In the current email marketing landscape, visual images are fundamental to catching your recipient's attention. In this article, we'll show you:
- How to choose the right image format for your email.
- Why images may not display, and how to detect the source of this issue.
Why is it important for the images to be properly displayed?
Most recipients only scan emails for a few seconds, so if all they see are paragraphs after paragraphs of content, they might just dismiss it. Because of this, it is important to understand what may cause your images to not display in your email. On the more technical side of things, specifically for your stats, opens are calculated when images are displayed, so if images aren’t shown, your statistics will be inaccurate.
Choosing the right image formats
- The JPEG file format is the most widely used on the Internet.
- This format can be compressed very easily, which allows you to send photographs with a smaller file size, so your email will load faster.
- Image compression can also cause a loss of image quality.
- The PNG format is not affected by compression and it can support transparent background images.
- The file size can be significantly larger than a JPG format image.
- A PNG image may not work properly with older browsers like Explorer.
- Not recommended since many email clients don't support this format, like gmail, yahoo and outlook.
- Designed for vector graphics
- SVG images have high resolution and are typically small in size.
- The best option to add animations to your email.
- The oldest form of animated images on the Internet.
- Compatible with almost all e-mail clients (Otherwise, they'll only show the first image).
So in conclusion, the best format would be JPG images for email content, unless the image quality is more important than possible loading times, in which case you can use the PNG format. As for animations, it's highly recommended to use GIFS.
Reasons why your image may not display.
- Images are blocked: It’s possible that the email client has blocked images from loading; this won’t change until the recipient clicks to always display or adds you to their Safe Senders, Contact list or Address book. Be sure to let your subscribers know to click to always allow your content to show or encourage them to add your From address to avoid this problem in the future.
- Include text (not just images) in your email. Image-only emails will not open properly and will be flagged as spam nearly 100% of the time. As per anti-spam law, all emails must contain some form of text (even if it a simple “hello”), but you should aim to include an more text than images.
- Make sure you are using absolute URLs. Relative URLs are the equivalent of saying “down the road, left-hand side, walk on for a few houses, you can’t miss it.” when someone asks you for an address. Absolute URLs are the equivalent of saying “31 Emily Street, Chicago, Illinois, USA, North America, Planet Earth” instead. In order for everyone to be able to see your email’s images you need to use the absolute URL (and the images have to be stored somewhere online that is accessible to everyone, too).Relative URL
- Background images don’t show up on certain email clients: Always use a solid background color as a backup.