ETIP #155

Gmail Enables Images by Default

Gmail Enables Images by Default

Gmail, like many email providers, had disabled email images by default. Images can be used maliciously — to load viruses to your computer or to expose details of your mailbox to spammers and hackers. In a major change, Gmail has decided to enable images by default. To protect users, Google will serve the images from Gmail servers.

What does this mean for email marketing? On the plus side, Gmail will now display automatically all creative images. Marketers can anticipate an increase in engagement, especially with new subscribers who have not yet marked you as a safe sender.

The impact on open tracking is more complicated. Marketers track the open rate of their emails by embedding a tracking pixel inside an image. Right now, unique open rates seem unaffected by Google’s change, but senders will no longer be able to use image loading to get information like user IP address or location. As a result, there will be an impact on device tracking and geo-location.

Starmark’s direct marketing specialists are closely monitoring Gmail’s changes, and are fine-tuning client strategies to continue providing the best results.