Troubleshooting Images in Campaigns

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There are a few things that can cause problems when working with images in campaigns.

Below, you'll learn about some common image upload and display issues, and some tips to help you troubleshoot.

Upload your images to use in your campaigns from the Design step of the Campaign Builder, or store them for later use.

Upload Issues

  • The Image Is Too Large
    If your image takes a long time to upload or won’t upload, check the file size to see if it’s too large. We recommend a maximum file size of 1MB per image.
  • The Image File Name Contains Special Characters
    Images should not contain spaces or special characters in the file name, as this can cause upload issues. Some email clients, like Gmail, won't even display images that contain spaces or special characters in the file name. Remove the space or replace them with underscores.
  • The File Extension Is Missing
    If you upload an image from your own server to your campaign via a URL, make sure the image's file extension (JPG, PNG, GIF) is in the URL.
  • Images Are Blocked
    Internet security programs will sometimes block the image upload layer. If you aren't able to see the File Manager, can't get an upload to work, and the items listed above aren't an issue, this is likely what is causing the problem. To fix this, set the MailChimp domain as a trusted domain with your internet security program or firewall.

Display Issues

If your image will upload but won't display correctly, there are a few things that could be happening.

  • The Image Is Too Large
    If your image takes a long time to upload, won’t upload, or is causing your content to stretch, check the file size to see if it’s too large. We recommend a maximum file size of 1MB per image.
  • The Image Is Formatted for Print
    Images used in email templates need to be formatted as RGB, a color model optimized for web display. Images formatted in CMYK, a color model optimized for print, won't render in certain browsers.
  • Outlook Is Having a Caching Issue
    Outlook sometimes experiences caching issues that prevent images from displaying. If your image looks broken in Outlook or is simply missing, reboot your computer to clear Outlook's cache.
  • The Email Client is Blocking Images
    Some email applications block images by default and require the user to choose to display images. MailChimp is not able to bypass or influence this security feature in order to get images to display. Ask your recipients to add your email address to their address book to increase the chances that their email client will display your images.
  • Images Were Taken With a Smartphone
    Images taken with smartphones sometimes contain what is called exif data. Exif data specifies the position of the camera when the photo was taken and causes the image to render in with that orientation. Images with exif data display properly in the Campaign Builder but may display incorrectly when campaigns are sent, depending on the browser or email client. To edit or remove exif data generally requires a specialized photo editor or metadata tool.

Broken Images

If images in your campaign appear broken, there are a few things to that could be going on.

  • Image File Names Don't Use Absolute Paths
    All the images you upload and send through campaigns are hosted on servers and then downloaded when the email is opened. If you want to code your own template, always use absolute paths for images in your HTML so the email client is able to download your images.
  • Images Are Hosted on a Free Server
    Don't host images used in email campaigns on a free image hosting site or free website account. These systems often block outside links to images they host to keep their bandwidth costs down. It's always best to host the images on your own server when providing your own HTML for campaigns.
  • Images Are Hosted on a Secure Server
    Make sure the images in your campaign are not being hosted on a secure server that requires a login and password.
  • The Email Client is Blocking Images
    Some email applications block images by default and require the user to choose to display images. MailChimp is not able to bypass or influence this security feature in order to get images to display. Ask your recipients to add your email address to their address book to increase the chances that their email client will display your images.

Image Resolution and the Web

The web is set to display best at 72 DPI (dots per inch). When you resize an image in our editor, it compresses a large chunk of data, which blurs the image as it gets smaller.

Alter your master graphic so it's closer to the correct size before you upload it. This should keep your image appearance clear when you place it in your campaign.

Retina displays that offer a higher ratio of pixels per inch, which can cause images to appear fuzzy. To make sure your images appear clearly on all screens, save your web-ready images at double the size needed for the image content block you use in your campaign.

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