Gmail Image Caching and its Impact on Email Marketing

Dec 9, 2013 | Posted by

There have been several stories circulating amongst Email Providers over the weekend with a new unannounced “feature” released at the beginning of the month by Gmail.

Short story:

Gmail has started to Cache images sent to their members via email on the Google content delivery network (CDN), used by services like Picassa’s web photo services, when members are viewing the same email multiple times. This has caused some Email Services Providers (ESPs) to see a drop in non-unique Open Rates as well as some issues with geographical tracking of users. This is happening because Google is only passing the data one time, where in the past they would pass it each time and then mask the requests to the same images in the future through their web portals.

What you can do?

In the short term you should keep an eye on your email deployments and watch for drastic drops in the average Open Rates from Gmail users. Should this happen you should notify your IT Department or Email Marketing Deployment Specialist to review the campaign.

The Good News:

The good news is open detection still appears to be working properly for clients of Inbox Marketer, however, we will continue to monitor all campaigns for any changes. In the mean time we welcome questions or feedback at mvernhout@inboxmarketer.com

We encourage you to stay tuned for more information as we work to better understand the impact of Gmail’s new image caching.

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