Email Marketing

Can Email Images Put You in Spam?

Pictures are worth a thousand words..or... not


Zunairah Rafay


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Do you ever feel like your emails are going through blind eyes?

You craft the perfect message, hit send, and then...nothing. It's frustrating, but it's also a common problem. Email marketing is a crowded space, and many factors can impact your email deliverability, including the images you use in your emails.

You might think that images would make your emails more engaging and visually appealing, and in many cases, you'd be right. But if you're not careful, those images could send your emails straight to the spam folder in your client's inbox.

Also Read: Why Warming Up Email is Essential for Successful Email Marketing

Fret not, we have all the answers to your questions and GoCustomer email warm up tool can keep you out of spam. However, let's dive into what you can do with images.

What are embedded images in emails?

Embedded images refer to pictures that are inserted directly into a document or webpage rather than being linked to an external file. When the document or webpage is opened on email platforms, the image is displayed without the need for a separate file to be loaded.

But there is a problem. Certain image embedding methods can trigger spam filters, which could lead to your email being sent directly to the spam folder.

So, let's dive into why embedded images can be problematic and help you overcome these challenges.

Embedded images vs. linked Images vs. attached images

email images embedded

Before we dive into image embedding techniques, let's first take a look at the different ways you can include images in your emails. There are three primary methods: embedded images, linked images, and attached images.

Embedded images are images that are included in the email itself, using the cid image embedding technique. The image is stored as a part of the email message, so it doesn't require an external link to display.

Linked images are hosted on an external server and linked from within the email message. When a user opens the email, their email client downloads the image from the external server and displays it in the email.

Attached images are images that are included as attachments to the email message. The user must download the image attachment to view it.

While each of these methods has its benefits and drawbacks, embedded images can be particularly problematic when it comes to email deliverability. Let's explore why.

The risks of embedding images

When you embed an image in your email using the cid image embedding technique, the image is stored as a part of the email message. The email file size can become quite large, particularly if you use high-resolution or multiple images.

Large HTML emails or file sizes can trigger spam filters, as they can be indicative of spammy content. Spammers often use large image files to bypass text-based spam filters.

Another issue with embedded images is that they can be difficult to display on mobile devices. Some email clients, such as Apple Mail, don't support cid embedding, which means that users may not be able to see your images.

Moreover, embedded images can also impact the load time of your email and prevent a good impression of a particular product.

For example, if the image file size is too large, it can take a long time to load, which is frustrating for users and may lead to them abandoning your email before it's even displayed. But there are ways to sort this out.

Choosing the right embedded image and format

To minimize the risks associated with embedded images, choosing the right images and image format is essential. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

embedding email images

Inline embedding

In-line image embedding is a technique used in email marketing where images are directly inserted into the body of an email, rather than attaching them as separate files. With inline embedding, you can help improve the email's visual appeal, engagement, and deliverability.

Use high-quality images in emails

While large image file sizes can be problematic, you also want to add images that are of a high enough quality to be displayed properly.

Optimizing your email design

Email design is an important factor in email deliverability. Here are some tips to help you create visually appealing emails that won't trigger spam filters.

1. Keep it simple

A cluttered email can be overwhelming and may put off your readers. Stick to a clean, simple design that highlights your message and makes it easy for users to take action.

2. Use a clear, concise subject line

how to optimize email images

Your subject line is the first thing users see when they receive your email, so it's important to make it clear and engaging. Avoid spammy phrases or excessive punctuation, as this can trigger spam filters.

3. Write a preheader text

A short text snippet appears in users' email inboxes just below the subject line. Use this to your advantage by providing a summary of your email content or a call to action.

4. Segment your audience

Not all subscribers are the same, so it's essential to segment your audience and tailor your emails to their interests. This can help to improve open rates and reduce the chances of your email being marked as spam.

5. Provide an easy way to unsubscribe

It's important to provide users with a clear, easy way to unsubscribe from your emails. This helps to improve your email deliverability and ensures that you're only sending emails to people who are genuinely interested in your content.

How to optimize your image use?

Now that we've covered some tips for optimizing your email design let's dive into some tips for optimizing your image use.

Select images sparingly: While images can be a powerful way to showcase your message, too many images can trigger spam filters. Stick to a few high-quality stock images that complement your message. Perhaps a gif or videos can do that better for you.

Use the right file format: As you might have known, JPEG is generally the best file format for email marketing. Avoid using large files with too many pixels, and uncompressed files such as BMP or TIFF.

Compress your images: To reduce the file size of your images, consider using an image compression tool. This can help to maintain image quality while reducing the overall file size of your email.

Use alt text: Alt text is a description of an image that is displayed when the image can't be loaded. This is particularly important for embedded images, as it ensures that users can still understand the content of your images in emails even if the images don't display correctly.

Use a warm-up tool: If you're planning to send a large volume of emails, it's a good idea to use a warm-up tool like GoCustomer. 

Monitor your email campaigns: Finally, it's important to monitor your email campaigns with detailed analytics. This can help you to identify any issues with your email design or attached image use and optimize your campaigns over time.

Bottom Line

It's important to remember that email marketing is just one piece of the puzzle when building relationships with your customers.

You can use pictures when you email your client as part of your overall marketing strategy, but be sure to use best practices for email marketing and keep your customer's preferences in mind.

With the right approach, you can create engaging, informative, and visually appealing emails that your subscribers will love to read.

An image to showcase the email warmup feature

Reach more customers with your cold emails

Table of Contents

    In a nutshell

    Embedded images in emails are images that are included within the email message itself, rather than being hosted externally and linked to in the email.
    The primary methods of including images in emails are embedding the images within the email itself or hosting the images externally and linking to them in the email.
    Embedded images can be problematic when it comes to email deliverability because some email clients and servers may block images by default, leading to emails being delivered with broken or missing images.
    The risks associated with embedded images include increased email file size, slower load times, broken images, and potential security risks if the image source is compromised.
    In-line image embedding in email marketing refers to the practice of including images within the body of an email in order to enhance the visual appeal of the message and potentially increase engagement with the content.
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