How do I embed images in the email body using CKEditor such that they are loaded automatically in email clients such as Outlook and they and not blocked, with the user having to righ-click to download. Our organization is currently using a separate email client (Sendinblue) to send mass emails, since all emails with embedded images sent from Sendinblue are not blocked by Outlook or other email clients. This is a real disadvantage as we now need to maintain an email list in Sendinblue and manually sync this with contacts and donors in CiviCRM. I have read that you need to use Content-ID to embed images into the email, but how do we achieve this with CiviMail and the CK Editor? We are desperate for a solution here! So any help resolving this, is very much welcomed.


4 Answers 4


Outlook (and most of the mail clients), block loading external images, because otherwise, the server hosting them would know that you have opened the email (in fact, it's what we do to track the open rate, add a transparent 1x1 pixel image and count when it's displayed)

So to avoid being blocked, you need to send the image as part of the email, not unlike an attachment (with a defined Content-ID:somekey), and as the source of the image (src="cid:somekey") in the mail.

Both of these are not that difficult to implement at the technical level, but might be slightly more tricky in the CKEditor (eg. because it doesn't know it's used to compose an email).

Unfortunately, no one having that need have contributed the code or funded the development.

Would you be able to step up and make it happen? it would be a nice addition to civimail.


Actually, you don't want to embed images in your email. It is much more likely to be blocked. Email spam filters don't like embedded images regardless of size.

The current method used by Civi is the recommended method. In that case the popular "show images" option in an email gives readers the ability to see the image (and trigger the open pixel!)


This is a really helpful article that goes over the options: https://sendgrid.com/blog/embedding-images-emails-facts/

Basically it goes over your 3 options;- CID Embedded Images (Inline Images), Inline Embedding (Base64 Encoding) and Linked Images with the pros and cons of each. In the end pretty much says none of the options have much impact on whether or not your images get blocked, so you choose which one works best for your other priorities.

  • Ive edited it - I didn't know about the links thing, thanks for letting me know
    – Robinnz
    Feb 12, 2016 at 12:55

You CAN do this in CKEditor in CiviMail by dragging the image on to the editing window. As others have pointed out though, this is very bad for deliverability rates.

  • I have done the dragging of the image into CKEditor, but Outlook still blocks it. Many of our donors use Outlook and our communications department at our organization, have a specific requirement for images to display without the user having to click on show images etc. SendinBlue meets this requirement. And with SendinBlue, they are still able to track click throughs etc. But we have no way to sync our bulk email contacts in SendinBlue with our contacts in CiviCRM. I thought we could use Mailchimp, but Mailchimp also results in the images not being automatically displayed in Outlook.
    – Sudesh
    Feb 12, 2016 at 5:08
  • check how sendinblue is encoding this email, (what is the <img src=???)
    – Xavier
    Feb 12, 2016 at 13:50

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