Experiencing “Slow Image Load Times”?

When viewing any email message, Outlook will usually perform multi-thread content loading (many images loading at once), but sometimes Outlook will perform single-thread content loading (one image loading at a time). How will this affect your PoliteMail tracked messages?

For every PoliteMail tracked messaged, PoliteMail will supply a unique “time to read” based on the number of words Outlook counts and how many images and links are placed within a message. PoliteMail places a read-time image in the body of your PoliteMail tracked message that will take 150% of that supplied “time to read” to load completely. If for some reason, Outlook performs single-thread content loading, since Outlook randomizes the order in which images load, some images placed in the body of the message may not load until that read-time image has been completely loaded. This creates the effect of some images being temporarily broken (grey box in Outlook) or not loading at all.

This is an Outlook bug/feature that will switch Outlook behavior to perform single-thread content loading and it causes email recipients to experience “slow image load times” when users send PoliteMail tracked messages. In PoliteMail v4.6, we offer a solution for this Outlook bug.

Typically, updates to our software require no additional action. However, for users experiencing this “slow image load time” an additional set up requirement will mitigate if not eliminate this behavior in PoliteMail v4.6.

Corporate Cloud Hosted Clients:

To enable this feature, you’ll need to work with PoliteMail to update to PoliteMail v4.6. Once you have updated to PoliteMail v4.6 we can enable this setting for you on the server side.

You’ll need to:

1). Add the PoliteMail Server image host name (given to you from your account manager) to your organization’s Trusted Sites via GPO push

On-Premise Clients:

To enable this feature, PoliteMail will require a secondary “image” host name for the PoliteMail server to be added to your organization’s Trusted Sites via GPO push. Typically, this image host name will be similar to your current PoliteMail host name.

You’ll need to:

1). Create a secondary DNS entry for the PoliteMail Server image host name

2). If not using a wildcard DNS, add another SSL certificate for the PoliteMail Server image host name to the certificate store on the PoliteMail application server

3). Add the PoliteMail Server image host name to Trusted Sites via GPO Push  

Example:

PoliteMail Server Host Name: company.pmail5.com

PoliteMail Server Image Host Name: company-image.pmail5.com

By adding this secondary image host name to Trusted Sites, the read-time image will resolve to the image host name, so regardless of Outlook’s single or multi-thread content loading the read-time image, users will no longer experience “slow image load times”.

Workaround for Embedding Videos in an Email

Outlook does not offer the ability to embed videos in an email message. An effective workaround for this issue is to place an image placeholder or thumbnail into the message and add a hyperlink that will direct the recipient to the content via an online video hosting site such as YouTube. In addition, sending this message with PoliteMail tracking enabled will provide senders with accurate click rate metrics of the hyperlinked thumbnail.

To add a hyperlink to a YouTube video to a thumbnail, input the thumbnail either by using the PoliteMail Add Image feature or Outlook’s standard Insert Picture method. Note that there are considerations for each method, for more information reference this Knowledge Base article regarding adding images to your messages here.

Once the thumbnail has been placed into the message, right-click the thumbnail and select Hyperlink.

Thumbnail 1

A window called “Insert Hyperlink” will appear.

Enter the link to the web-hosted video content into the Address field and click OK.

Thumbnail2

Check if the hyperlink was successfully inserted by hovering over the thumbnail.

thumbnail 3

 

 

Disabling ScreenTips in Outlook

The Problem: When hovering your mouse over an actionable item in Outlook, a contextual mini-window, known as a ScreenTip, appears which will open Outlook Help if clicked. This can be annoying.

ScreenTip

To disable ScreenTips within Outlook, simply go to File > Options and change the ScreenTip style setting to “Don’t show ScreenTips“, then click OK.

OutlookOptions

ScreenTips will no longer appear.

Best Practices for Sending a Tracked Email with Links

Inserting links into your communications is a great way to include more information in your message without increasing the size of your send. The most common methods are manually typing or copying and pasting the link into the body of your message, or using Outlook’s Insert Hyperlink.

When PoliteMail tracking is enabled, PoliteMail encodes any link’s URL with a page ID and a reference ID that is unique to each recipient. This ensures that link clicks are being tracked and accounted for in any metrics reporting. The results may be viewed in the Results Library.

Here’s a list of best practices for sending a tracked email with links

1). Make sure the link is valid with appropriate protocols such as http, https, or www.

2). When creating a template for shared use, ensure that the links you are including in the template are also valid.

3). To re-use successful links you’ve used in previous sends, utilize the PoliteMail Links button. However, be wary of any invalid links that may have been stored in your PoliteMail Links. Manage Links through the Content Library.

4). When copying and pasting links from another source, make sure there are no spaces copied before or after the link. Any spaces will result in a broken link.

5). When typing the link into the body of your message, make sure you press Enter or Space afterwards so that Outlook may automatically create a hyperlink for it. When this is not done, PoliteMail can’t pick up that it is a link, so no page ID or reference ID is applied and the link will not be tracked.

On-prem? Run the PoliteMail prereq script to prepare for installation

*Please note the prereq script needs a minimum of 1 GB of RAM to run.*

You should have received a download link for the prereq script from your account manager. If not, email serversupport@politemail.com for the link.

Copy and paste the prereq script to the server on which you will be installing the software.

Server

 

 

 

 

 

Extract the file onto a temporary folder on your C drive.

Temp Folder

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copy the file path.

Copy FilePath

 

 

Run Powershell as the Administrator.

admin

 

 

Change directory to the file path.

sve directy

 

 

Execute the script.

execute script

 

 

Enter the technical contact name.

enter technical contact

 

 

Enter the technical contact email address.

email

 

 

Enter the FQDN of the computer.

fqdn

 

 

An output will appear if the certificate matches the FQDN.

output

 

 

Once the script is run, it will install the necessary features and roles required to run the PoliteMail Server software.

When the script has completed, you will see a list of the roles and features installed, if any of them state “false”, fix the errors and re-run the script.

true or false

 

 

 

 

Next you will be asked to connect your SQL instance. Enter in the necessary information

Ready to Install

 

 

 

Once all steps are completed, you will be asked to email the results of the output file located in the temporary folder to your account manager who will create your user license.

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