On the basis of testing they have done, M+R Strategic Services reports that inclusion of images within online e-mail appeals for action or funds does NOT necessarily translate to better response. They point out that anti-spam features built into most e-mail systems increasingly tend to block images, unless users have have elected to change default settings (and many aren't geeky enough to do this). And blocked images can make your e-mail message look anything BUT compelling, if not undecipherable. Their caution: Beware. While they haven't seen images hurt response, nor have they helped … so why take the chance?

Point well taken. But personally, I would like to see more testing of the proposition. Without question, powerful images (not necessarily just any stock photo) can prompt or amplify emotions and behavior that words alone cannot. Just how much of an impediment e-mail filters are to delivering that impact deserves more investigation.

Anybody have pertinent data they'd like to share?

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