HelloTravel Inspires With Images-Off Optimization & Excellent Hierarchy

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As part of our “25 Days of Inspirational Emails,” we’ve been asking our customers & followers to email us if they see any great emails that they think should be featured. When we received an inquiry (thanks for sending this over, Gaurav Gupta!) to include this email from HelloTravel, we were pretty impressed!


One of the first things that piqued my interest about this email was its nice hierarchy and format. The header, “Plan a budget friendly getaway this October,” and the main CTA (along with its details), “Plan your travel!,” span the entire width of the email, which puts the most emphasis on these elements. In addition, the blue header and red call to action make them stand out on an otherwise (mostly) white email.

Under these two aspects of the email are all of the secondary CTAs. These secondary CTAs are all organized the same: a blue, underlined headline; bulleted list of tour attractions; and a yellow CTA button, “Yes, I want to Go.” Since they are formatted the same, each of these buttons have the same amount of emphasis and same place as far as their visual hierarchy is concerned.

Overall, I really enjoy the hierarchy and organization of this email. The bright buttons stand out against the white backdrop and the clear-cut hierarchy make the email easy to read and follow. Nice work, HelloTravel!


One of my favorite aspects of this email is how great it looks when images are disabled, since it, well, looks exactly the same!

When I first saw the email, I recognized that it was mostly live text, but I didn’t realize that it was entirely live text until I ran it through Litmus. I was, honestly, somewhat shocked to see how well it rendered in an images-off environment. Since HelloTravel doesn’t use any images — they use all live text, background colors, and bulletproof buttons — the email looks the same when images are disabled!


While optimizing for an images-off environment is important, imagery can be an important aspect of email marketing for many industries. In HelloTravel’s case, I wonder if including photos of their travel destinations would provide some emotional motivation to click-through. As much as I love seeing bulletproof buttons, I’d love seeing examples of “Exotic Islands” and “Colorful Marine Life” even more! Definitely something to consider A/B testing! An additional factor to is that open metrics may be under-reported in highly optimized emails. Since most ESPs utilize a 1×1 gif to track opens, images must be turned on before an open is counted. In cases such as these, it’s important to adjust your internal benchmarks and goals to de-emphasize open rate (and instead focus on click-through or conversion rates).


While HelloTravel’s commitment to images-off optimization is very impressive, I do think that all emails should include a branding element, usually the sender’s logo. While the logo wouldn’t be disabled in an images-off environment, ALT text serves as a well-supported backup plan. Since the sender (HelloTravel) is only mentioned in the “from” address, subscribers might not have any other cues as to the sender of the email, especially after a quick glance. A little branding would have gone a long way!

Another aspect of the email that caught my eye was the inconsistent use of capitalization across the email. I’m not sure if I noticed this because I was a writing minor in college or not, but it made the email feel a little rushed—and maybe even a little spammy—to me. For example, in the main CTA cells, the words PLAN and MAILBOX are all-caps and in red, while the word Travel is in red but title cased.

In addition, there are discrepancies in capitalization throughout the secondary CTAs. For example, some of the items in the bulleted lists are capitalized, while others are not. It’s obviously not a huge deal, but because the hierarchy of the email is so organized and well-thought-out, I wish the rest of the email followed suit by making the text synonymous.


Do you have an email that you’d like us to feature in our inspiration series? Send it to us at inspiration@litmus.com!