Monthly Archives: December 2013

Gmail caching images – how to deal with it

Gmail changed the way how it deals with images. It caches the images of the emails you are sending. This change has a huge impact on the measurement of your email marketing campaigns.

Philip Storey, analysed the changes and made a post on econsultancy. Here is an extract from the article:

  1. You will not be able to track Gmail opens beyond the first open. Here’s an example scenario: name@gmail.com opens an email from you. If name@gmail.com then goes back to that email and opens it for a second time, it will not be tracked on the second open or any future opens.Only the first instance of the open will be reported. Therefore, you may experience a lower gross open rate.
  2. Location-based live content is likely to be inaccurate, as this is image-based.Currently, all geolocation content is showing as a Google server address, rather than the realtime location on the recipient, even on first open.We are seeing this already, in all locations worldwide.
  3. Countdown timers that are fetched in real-time, will not update and fetch the new image upon the second time the email is opened. The original image will be shown again. This is currently not affecting users in the UK, but that is likely to be because Google are still rolling this out.
  4. Any analytics-based tracking by platform (webmail, desktop, mobile), and device will likely only count the first open in Gmail, rather than all of the opens.
  5. If you want to make a change to an image in an email that you have already sent out, perhaps because there is an error, you can of course overwrite the image in your ESP platform. However, Gmail recipients will not see the new image – just the old one.

My conclusion:

After the changes made to the gmail client (tabs sorting automatically emails), Using a simple email blast and measuring the ones that were opened IS NOT the way to go. Email marketeers should spend some time working on highly personalised emails. Start a conversation with your customers by sending them highly personalised emails. You will then be able to measure the open rate and the conversions.

What do you think ?