Email Feature That Is Badly Needed

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frustrated Sometimes as I go through my day, I stumble across things that seem so OBVIOUS to me that I have trouble understanding why it is even an issue.

Today’s version comes courtesy of every single email client I use, which includes most of the big names, and a couple of the small names.  Now, every one of these clients includes an option to not display the images in an email by default.  I applaud this and I think it is a great idea.  It save me tons of time and bandwidth to not open images in a message that it turns out I have not interest in, so mission accomplished.  Kudos to all developers on this score.

The giant whole in the system though is a way to have email from certain senders be opened with the images automatically downloading.  For example, I get email from Borders rewards which often includes a coupon that I might like to use, so I always end up clicking the Download Images button or link. 

That’s Not What an Address Book Is For

Now, I can add the automated please-dont-reply Borders email address to my address book in order to have the images open automatically, but that is about the dumbest thing I have ever heard.  I have hundreds of names in my address book already.  Yes, I can search it, but sometimes it seems faster to click the letter and then scroll.  If I start adding Borders and others, that address book size will just get bigger.

Let’s break this down.  The address book is for storing the contact information of people I might want to get in touch with.  In other words, for people I want to send email TO.  It is not the place to manage my whitelist for RECEIVING email!  Is it really that hard to add a “Always Open Images From This Sender” option?  How about a "Respected Sender” or “Trusted Sender” list with the ability to select varying degrees of trust: “Allow Images”, “Allow HTML” and so on.  Has no one else thought of this?  Is this a feature that everyone would love to have, but no developer knows people want it?

It bothers me enough, I’m seriously wondering if I should learn how to hack enough code to add it on my own to one of the emails that lets me do it.  After I have 27 bajillion downloads of my plugin, maybe they’ll add it as a standard feature.  Once one of them does it, the masses will clamor at the others until they add it, and then the problem will go away.

In the mean time, if you would like to beat me to it by adding it to your product, or writing the code for the add-on, I hereby grant you license to my idea in exchange for the price of letting me know about it so I can fix this nagging problem and go on about the already substantial task of managing all of my email and contacts.


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