Why can't I see alt text on images in my email client?

Last Updated: 26/6/2024     Tags: alt, alternative, text, image, load
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Taguchi recommends that you add alternative text to all images with your template and activity content. Typically blocks within your template will include alternative text fields for you to fill in. This text is displayed to the subscriber if an image fails to load, or if images are blocked initially by the email client your subscriber is using.

These tags are also useful for visually impaired subscribers who may not be able to see the images in your email, instead their screen reader software will usually pick up the alternative text attached to the image and read it to your subscriber. It is important to keep alt text as descriptive and relevant to the image being displayed to ensure proper accessibility.

It depends which email client or webmail client teh subscriber is using as to whether or not the alt text will display if the images fail to load. Please see the tables below to determine compatibility.

Email Clients

Client Images blocked by default? Displays alt text?
Apple Mail No Yes
Outlook 2003 Yes No
Outlook 2007 Yes No
Outlook 2010 Yes No
Outlook 2011 (Mac) Yes No
Outlook 2013 Yes No
Outlook 2016 Yes No
Windows Mail No No

There are certain cases where some versions of Outlook may append the alt text to the end of the image load warning on each image. This is not sufficient as the alt text is usually cut off after the 200 letter mark.

Webmail Clients

Client Images blocked by default? Displays alt text?
AOL Mail Yes Yes
Gmail No Yes
Office 365 Yes Yes
Outlook.com Yes Yes
Yahoo! Mail Yes Yes