Embedded images in HTML-emails being stripped/moved to bottom

Posted on 2002-07-04
Last Modified: 2008-02-01
The mission
To send out HTML newsletters with embedded images (by using multipart/related).

The problem
In certain e-mail programs the embedded images gets removed and are placed in the bottom of the message as attachments. (and when it happens in Lotus Notes, the text [image] appeared instead of the images)

What are the circumstances ?
- We have experienced it with an MS-Outlook97 client, a Lotus Notes 5 client an a custom webmail client, so it can probably happen on any client.

- I'm using Persits e-mail component to generate the mails (

My own speculations
- Is it the mail-client that does it ? Or is it a mail/SMTP-server along the way?

- I've seen this problem with other newsletter (from other companies) as well, so it seems to be a "generic problem".

- Anyone have any experience with this problem? Or just some guesses?
Question by:Rohde

Accepted Solution

FlamingSword earned 100 total points
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This is normal behavior for eMail, for it by its very nature is text based. Not based on pictures, not based on executables (viruses), but based on simple text messages. Anything else would be attachment. This is a good thing.

I assure you, that you may not send me anything 'embedded' or hidden in a message to my eMail system, and those who insist on doing so may well find themselves completely filtered out of my inbox for ever.

Pictures also make messages larger, consume more time to download, and require more disk space. Many people are thus turned off by this, and unhappy if they receive such unsolicited.

As to when the conversion happens, your guesses are right on. It just depends on circumstances. If all recipients are on same LAN, same eMail server, same eMail client, and --- and all are configured same way to receive this, then what you are trying to do could work out. Possible perhaps for a local bulletin among friends, or church bulletin. Not good fo national or WAN based or as unsolicited to strangers who liken it to eSpam.

But Outlook itself can filter to text only, not allowing Word format (Microsoft now recommends not using MS Word) or html either. In other words, same client does not guarantee same results.

Author Comment

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I understand your arguments against embedded images (and partly agree), but our customer (no, not a spammer) wants embedded images, so we will do what we can to give it to him.

The people that have these problems have not (purposely anyway ;) activated any filters or anti-spam-settings.
We do not want to circumvene peoples filters, we just want to give people who _wants_ to see the pictures a chance to do so.

I know that you can never get your mails to show up correctly for all recipients, since there are many subtle differences between the various applications interpretations of the standards (plus all the bugs).
But if anyone had any tips that would increase the compatibility, so that e.g. 92% instead of only 68% could read the newsletters correctly, it would be greatly appreciated.

Expert Comment

Comment Utility
Welcome to Email Marketing 101.

First, Outlook does weird things to HTML.
Second you have to have a bit of HTML knowledge to overcome this.  I can only assume that you don't have access to a webserver to reference the pictures as links rather than embedded within the email.  Pictures embedded balloon the email size.
Looking at the HTML code, the spots where you see IMG SRC="x.gif" is where you need to focus.
You have to put in the term "cid" (without quotes).  That specifies that the image is embedded within the webpage.  You can setup the HTML piece so it does both reference a website for the image and embed the image.  That way either way happens depending on the email client software.

Last, there are NO guanrantees.  There are so many email clients and so many individual settings that the variations just make it impossible to account for one method to work on all platforms.  I develop a couple of pieces to work for various platforms.  One for the general public, one for AOL type mail systems, and one for text email clients.

My secret is to use Gammadyne Mailer to transport the emails.  I've seen the best success rate from that software as the transport.  It is very customizable and you get lifetime upgrades.  It also handles the text portion if the email client cannot display HTML.  So you can use the text from the HTML piece or put in a different message all together.

The only thing it cannot do is email tracking.  So you won't know the response rate.  That is another animal all together.  There are solutions to do it, but it is best to outsource something like that to a company (maybe me?).
You have to be able to have access to a webserver and know a bit of CGI to do it basically.  Or buy the software, get the webserver, and firewall.

I hope that gives you an answer.

Expert Comment

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This may be an abandoned question or perhaps forgotten?  
I will add this to a cleanup list to be reviewed by EE moderators.

Point split and PAQ

If anyone participating in this Queue disagrees with the above recommendation,
please comment in this queue for the moderators.

Thank you,


Expert Comment

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I have reduced the points to 100 for a split.  Please post a 100 point question in this same Area for Mayhem70 in the format Points for  Mayhem70 - Q_20319474
and then come back here and post the link to the question created.  Thanks.

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