Inline embedding is another simple option if you’re looking for an easy way to embed images in your emails. Inline embedding is what most people probably think of when they think of embedding images in email. You don’t have to worry about learning any advanced code or how to edit images like a pro; with a base64 string of your image, you can easily embed it into an email using HTML.
Perhaps the biggest problem with inline embedding is that it faces the same shortcomings as CID in many ways. When you use inline embedding to add images to emails, you increase the size of emails and make them harder to deliver. Even worse, certain web email clients don’t play well with CID embedding, which means part of your mailing list may not even see the images you embed. CID embedding is even blocked completely for Microsoft Outlook users, and that’s one of the most popular email clients on the web.
While CID embedding can be a good option in some cases, it’s best to choose an alternative if you want maximum ease and compatibility.
When it comes to how to embed images in emails, linked image embedding is probably the best all-around solution. Not only are linked images easier to use, but they also make your emails smaller in size and easily deliverable. You can embed these images by simply linking to them in HTML, which is part of what keeps these images from weighing down your emails. Once you’ve got your images uploaded to a directory of some sort, you can link to that image to embed it within an email.
The only real downside to linked images is the fact that you have to be careful where you upload your image depending on how many people are going to read your emails. If you’re only going to have 100 readers or so, you can host your images with basic services like Google Drive or Dropbox, but you’re going to need a CDN (content delivery network) if you want to send an email to thousands or tens of thousands of subscribers. Amazon CloudFront is one of several popular choices if you’re looking for a CDN that works with linked images.
Latency can be an issue in some cases with linked images, so it’s important to make sure your images are as small as possible (without sacrificing quality) when you upload them to a CDN or cloud storage service. While this is somewhat of a downside, it’s not a huge deal in most cases. As long as you’re formatting your images properly and doing what you can to scale them down to make them appropriate for emails, most readers have access to internet that’s fast enough to download small images in a reasonable amount of time.