When you send email campaigns that contain images, your subscribers may face a plethora of image-rendering problems in Microsoft Outlook. 

In this article, we will discuss the most common image-rendering issues that occur in Outlook and the steps you can take to tackle such difficulties. 

Furthermore, you will learn about various guidelines to preemptively stop campaign image issues from arising in Outlook.

This article contains the following major sections:

  • Image-display issues
  • Broken-image issues
  • Slow loading of images
  • Best practices for the display of campaign images in Outlook

Image-display issues

The images in an email campaign are not displayed in Outlook due to a whole host of reasons. Here, we will discuss some common issues and provide guidelines to fix such problems.

Lack of space or extra space between images and accompanying text 

If you add content along with an image in your email campaign, Outlook may not display an appropriate amount of space between the image and accompanying text. In addition, the formatting of the text could go awry as shown here.

To prevent such issues from arising, you must add a line break after the image or text in the following manner:

  1. In Zenoti, go to Marketing > Campaigns > Email/Text Message.
  2. Select your existing email campaign, and then click Edit campaign.
    Alternatively, to create a new email campaign, click Add Scheduled Campaign.
  3. In the Create the content section, under Email content, add an image (if you have not added one already). Learn more
  4. After you have added the image, on the content editor, click Source.
    The HTML editor of your email content appears. 
  5. At the end of the image tag details, after the </p> tag, type <br/>.
    This adds a line break after the image. For more information, refer to the subsequent screenshot.
  6. Type the required content after the line break.
  7. To return to the default content editor, click Source.
  8. Save, test, and publish the email campaign. 

This process enables you to add well-defined spaces between your campaign images and accompanying text.

After adding a line break, the campaign image and accompanying content appear like this in Outlook:

Images with wrapped text appear distorted

Outlook does not consider the padding and margins that you may have set for images. Consequently, the wrapped text sticks to the image and the entire content appears distorted. 

In addition, the text may not appear like you intended and the formatting could go for a toss as shown here.

To prevent such issues from arising, you must set border, horizontal space, vertical space, and alignment values for the image by following these steps:

  1. In Zenoti, go to Marketing > Campaigns > Email/Text Message.
  2. Click your existing email campaign, and then click Edit campaign.
    Alternatively, to create a new email campaign, click Add Scheduled Campaign.
  3. In the Create the content section, under Email content, add an image (if you have not added one already). Learn more
  4. You can modify the image properties by using any one of these methods:

From the Image Properties dialog box

  1. Right-click the added image, and then click Image Properties.
    The Image Properties dialog box appears.
  2. On the Image Info tab, specify the following values:
  3. In the Border box, type 0.
    Always set this value as zero to remove the display of any unnecessary image borders in Outlook.
  4. In the HSpace box, type 5.
  5. In the VSpace box, type 5.
    Specify the HSpace and VSpace values depending on how much white space you want between the image and the text.)
  6. In the Alignment list box, select Left or Right.
    The image will be aligned to the left or right based on your selection.
  7. Click Ok.
  8. Save, test, and publish the email campaign.

From the HTML editor
The HTML editor allows you to add image properties such as border dimensions and styles, margin dimensions, and alignment of the image with respect to the text.

  1. On the content editor, click Source.
    The HTML editor of your email content appears. 
  2. Add the following parameters in the image tag:
  3. border-width: 0px;
    Always set this value as zero to remove the display of any unnecessary image borders in Outlook.
  4. border-style: solid;
  5. margin-top: 15px; 
  6. margin-bottom: 15px;
  7. margin-left: 15px; 
  8. margin-right: 15px;
    Specify the margin values depending on how much white space you want between the image and the text.
  9. float: left;
    The image will be aligned to the left or right based on your specified value.
    For more information, refer to the subsequent screenshot.
  10. To return to the default content editor, click Source.
  11. Save, test, and publish the email campaign.

This process enables you to send campaign images containing wrapped text without any risk of image distortion or corruption. 

After adding these image properties, the campaign image and accompanying wrapped content appear like this in Outlook:

Background images are not displayed

Outlook does not support the display of background images. This drawback occurs not only on Outlook but also on some other email clients. There is no quick solution to this problem.

If you want to force the display of a background image in a custom-coded template, you must modify the template code as per your requirement.

Request customers to allow automatic download of images in Outlook

Consider a scenario where the subscribers of your campaigns are receiving your email, but the images are not displaying appropriately. 

