by Brett Schenker, Senior Deliverability Manager, Salsa
Last week, we gave you the 411 about Google’s recent decision to begin caching images for emails sent, an attempt to protect the security and privacy of their users. For Salsa users, this was a change with minimal impact, but I fully expected there was more to it than what was at the surface. I guess I was right because now Google has announced that the email service will no longer ask you to “display images”.
What does this mean? In short, it means Google will be checking images as they come in for malware and virus and automatically display them for you on the web interface and in mobile apps. This change allows users to set preferences if there are senders for whom they don't want to see images, all customized in the user settings.
Overall, this is a good thing. As you may know, displaying images is factor in determining the open rates of an email. In many cases, open rates are under reported because images are not always displayed. Now, however, the open rate for Gmail addresses should increase and be much more accurate.
You should expect to see the open rates for your email blasts to begin increasing pretty quickly- a definite plus helping you have an even better engagement metric. Just be aware that Google will also display images when you conduct A/B testing and that might cause some tests with more Gmail accounts to be skewed.