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.

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.

Watch the video now:

Responsive Behavior Outlook 2013 – Images enlarged

Responsive Mis-Behavior in Outlook 2013

With the May 2015 update to Microsoft Office 2013, there has been a change in how web-referenced and embedded images are rendered in Outlook.

This change has resulted in abnormal responsive behavior of PoliteMail templates.

When you paste images into Outlook, or use Outlook’s Insert Picture tool, the images will be embedded into the message content. This means the file size increases with the image size, and the images will actually display as file attachments when sent to non-Outlook email programs.

When using PoliteMail > Add Image, you have the option (PoliteMail > Settings > Preferences > [ ] Embed Images with Message) of hosting the images instead, which reduces email file size by putting the images on the PoliteMail Server for your account and referencing them in the HTML code.

For some reason, Outlook will now expand embedded images to 100% of the outside container size, whereas referenced images are display at 100% of the actual size at most. The net result is embedded images will appear too large.

To prevent this behavior, using referenced images, or change the Alt tag in the image to prevent PoliteMail from making the images responsive (to the display container).

Select the image in the email, then right-click and select Format Picture or select Outlook Picture Tools > Expand the Format Styles menu (lower right icon).

Now click the Layout and Properties icon and expand the ALT TEXT option, and remove the mo_re100% text if you do not want PoliteMail to enable responsive images, or add it into the alt text if you do.
mo_re100%

How to Change Smart Attachments – v4.5

To change a Smart Attachment that you sent in a message, follow the steps below.

Upload the new, corrected Smart Attachment. To Upload go to Content>Smart Attachments>New.

Content-Smart Attachments

Delete the Smart Attachment you want to replace by selecting it in your Content Library then clicking on the X.

Delete smart attachment

Go back to the new Smart Attachment and click Edit>Change the name to that of the original Smart Attachment that you just deleted.

Edit

The link in the message will now redirect to the new Smart Attachment.

Geographic Location Data

PoliteMail Geographic Reporting

PoliteMail v4.5 will now convert recipient IP address information into geographic data, so you may view a map of your open and click interactions. This map view enables drill-down to a city level view.

In anonymous and aggregate tracking modes, PoliteMail will store the longitude and latitude data from the IP conversion using the IP/Geographic database, but will not store the IP.

Note: There is a current issue with load-balanced accounts running on the Amazon EC2 platform, whereas the load balancer does not pass through the original IP, resulting in all traffic appearing on the Map as-if it were occurring from one location (the server location). We are currently working to resolve this issue.

PoliteMail v4.5 now includes GeoLite2 data created by MaxMind, available from http://www.maxmind.com.

The GeoLite2 databases are distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Contacting Support

Contacting Support

If you are experiencing technical issues with your PoliteMail account, please reach out to our server support team.

In your main PoliteMail tab, click on the Request Support icon.

Request Support Resized

 

Clicking on the Request Support icon will generate an email with your account information and an error log that will aid our server support team in troubleshooting the issue. Enter a brief synopsis of the issue you are experiencing and add screenshots if applicable.

Support Email

Once you send the message, a support case will be automatically created for your request and our support team will respond.

You can also reach out directly to our support team via:

Email: serversupport@politemail.com

Phone: (603)-610-6111 ext. 3

Adding Trackable Links to Messages – v4.5

PoliteMail automatically tracks any link within your email (as long as it appears as a link and Outlook has underlined the link). You may type or paste link URLs directly into your email as you normally would in Outlook. To create text or image links in Outlook:

  1. Highlight/select the text or image to want to make into a link.
  2. Use the Outlook menu Insert > Hyperlink. This will open Outlook’s Insert Hyperlink dialog.
  3. Type or paste the full URL (including the http:// part) into the Address field and click OK.

Insert hyperlink

NOTE: Links must have http:// or www. at the beginning of the URL to work.

To update a Link URL:

  1. Go to the main PoliteMail tab within your Inbox > Content > Links.
  2. Browse or search for the link you previously sent and would like to edit.
  3. Once you find it, select it then click Edit. Edit the URL then click Update.

Now when your recipients click the link you had sent, they will arrive at the new URL.

 

How to create a subscription list – v4.5

How to create a subscription list

A subscription list enables your recipients to opt-in and opt-out of the list themselves. Subscription lists for newsletter and other publications can be created by following the steps below.

First, you will need to create a Mailing List within PoliteMail.

From the main PoliteMail toolbar, select Lists > Mailing Lists. You can create a New list manually, import a CSV file containing the recipients or import an Outlook/Exchange distribution list. To import a list, click on Import > Select either CSV or Outlook/Exchange > Follow the import prompts.

Lists-Mailing Lists

 

Import List

Once a PoliteMail Mailing List is created, click on Edit and change the Subscription column to Yes.

Subscription List

Once a list is enabled for subscription, opt-in form is automatically created and can be accessed by checking the box next to the list name, select Actions > View Opt-in Page. To edit the opt-in page, select the list > click on Actions > View Opt-in Settings.

Select List

List-Actions

Once a list is enabled for subscription, it will automatically appear on the opt-out page as an option.