I recently read a post over at AdStation about some changes happening are at Google with Gmail. It’s the first I’d heard about this and I thought it was so important that I’d write a post about it here.
Google have made a change in the way Gmail handles images in emails and this is going to affect your statistics on your autoresponder.
Autoresponders use images to:
- Determine whether an email has been opened
- The geo location of the recipient
- The email client being used
- The device (tablet, mobile, pc, mac, etc…) being used
So what is this big change?
At the moment users of Gmail, like a lot of other email clients, get images blocked by default and have a request asking if the user wants to see the image. The reason for this is that some images can potentially contain viruses or malware.
Well, that is no longer going to happen. They will always show the images but they’re going to take a snapshot of them in the email before the email is delivered to the user and then host the image from their own servers to display to the user which prevents any potential viruses or malware.
Pretty clever idea.
But as marketers this also means that we no longer will receive the four pieces of information above from Gmail accounts because to do this we need the image to be shown from our autoresponder servers.
This means your open-rate statistics could drop significantly even though users are still opening the emails. It will also mean that if you use time-zone sending where your email gets sent at 9am in the users timezone, you will no longer get this information for Gmail users so that won’t work anymore.
So how does this affect us as internet marketers?
Well in reality the affect isn’t as bad as it may first seem. We lose accuracy in our open rate tracking, but that wasn’t that accurate anyway as most email clients already require a user to optin to display images in your emails.
Geo-location, email client and device can be very useful to analyse in order to determine the style of content, the time to send and the design of the email but very few internet marketers actually do this anyway.
And if you use images in your emails that entice readers to click a link through images then this could actually significantly increase your click-through.
In fact, it’s potentially now a very good idea to segment your Gmail users out and test marketing to them using graphics (for example banner ad style) to get the click throughs because they will always be displayed in Gmail users.
Either way it’s going to affect the statistics shown in your email marketing and so something you should be aware of, which you now are 🙂 And if you want to check out Googles own post on it, then you can do that here.