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Gmail changes could reduce your open rates

Changes to Gmail could reduce the number of opens you see for your email campaigns

TailorMail and  other email platforms track open rates by recording the number of times a specific image in the email is opened. In theory, every time the email is opened, the image is used and your email platform logs this as an open.

There have always been issues with this measurement, such as images being disabled on many clients or emails being loaded into a preview panel but never actually read. Well Gmail have just made this a little bit more complicated, by changing the way images are used in their emails.

In short, when you open an email in Gmail for the first time, nothing will really change, but after that Gmail will change the image links in the email to point to a copy of the images stored on their server so essentially you will not be able to measure any subsequent opens.

Here are three things you’ll need to be aware of …

  1. You may not be able to measure repeat opens. Your most engaged customers will often open an email more than once, the trouble is, you might not be able to see this any more. Although the exact impact isn’t clear yet it appears that this doesn’t apply to all geographic regions and may not apply where readers use a different device to re-open it. Essentially, repeat opens will be harder to measure accurately. 
  2. Location tracking will be more difficult. TailorMail and other platforms use images to track where an email is opened, so in the same way as above. Open locations recorded after the first one are likely to be less accurate for customers using Gmail.
  3. Interactive components may be affected. Those clever little bits that you have added to your email like countdown timers that rely on external feeds will only work if they point to the original source, so check them thoroughly in Gmail before you send the email.

Gmail is likely to be one of the bigger providers in your lists, so this could have a noticeable impact on your results. To find out more about this and other tips to get the most out of your emails, get in touch with us or to check out this easy to follow guide on how to get yourself started on TailorMail.

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