Newsletter from Outlook
October 18, 2005 11:08 AM   Subscribe

How do I stop Outlook from embedding images into my newsletters?

I'm using Outlook at work to send out a newsletters, and what I do is copy-paste from Frontpage. In Frontpage, I link the images to the server, but the end result is the images are embedded in the e-mail when it is sent. I want the reference to go to the server (to reduce e-mail size and avoid image attachments). Is there some way I can just enter the HTML code -- can this be done with Outlook and how?
posted by Blue Buddha to Computers & Internet (14 answers total)
I don't know what Frontpage is. I start with an html page (which I guess you could do a Save As in frontpage...) and select (highlight) everything on the page, including images, and copy it, and then paste it into an email. It formats the email exactly the same as the page I copied from. Note that people that have html formatting turned off won't see anything if you do it this way.

I keep the html page as a template and the next time I want to send out a newsletter, I update that page and send again.
posted by iconomy at 11:15 AM on October 18, 2005

Response by poster: iconomy, Frontpage is Microsoft's web editing software, that comes with Office. I initially did what you suggested, however, Outlook copies the image in the e-mail instead of leaving the link to the server intact. So, for example in Hotmail, the images are all shown as attachments.
posted by Blue Buddha at 11:20 AM on October 18, 2005

Ah sorry, I misunderstood your question.

So you want your newsletter to be more like:

and then we did this thing yada yada yada yada and it looks like this - LINK TO AN IMAGE OF THE THING ?

Am I getting it now?
posted by iconomy at 11:45 AM on October 18, 2005

Response by poster: That's right, and because it embeds the images rather than links to their server location, the e-mail ends up being over 100K.
posted by Blue Buddha at 12:23 PM on October 18, 2005

Read this and see if it helps... is there something you can tweak on your Frontpage settings? At the very least, you could look at the source code for your newsletter to see if this is what is going on.

Embedded versus linked images:
posted by jerryg99 at 12:30 PM on October 18, 2005

One approach: upload the FrontPage html and images to the web.
The images will need to stay there, obviously.
Open the page in Internet Explorer
Choose File> Send > Page by email.
Internet Explorer will export the page into an email message in Outlook; all the images will be pulled from the server.
Send the message!
You can now delete the html page online.
posted by slightlybewildered at 12:32 PM on October 18, 2005

Response by poster: I tried slightlybewildered's approach and unfortunately the results were the same as when I tried sending the web page directly from Frontpage -- no cigar. :(

However, the links in the source code from that approach show the images do come from the server...although they are still embedded in the e-mail! Why Outlook why!
posted by Blue Buddha at 1:00 PM on October 18, 2005

In the message window, look in the Format menu and ensure that "Send Pictures from the Internet" is checked.
posted by blag at 1:12 PM on October 18, 2005

This isn't really the bext way to send HTML emails, though - Outlook has a habit of screwing with the formatting and, if your user can't receive HTML email, they'll just see gibberish.

Better to use a third-party mail service such as mailchimp where you just paste in your HTML code (and a plain-text version) and let their software handle the rest. In addition, it also monitors opens and clickthroughs for you. The service costs about $0.01 per email.
posted by blag at 1:19 PM on October 18, 2005

Response by poster: blag, it's already checked but thanks. A service like mailchimp would be good for the short term. Maybe looking into a newsletter software is the best way to go. Any suggestions, $300 or so?
posted by Blue Buddha at 1:28 PM on October 18, 2005

Best answer: On outlook 2003, go to Tools->Options->Mail Format->Internet Format... and uncheck "When an HTML message contains pictures located on the Internet, send a copy of the pictures instead of the reference to their location"

Blue Buddha, Outlook or Exchange (depending on who's actually the first guy in the chain to talk SMTP) will create a text version of the HTML for people with text-only email clients. They also internally, just for fun, create a text-only version of all received messages, even if they were originally HTML only. Sometimes but not always it will overwrite the original text/plain MIME part of a received message with one converted from the text/html part! (I develop a spam filter for Outlook and boy is it a joy to work with... grrr.)
posted by aubilenon at 1:36 PM on October 18, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks, aubilenon. That seems to have done it!
posted by Blue Buddha at 1:39 PM on October 18, 2005

Oh, also be warned that Outlook 2003 by default will not display images located on a remote server, so that spammers cannot do <img src=""> to track who's getting their crap.
posted by aubilenon at 1:41 PM on October 18, 2005

Response by poster: I've taken that issue into account, since many free e-mail providers also block image display by default, so it's pretty text heavy. The images are there just to spruce things up and catch the reader's attention, should they choose the option to display them.
posted by Blue Buddha at 1:44 PM on October 18, 2005

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