Are Images Hurting Your Email Marketing?

We know that images enhance our content and help convey a strong message visually. However, including images in your emails or content marketing efforts may be negatively impacting your email deliverability and overall effectiveness. Most email marketers have heard the term “reputation” before and know the difference in Internet Protocol (IP) and domain reputation. Many marketers review sending IP address(es), sending domain(s), and data metrics from an email service provider (ESP) or marketing automation platform (MAP). However, people forget to review image and link URLs in the body of the email.  Each of these links have their own reputation and can be filtered before getting into the recipient’s mailbox, affecting your deliverability.

The major ESPs and MAPs create unique image URLs for each customer and each sender is responsible for the reputation on those links. These links point to where the images are hosted and could be hosted outside of your company and ESP/MAP. Hosting the images internally could be a good thing, but if the server goes down, images won’t be shown in the email.  Having an image hosting service or your ESP/MAP host the images can save time and money.  The important thing to remember is that these URLs have their own reputation and could be flagging your email in certain filters.

One issue that comes up quite often is that the image URL could be compromised and used to send out spam messages. Many email marketers have experienced this, but most don’t notice until they start seeing emails blocked or blocked to their recipient’s network.  Ongoing monitoring is important when it comes to reputation on the IP, sending domain, and even the image URL domain.

Be sure to check the image URLs set up inside your ESP or MAP and review the reputation.  Two sources include McAfee TrustedSource ( and Cisco SenderBase ( These sites include reputation data on the image and link domains that is used inside the ESP or MAP. We highly recommend a unique image URL that is hosted with your ESP or MAP. This may require some additional Domanin Name System (DNS) changes, but will be worth it in the long term. After all, what good are images if your email never makes it to the inbox?

For more information or email best practices or to have us review your deliverability, please contact us.



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