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HOW TO: Tackle image blocking

People view their emails through many different programmes that treat each email differently - Outlook, Lotus Notes, Gmail - and there are also many different screen sizes, from desktops to mobiles. Although we are all able to dictate our own personal settings, people generally use the preview panes to view emails and have an email account that requires them to right click to download the images.

Busier inboxes mean marketers can no longer rely on pictures of fancy cars or pretty ladies to get the interactions they want, as all we see is a box with a little red cross and the words "Right click here to download pictures. To protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the internet". What does this mean from a marketing perspective?

What it doesn't mean is that we should stop being creative with our emails. It just means we need to test what our audiences like and make sure we include a good ratio of text to imagery. Remember, people expect email to be interactive. We can use it to drive recipients to the web where we have a much more flexible and live environment; your videos can play and people can submit forms and interact. The internet is much more standardised from desktop to desktop so it is easier for you to test your campaigns on different web browsers, such as Explorer, Mozilla or Firefox, and therefore have confidence that most people will get the same interactive experience.