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How to Embed Images In an Email

There are a lot of little things to learn in the world of email marketing, but understanding how to embed images in emails is crucial. Explore this email imagery guide.

As important as it is to choose the right words, images also play a crucial role in email marketing. Graphics are a great way to break up the wall of text that emails can easily become, especially when they add real value. As a business owner, it’s important to know how to embed images in emails and use graphics to make your emails better.

There are a lot of things to learn about email marketing if you want to maximize your return on investment. By adding image content blocks, headings, and other visual elements that help break up your emails, you can increase audience engagement and get more out of your email marketing campaign. If you want to learn how to embed images in email, here’s a complete guide for you.

What does it mean to embed an image?

Embedding is a term frequently used in web design and development to describe images in videos, but what does it mean to embed an image? When you embed an image in an email, you’re placing that image directly in the email. When readers open that email, those images will load up along with the text and other body content.

You need to know how to embed images because it’s such an effective way to break up the content in your emails. You don’t want to force people to read a wall of text; you want your content to be easy to read and easily scannable. With charts, graphs, and other images, readers can quickly scan over your content to figure out what they need to know about your brand or a product or service you’re offering.

Failing to embed images properly or anchor a link to an embedded image are both common HTML mistakes, so learning how to embed images in email can give you an advantage over your competition. At the very least, you should have a basic understanding of what an embedded image is and how it can improve your emails.

Embedded vs attached images

You might be wondering, what’s the difference between an embedded image and an attached image? The main difference is where these two types of images end up in an email.

When you attach an image to an email, that image is shown at the very bottom as an attachment. These attachments may look a little different depending on the email provider you’re using. Readers will need to click on an attached image to view the full-size version, and some providers may force users to download images to view them. This can all lead to a poor customer experience.

Embedded images are different from attached images because they live within the body of your emails. Emails with images are a great way to separate your brand from the competition and show a little personality. Plus, you can customize the size of embedded images with content blocks and add a link to images, so they can be a powerful marketing tool if you know what you’re doing.

While attachments certainly have their place in the modern world of email marketing, embedding is generally a better way to go for images. Embedding images in your emails means readers get a better reading experience, plus they don’t have to worry about downloading images to get the full context of your email.

3 best ways to embed images

Embedding emails offers a lot of benefits, but it’s important to make sure you’re doing it right. The method of embedding you choose is important because it determines how much work you have to do and what you can do with your embedded images. Here’s a breakdown of your three choices.

CID image embedding

CID (or content ID) embedding has been around for a long time, but it’s still a good way to embed images in your emails. On the surface, CID image embedding is a fairly simple process. All you have to do is attach an image to your email, then use the content ID of that image to reference it at some point within the email. The image will be embedded where you reference it within the body content, but keep in mind you’ll need to know basic HTML tags for embedding an image before you can do that.

The biggest problem with CID image embedding is that it can be a lot more complicated than you might think. For starters, you need to understand HTML and content IDs in order to embed an image using CID. What’s even worse is that images embedded via CID may not show up properly in every email client, so your email might look different from reader to reader. Web-based email clients like Gmail and Yahoo! can be a particularly big problem when it comes to displaying CID embedded images.

Another downside to CID embedding is the fact that it makes the size of your emails larger, which can make those emails harder to deliver. Plus, you don’t want your emails to load slowly because it can frustrate readers.

Inline embedding

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.

Linked images

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.

To embed or not to embed

There are a lot of little things to learn in the world of email marketing, but understanding how to embed images in emails to break up walls of text is crucial. You want to make it easy for readers to quickly scan your emails to find information that’s important to them, and using headings and images to break up body content is a great way to do that.

Sometimes, you need a little help with the email marketing side of things. The good news is, Mailchimp offers a comprehensive suite of tools that helps you automate email marketing, use analytics to improve emails, and more. We’ve even got templates that can help you write better emails. If your email marketing efforts need a boost, try Mailchimp today.

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