Outlook hangs opening emails – solved

Several users recently reported issues with Outlook opening our emails and Outlook “hanging” waiting for images to be downloaded. This issue not only affected FeedBlitz but also FeedBurner and presumably anyone else trying to send email based on certain RSS feeds. It was something of a mystery to us since we hadn’t changed anything that might have caused the problem.

The culprit, as found by Google Groups user Kevinbuckleywfb in this thread http://groups.google.com/group/publicity-tools/browse_thread/thread/33377c0ce50bc038?pli=1 was a malformed image URL in some Blogger blogs that causes Outlook to hang looking for a non-existent image (my guess is that it is interpreting the opening “//” as a UNC path “\\” and scouring your local network for machines and files that simply aren’t there, which can take some time).

Anyway, as of 3:35pm eastern today (June 2nd) all FeedBlitz emails will now fix the malformed URL responsible if it’s in your source feed (whether directly from Blogger or via FeedBlitz or FeedBurner RSS services) and the issue should not recur in emails from us going forward. I also know that the Blogger team is aware of the issue and will no doubt have a fix in place shortly for everyone else.

Meet Phil Hollows

Phil Hollows is the founder and CEO of FeedBlitz, the email marketing and social media automation service, and premium FeedBurner alternative. After graduating from Oxford University in 1987, Phil built on his high tech, consulting, and marketing leadership experience, and by 2005 the seeds of FeedBlitz were germinating. Private equity investment followed shortly thereafter, and the rest - as they say - is history. He also authored "List Building for Bloggers" {ListBuildingForBloggers.com}, outlining proven email strategies to build your audience, increase engagement, and grow your income. Pre-FeedBlitz, Phil was vice president of product marketing for enterprise network security management company OpenService (now LogMatrix), and vice president of technology at the web testing company RadView Software.