Question about use of graphics in emails

I recently purchased the ‘HTML EMAIL - That Just Works!’ book and I enjoyed it. I have a general question that I did not see an answer to in the book. I create relatively small mass emails for a not-for-profit. The image files are on the server, and my mass email references the images on the server. I don’t have too many images in the mass email, five small images at most. When I send and receive a mass email, I notice the size of the email message is 124KB for example. When I receive commercial mass emails from Barnes and Noble or whoever, I notice the size of their emails is only 20KB approx, yet they have eight times the number of graphics in the email than I do. My image files are saved for the web, they are small in size (bytes). Just wondering how they can keep the size of their emails down, and I cannot. When viewing source code of their emails, it looks like they are doing the same thing, referencing image files located on a server. What am I missing?