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Images in email - troubleshooting

Various sources state that about 70% to 80% of bulk e-mail campaigns are in HTML format. The main reason why the majority of e-mail marketers choose HTML over plain text is that you can use images, which are proven (at least in many instances) to drive your sales up. But have you ever received HTML e-mails where you the images weren't displayed correctly? I know I have. There is no point in using HTML, paying for extra bandwidth and designers' work, if your recipients won't see what they are supposed to see. How to avoid these problems? First, you have to know that there are two ways to add images to your HTML message - to link images or to embed them in your e-mail.

Linking images in your e-mails works very similar to how images are displayed on any website. All you have to do is to add a line to your HTML code that defines the source of the image to be displayed, something like this:

<img src=http://www.yoursite.com/images/mypic1.gif>

The first thing you have to check is whether your image (mypic1.gif) is uploaded to your website. Then you have to make sure that the path to
your image is correct. A small mistake (like misspelling) will ruin everything. Now the important part - even if everything is correct,
your images may still be displayed incorrectly (i.e. not displayed at all).

The first situation when this may happen is if your website is down or overloaded at the moment when your e-mail is being read. The second,
more typical situation happens when your recipient accesses Internet via dial-up and uses e-mail client software. When off-line, he or she will
not see the linked images. Some e-mail client software does not display the linked images even if the user is online. You can fix this if you embed
your images in your e-mail. This means that your e-mail will have these images attached and the size of the e-mail will increase dramatically (which does count when you pay for the bandwidth). You will have to alter your HTML code to add a line that looks like this:

<img src=mypic1.gif>.

If you don't know HTML and don't plan to learn it any time soon, I highly recommend you get special software, like Atomic Mail Sender that lets you do all this without knowing HTML. For more information on adding images to your e-mails, see http://amailsender.com/support/images/ When you embed (and attach) images to your e-mail, your images will always "travel" with your e-mail messages, insuring that they will be displayed correctly. The only exception is when your recipients read your e-mails in a browser (Web interface to mailbox, like mail.yahoo.com); they will not see the images, because most Web interfaces can't show embedded images (Important note: latest version of Atomic Mail Sender bypasses this and you may send email with embedded images without any risk).

Conclusion:

  • Estimate how many of your recipients use free email services, such as Yahoo!Mail or Hotmail
  • Install all popular emailing software on your computer - Outlook, The Bat!, Eudora, etc.
  • Before sending out your e-mail to your recipients, send it to yourself. Make sure you use every e-mail client, different free e-mail accounts, various web browsers and types of Internet Connection.
  • Then see what your results are for the emails that link images and for the messages that embed the images.
  • Decide which option of using images is best for you.

Next Week: Buying and Renting Mailing Lists
Prev Week: How to use email address extractors

Relevant links:

  • Atomic Mail Sender, a bulk mailer with built-in HTML capabilities
  • HTML processing utilities

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