Understanding  Image Blocking

Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach out to your customers and promote your business. However, a lot of people still struggle with image blocking in their email campaigns. In this post, we'll explore what image blocking is and how to deal with it effectively.

What is Image Blocking in Email Marketing?

Image blocking refers to the practice of email clients (such as Gmail, Outlook, and others) not displaying images in emails by default. This means that if you include images in your email campaign, some of your recipients may not see them unless they manually enable image display.

Why Do Email Clients Block Images by Default?

Email clients block images by default to protect their users from potential security risks. Images can be used to track users' behavior and collect personal information without their consent. By blocking images, email clients are ensuring that their users' privacy is protected.

How Does Image Blocking Affect Email Campaigns?

Image blocking can have a significant impact on the effectiveness of your email campaigns. If your emails rely heavily on images to communicate your message, they may fail to convey the intended message to recipients who have image blocking enabled. This can result in lower engagement rates and fewer conversions.

How Can You Deal with Image Blocking in Your Email Campaigns?

To deal with image blocking in your email campaigns, there are several things you can do:

  • Use descriptive alt text for your images: Alt text is a text alternative to images that is displayed when images are blocked. By using descriptive alt text, you can ensure that recipients still get an idea of what the image is about even if they can't see it.
  • Include a plain-text version of your email: Including a plain-text version of your email ensures that recipients who have image blocking enabled can still read your message.
  • Use HTML tables for layout: HTML tables are more reliable than CSS for creating layouts in emails. They are less likely to break when images are blocked.
  • Don't rely too heavily on images: Instead of relying too heavily on images, use a balance of text and images to communicate your message effectively.

How Can You Test Your Email Campaigns for Image Blocking?

To test your email campaigns for image blocking, you can use an email testing tool like Litmus or Email on Acid. These tools will show you how your emails look with images blocked in various email clients. This can help you identify any issues and make necessary changes before sending out your campaign.


Image blocking is an important consideration in email marketing. By understanding what it is and how it affects your email campaigns, you can take steps to deal with it effectively and ensure that your message is communicated to all recipients. Remember to use descriptive alt text, include a plain-text version of your email, use HTML tables for layout, and test your email campaigns for image blocking.


  1. "Email Marketing Rules" by Chad White
  2. "Effective Email Marketing" by Scott Cohen
  3. "Email Marketing Demystified" by Matthew Paulson
  4. "The Rebel's Guide to Email Marketing" by DJ Waldow and Jason Falls
  5. "Email Persuasion" by Ian Brodie
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