You can request them to enable the feature to automatically download pictures in Outlook by following these steps:

  1. In Outlook, go to File > Options > Trust Center.
  2. Under Microsoft Outlook Trust Center, click Trust Center Settings.
  3. In the Automatic Download section, clear the Don't download pictures automatically in HTML email messages or RSS items check box.

If this process does not resolve the issue, request your customers to disable the text-only emails option:

  1. In Outlook, go to File > Options > Trust Center.
  2. Under Microsoft Outlook Trust Center, click Trust Center Settings.
  3. Click the Email Security tab.
  4. Under Read as Plain Text, clear the Read all standard mail in plain text check box.

Request clients to add your email address to their address book

Sometimes, Outlook continues to block the images in your campaign even after your subscribers enable automatic download of pictures. 

To fix this issue, request your customers to create an address book in Outlook (if they do not have one already) and then add your email address to their address book.

Images do not appear properly

Outlook may face cache issues from time to time. Consequently, Outlook sometimes will not download your campaign image or the image may appear broken. 

If this snag occurs, you can request your subscribers to restart their computer to clear Outlook's cache.

Broken-image issues

Here are some tips to fix problems that make your campaign images appear broken in Outlook.

Use absolute image paths

Always specify the absolute path of images in your campaigns. You must follow this guideline to ensure that images are not broken in all email clients.

For example, you must always specify image URLs in this format:
http://www.website.com/html-email/images/image.gif

Do not enter just the partial path of your image as shown here:
images/image.gif

Do not host images on a hosting or file-sharing website

Avoid hosting your email campaign images on a free file-hosting site or free website account such as Dropbox or Tumblr. These systems often block outside links to images that they host to keep their bandwidth costs down. 

Instead, host the images on your own server or website, or use an image that you have already uploaded to Zenoti Image Gallery.

Do not host images on a secure server

Avoid hosting images on a private secure server that requires a login and password.

Slow loading of images

At times, the images in your campaign take a long time to load in your subscribers' inboxes or in test emails. Here are some reasons that may cause this issue to occur.

Image size is too large or image resolution is too high

To modify the file size and improve load time of the image, use an image optimizer tool.

Presence of multiple large images 

We recommend that you use as few large campaign images as possible to optimize the loading time of images.

Best practices for the display of campaign images in Outlook

Use either .png, .jpg, or .gif file formats

This ensures that your image can be displayed in every major email client, including all versions of Outlook. While formats such as WebP and SVG have good support in web browsers, they are not well supported in email clients.

Do not add images that exceed 650 pixels in width

For the best display experience on mobile and Outlook, ensure that image widths are between 300 and 650 pixels. Outlook does not scale down images that are 1000 or more pixels wide. Instead, the image will be displayed at its actual size, causing the width of your template to expand and become distorted.

Break tall images into smaller pieces 

If the height of your image is more than 600 pixels and you do not want to reduce it further, the best alternative is to crop the image into separate, shorter images. This will enable Outlook to load individual images faster and the images will retain their original quality.

Avoid text in your images

If images are blocked by a subscriber's inbox, they will not see the text included in your image. In addition, the image may become distorted on mobile as it will need to be scaled up or down to fit the mobile viewpoint.

Use Alt Text

Specifying alternative text provides useful contextual information about your images. So if Outlook blocks images from automatically displaying, your subscriber can still understand the context of the missing campaign image.

To add alt text to your image in Zenoti's email campaign content editor, follow these steps:

  1. In Zenoti, go to Marketing > Campaigns > Email/Text Message.
  2. Click your existing email campaign, and then click Edit campaign.
    Alternatively, to create a new email campaign, click Add Scheduled Campaign.
  3. In the Create the content section, under Email content, add an image (if you have not added one already). Learn more
  4. You can add alt text to the image by using any one of these steps:

From the Image Properties dialog box

  1. Right-click the added image, and then click Image Properties.
    The Image Properties dialog box appears.
  2. In the Alternative Text box, type the required description for your image.
    For example, “Wish you a very happy birthday!”.
  3. Click Ok.
  4. Save, test, and publish the email campaign.

From the HTML editor

  1. On the content editor, click Source.
    The HTML editor of your email content appears. 
  2. In the image tag, for the img alt parameter, type the required description for your image.
    For example, img alt="Wish you a very happy birthday!".
    For more information, refer to the subsequent screenshot.
  3. To return to the default content editor, click Source.
  4. Save, test, and publish the email campaign.

This process enables you to add relevant alt text, which especially comes in handy if Outlook blocks images from automatically displaying.

Did this answer your question?