Images not showing in RSS email?


  • Confirm images are in your RSS feed.
  • Your feed might be cached and not updating with recent images included.
  • Your website could be blocking image requests.
  • Mailchimp preview will not display non-https images.
  • Plugin set to media tag or enclosure tag but your email template is not formatted correctly  or visa versa. 
  • Your RSS email service is using a redirect RSS URL (such as FeedBurner). Use the source WordPress RSS URL.

Not sure if images in your RSS feed?

The plugin works with Mailchimp and other email service providers (ESPs) very well, it is used on thousands of sites with Automated RSS campaigns, so no worries, we can get Mailchimp or other ESP issues worked out.

We recommend you always start troubleshooting with the raw/source feed HTML... If you do see images in your raw feed, the plugin is working great... Your raw feed is usually at but adjust that URL according to your blog post URLs. Once the raw feed is showing images, we can troubleshoot further.

Use the RSS Image Checker tool to see if featured images are in your feed.

Feed could be cached.

It could just be that the feed is cached already, and would update only when a new post is published. To get around that, you could try adding something like "?nocache123" or "?cachebust456" to the end of the URL, it tricks it into seeing it as a brand new URL, and should pull in the feed fresh, then images would show.

It could also be that your site is NOT on HTTPS (not using a TLS/SSL certificate), and Mailchimp refuses to load non-https images - this only affects the Preview, but image URLs sent out via an email campaign should work. We do recommend using HTTPS for all sites, because it's more secure, but also because it can boost search engine rankings, and it can also boost site performance via HTTP/2

Your website could be blocking image requests.

Also, be sure your site is NOT blocking image requests that do not have the referrer domain set in the request header, usually an option or setting labeled "protect images" or "disable image hotlinking". If there's not an obvious plugin cause of this, it could be a CDN like Cloudflare, or some lines like these in your .htaccess file:

`RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^*$ [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^*$ [NC]

RewriteRule .*\.(jpg|jpeg|gif|png|bmp)$ - [F,NC]`

Images not showing in Mailchimp Preview?

The very common short answer is that for Mailchimp specifically, the Preview does not like responsive image code added by WordPress (not by our plugin), so the images don't show in Preview (show as broken images), you could ignore that but know they will work fine when the email is sent out; use the test email to see how things will really look. Happily, the Premium version of our plugin does offer an option to disable the responsive image code allowing them to display in Mailchimp's preview.

Using media tags or enclosure tags?

If you're using Mailchimp without the Premium version, you should use *|RSSITEM:CONTENT_FULL|* which should show the image at the start of the content/text.

If you're using the Premium version (trial or paid), then you optionally have some better layout control, because you can separate the image and the content, using Mailchimp's RSSITEM:IMAGE or RSSITEM:ENCLOSURE merge tags to place the image in different places than just before the body text. You don't need to use those, because the image is still in the RSSITEM:CONTENT_FULL tag. If you end up with two images when using the IMAGE or ENCLOSURE tags, then try RSSITEM:CONTENT instead.

Sizing the images are sometimes the next area of concern, and we have related articles on Mailchimp-specific CSS and custom CSS that may be needed.

If you are using any service with an email template formatted for media tags or enclosure tags, check to see that you are using the Premium plugin and that the settings are configured accordingly. Also check your email template to make sure it is set up for media tags or enclosure tags if the plugin is outputting them.

Are you using a redirect RSS URL instead of WordPress source URL?

If your RSS email service is using a redirect RSS URL (such as FeedBurner) use the source WordPress RSS URL instead. The redirect URL may not be updated or have the ability to pull in featured images.

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