2013 has been a year of significant change for users of Gmail. Earlier in the year, Google began filtering newsletters into separate folders within user’s inboxes. Last month, Google announced that images will now be cached in newsletter emails – a change that caught some by surprise.
Gmail’s newsletter changes
It is important that emails that you want are not sent to your junk folder. We want to make it clear what you can do to continue to receive 123-reg’s monthly newsletter and promotional emails.
To do this it is very simple. Here are the two main ways:
- Make sure that you have ‘email@example.com’ added to your address book – It really is that simple!
- This way you have told Gmail that you know us, you trust us and you do want to receive emails from us. Your email client is now highly unlikely to mark our emails as spam
- Within Gmail, select your PROMOTIONS TAB
- Click and drag a ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ email to your PRIMARY INBOX
- You will then be asked whether you want all future ‘email@example.com’ messages to be send to your PRIMARY INBOX folder
- Simply click YES and you will continue to receive important updates and great offers!
Google display images – what you need to know
As well as this, Google has changed the way images are displayed within emails. In the past, when businesses sent email communication to customers who are Gmail users, the customer would have the option to manually display images within emails. As of last week, recipients are now offered images automatically within emails.
Ultimately, when an email is opened for the first time, Gmail will change the image links so that upon any further opens, these will be served from the Gmail content platform.
How tracking will change
Such an adjustment has a very significant impact for businesses because the way images will now be displayed will prevent companies being able to track both location and device types as well as the date and time that the email was viewed. Instead of tracking the images within the email, businesses will only be able to track links embedded within their emails.
It is important to add that those that still want to restrict images from being displayed can change the settings within Gmail but it is important to state that the default settings for users will be to display all images.
Google insists that these changes will benefit users by assisting with load time and will improve the security of its email platform. The company says it can now protect users from images that may compromise the security of their computer or mobile device, which is positive news.
Consequently, businesses need to address the ways in which they report findings from their emails. It has been hinted that businesses will be powerless to tell whether an email has been opened for a second or subsequent time as the analytics will only track the first time an email is opened. Such a change is difficult for email marketers to understand because it erodes their ability to track email opens at a time when Google appears to be pushing businesses to enhance their tracking.
In addition, life potentially becomes more complicated should a business make a mistake in its original email. We all know that mistakes happen but no longer will businesses be able to overwrite the image in their Email Service Provider platform for Gmail users. For example, mistakes will continue to show for those using Gmail but change for those using Outlook.
So what does your business need to consider?
- You will not be able to track Gmail opens beyond the first open
- Countdown image timers will not update
- Image changes can’t be made in an email that you have already sent
How can we all win?
Though potentially aggravating for businesses, understanding these adjustments and altering email strategy accordingly for Gmail users, will allow businesses to get one step ahead.
It is not all doom and gloom. Google has suggested that these changes will in fact improve user’s overall security, with images being checked for known viruses and other malware, which ought to improve individuals overall experiences with Gmail.
What should not be lost in this is that businesses need to create content that is engaging for its audience. There is no doubt that it is advantageous to be aware of these changes but what hasn’t altered is the influence of strong content. Content is still king and that is what will in the long run continue to drive strong open and click through rates.