Inserting Images into Emails Using Personalization

  • Updated

Learn how to insert images into email messages using personalization fields. This allows you to specify a different image to display for each contact.

This is one way to do this, however, you can also display different content using a Dynamic Content block. Click here to learn more: Creating Dynamic Content in Email Messages.



  • Image URLs for each image to display
    • These images are not required to be uploaded to Act-On, however, we do recommend this.
    • We recommend the images all have the same dimensions to prevent inconsistent display.
  • Your Message Draft is ready to insert the image

Grab the Image URLs from Act-On

If you have your images loaded in Act-On, here is how to get the URL of your images:

  1. Click Content > Image Library.

  2. Find your image(s), click the three dots, and then click Public URL.

  3. Copy the URL and paste it to a notepad for later reference.


To use a personalized image for your email message, you will need to create a field on your list that will contain the image URL for each contact record. Then you can use this field as a personalization variable as an image source URL in your message.

More on email personalization: Using Personalization Fields in Emails.

Step 1: Add a New Column to Your List

  1. Click Contacts and choose Marketing Lists, or in Other Lists choose Form Submissions or Webinar Lists.

  2. Hover over the list, and click the Down-Arrow > Maintenance.

  3. Choose Change List Columns.

    Inserting Images into Emails Using Personalization 01.png

  4. Click Add Column at the bottom of the page.

  5. Name the new column, and click Submit.

  6. Click Save:


Step 2: Insert Image URLs for Your Contacts

There are multiple ways to move the image URL into your contact list. Here are some of the ways this can be done.

Option 1: Upload URLs

You can also import a .csv or .xls file with the URLs for each contact and update your marketing list. To do this, the first column should be the contact email address and the second column should be the URL field.

  1. Go to Contacts > Marketing Lists.

  2. Locate the list or segment you are sending the message to.

  3. From the drop-down menu, choose Import/Export > Append To This List:


  4. From the Add To List Contents drop-down, choose your import method.

  5. Next, make a selection of how to import. Choose any option that allows you to Update existing records.

  6. Finally, choose the e-mail address field that matches between your list and your file:


  7. Accept the import terms by checking the confirmation box, and then choose your import file.

  8. Click Next.

  9. Review the import preview and click Next.

  10. Review the sample records and columns to import/create.

  11. Click Finish and your list will be updated to include URLs for each contact.

Option 2: Update by segment

If your images will be personalized based on contact data, you can update the image URL field by creating list segments of the contacts who will receive each image.

Once you've created your segments, you can update all records as such:

  1. Go to Contacts > Marketing Lists and locate the list or segment you are sending the message to.
  2. From the segment drop-down menu, choose Maintenance > Change Column Values:


  3. Choose the column for your image URL, choose "Set Value to" and in the text box, enter the URL for the image associated with this segment:


  4. Repeat for additional images and segments.


Option 3: Import from CRM

If you are sending to a CRM list and the URL per contact is available in your connected CRM, you can import that field as a list column. More instructions here: How do I add fields from my CRM to Act-On?


Step 3: Insert the Personalized Image in Your Message Content

  1. Resume the editing of your message in the Design tab.

  2. Hover over the Rich Text Block, click the Pencil icon, and place your cursor in the intended area:

  3. Click Insert/Edit Image.

  4. Under Somewhere else click Continue:

  5. In the Source field, insert the field name of your new column with the personalization tags and fallback text and click Save:

    Important! If your list will not have an image for all contacts, we recommend setting an alternative image to display. Contacts with missing personalization and no fallback value will not receive the message. The Source field would look like this: 

    Depending on your browser, you may or may not see an image placeholder and/or the image alt text. To confirm, check the HTML version of the message by clicking the code icon (<>) and also by previewing it in the Review tab. See the next step.



Step 4: Review

To preview personalization by contact and run a full check, you must first select your message recipients in the Address tab.

Next, go to the Review tab and check the layout.

  1. Select a contact from the Sample Preview drop-down menu.

  2. Select a different contact who should have a different image.

  3. Go to the bottom section, Check Full Personalization, and click on Check Full Personalization Now
    • If errors return, you will have a message that some contacts cannot receive the message.
    • If there are no errors, you will have a message stating so and you are ready to send with personalized images. 

More information on reviewing and validating your message: Review and Validate an Email Message Before Sending

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