buy Now” graphic should be placed in a location high up in the email to entice your reader to advance to the next step in the selling process. Make sure these call-to-action buttons are used in conjunction with HTML text that will be visible when images are disabled.

File Size:

The main thing to keep in mind when implementing these best practices is file size. Emails shouldn’t exceed an overall file size of 70 KB. Images, large fonts, and Flash or GIF animations increase the file size, so be cautious.


Do each of the above practices and you’ll greatly increase the odds your emails get through spam filters and recipients view clean, easy-to-read messages.

It’s worth the extra time to make sure these precautions are taken. Doing so goes a long way in increasing the likelihood your message is viewed, which means more people come to your dealership, and your dealership makes more money.

In my next email best practice article, I’ll discuss the three w’s of targeting your email message. Look for it in the next Fuel edition.

Find out more information about Reynolds Consulting Services.

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Reynolds Consulting Services

Matt Clark joined the Reynolds Consulting Services team in 2004. He is accomplished in eCommerce, internet, CRM, sales process, and digital marketing consulting. He has over 25 years of automotive experience, including positions as General Sales Manager, BDC Manager, Internet Manager, and Sales Professional.


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