HTML Emails

Hi Everyone!!

I have a question about HTML emails. I am working for a company who will be relying heavily on the use of HTML emails to drive traffic to our websites.

So, the formatting of the emails is really important.

I have followed all the standards - I have uploaded my images to our webserver and I have linked to them. I have created the layout using tables etc etc.

The email renders well in all mail clients with or without the images, but every person has to “click to download images”.

I have been investigating some HTML emails from my boss who is adament that she hasn’t had to download the images, and when the emails arrived they already had the images there. These contacts haven’t emailed her before and weren’t in her contacts list.

I can’t work out how this has happened? Can anyone shed any light?


Eily :slight_smile:

You have to embed the images in the email if you want people to see them. All email programs block linked images because spammers use them to confirm email addresses so as to know where to send more spam.

To use embedded images with HTML in emails use multipart/related

Something else to consider: Most email services allow you simultaneously embed HTML and text versions of the same email so that you give the end user’s device a choice of which format to display. With all of the mobile devices out there, text emails aren’t going away anytime soon.

Just my $0.02.

I believe it’s an option in some clients to just leave email images on, as well.

On a sort of unrelated note, we use Campaign Monitor to send all our emails and its client screenshot testing service is top notch.

There are two ways to attach images to HTML emails.

You can put the images on the web and link to them drom the email - in which case the recipient has to decide that your email isn’t spam and specifically enable images for that email in order to download them.

You can embed the images in the email itself so that they are already there when the email is opened.

The only option that email programs have is whether or not to allow linked images to display automatically. That option is usually off by default as spammers use invisible images in their emails in order to log the address of those who open their email and download the image.

Embedded images will always display regardless of the setting in the email program that applies to linked images.

Thanks for the responses guys I really appreciate it.

Doing my research, would this not make the email being sent out rather larger then a standard html email linking to pictures? Or is this something that you have to sacrifice in order to make images display immediately?

I have been doing a lot of research and can’t actually find out how to embed images. I must be searching for the wrong thing, but it seems to be really heavily code-y?

I’m using infusionsoft to send emails out - would this have a hold over whether I can embed images or not?

Thanks again guys, I really appreciate the help!

If you want people to see images in an email then they need to be embedded in the email itself. No one turns on the option to view linked images as anyone who does will soon be buried under all the spam emails. The best you can hope for with linked images is that your other content is compelling enough for people to decide to allow the images just this one time.

Actually, you’d be surprised how many do – again, thinking of Campaign Monitor, there is a report that can tell us how many people opened our emails, and this is based on a tiny tracking image embedded by CM.

No I am not al that surprised. There hasn’t been all that much information provided to people to tell them the relationship between allowing linked images and getting huge quantities of spam as a result and so a lot of people do fall into that trap. If everyone made sure linked images were turned off it would result in a huge reduction in spam because the spammers would no longer be getting long reports of the email addresses of all the people who opened their spam (using software similar to Campaign Monitor but list ing the addresses instead of just counting them).

Thanks again for the replies but I’m still not sure of how to embed images? I have been googling, I just can’t seem to find it!

See if this article helps (I just found it in Google):

If you’re sending emails with PHP Swiftmailer can be helpful.
Here’s how to embed images:

on the Campaign Monitor blog they say that embedding images to HTML isn’t supported by most mail readers. From the Blog:

So based on our results, it is clearly not worth using embedded images in your emails. All you will be doing is forcing people to download encoded images that they will not be able to view.

Any opinions about that? Which method is best. Linking or Embedding images? I’m not a spammer I just want to be able to create high quality newsletters.

Then just concentrate on good, clean, meaningful content, with the minimum of imagery and other styling. The more you rely on images and styling, the more troubles you’ll have. Certainly HTML emails can look stunning in some email clients, but it is hard to get them to look right in most if you get fancy.

It’s best to let users choose whether or not to download images, as there are security and other implications involved in this choice, and it’s not fair to take away that choice.

I think you’re absolutely right :slight_smile:

Yes, embedding all those images will increase the size of the email. So you need to get smart about optimising the images, saving them in the most appropriate format at the maximum acceptable compression, minimising the number and size of images so that you aren’t throwing more bytes at people than you need to.

Bear in mind that they will have to download the same number of bytes whether the images are embedded or linked, and arguably embedded will be less to download because there will be no HTTP requests.

I have embedded images in newsletters & emails but prefer to link images to a remote server. Here are my top three thoughts on the subject:

  1. If the newsletter is of value, the recipients will turn on linked images.

  2. With systems like Constant Contact (and the many others that provide the same service), you can send both html and plain text copies so that non html mail readers will receive a useful document.

  3. Linked images provide faster delivery and the option to download the image to the reader. Embedded doesn’t.

Very interesting thread - has anyone had any experience with the method described on the link below :