Google has rolled out a new set of Gmail changes that will impact marketers’ access to certain email metrics, like open rate. Until recently, when a Gmail user received an email from a marketer, the user had to click to “display images below” from the marketer’s third-party server. This gave marketers detailed information about who read the email, which client was used to open the email, where users were located, etc. – information typically used to refine future email strategy.
Now, according to this Ars Technica article, Gmail will cache all images, meaning the images you include in your email will be automatically saved onto Google’s servers. When images are displayed, they will now be downloaded from Google’s servers, rather than your own, eliminating much of the analytic data marketers have come to rely on. The best indicator now that someone has read your email will be the click-through-rate for embedded links. (We discussed this recently in the blog post, Never Judge an Email by its Open Rate.)
Never fear. While this move does increase user privacy and makes it more difficult for marketers to measure email trends, permission-based email marketing continues to be a widely accepted and successful form of marketing. It does, however, mean marketers will have to make some adjustments. Because analysis will shift to click-through-rates, it’s more important than ever to include prominent, clear, calls-to-action. Both design and wording are important so that the recipient is motivated to click through for more information. This pinpointed data is highly effective in determining consumers’ areas of interest, allowing you to create tailored follow-up plans.
For information on how to create effective calls-to-action, download Lasso’s recent white paper – Cut Through the Clutter: How to Create an Awesome Marketing Email.
If you have further questions about how this change impacts your email marketing metrics, email firstname.lastname@example.org.