We’re always told that email campaigns with a single, large image is a no-no. The majority of recipients have images turned off by default and they will never see the information your email contains. An email I received from the Artists Den promoting their Robert Plant and the Band of Joy episode this week didn’t listen. For me, it wasn’t a total failure either.

I saw the subject line “TV Episode Premiere – Robert Plant and the Band of Joy” and opened it immediately. I love Led Zeppelin and have had the fortune of seeing Robert Plant twice (with Allison Krause). I am excited to see him live, albeit on TV this time. Especially after getting to attend a taping of the Artists Den with Adele. If you don’t know, the show’s concept is to take artists and put them in unique settings. Robert Plant’s is at the Nashville War Memorial.

My excitement lessened when I opened the email and saw absolutely nothing but a blank white screen staring back at me. Scrolling down, I found the text version of the email was included, directly below all the images that had been turned off by Gmail. They could have gone with a larger, less typewriter looking font, but at least the info was there.

I turned the images back on and voila! Robert Plant’s smiling mug was right there on my screen. They used a screen shot of the performance as the background image. Even better was the fact that Plant’s gaze brought you directly to the information. As a former Art Major, (I say former because 4 hour studio art classes were not my cup of tea) I can appreciate that design aspect.

There was a link in the email to catch a preview of the episode. I think they should have put the preview right there in the email. Most of your subscribers will be lazy. Don’t make them work. If you can easily include something like that in the contents of the email, do it.

Maybe this is a little like the Bulls blog I wrote. I was so excited about the contents that I was willing to overlook some design flaws. At least Artists Den covered their large image-based email with a simple text version. They also used their large image well. If it had the video preview in the email, I really wouldn’t have much to complain about. Yes, I do realize how ridiculous it sounds that it was too much work to click a mouse to see the video preview. First world problems, people.