Google Mail Update Severs Email Marketing Intelligence

Posted by on Dec 24, 2013 in Business, Google | 0 comments

Google Mail Update Severs Email Marketing Intelligence

Google have announced a huge change to their Gmail, which will affect any email marketers who rely on email recipients to load images in order to gauge uptake and interest. Google has announced they will no longer ask users  if they want to download the images inside emails. Instead, Google will automatically download all incoming images to internal Google servers, and then automatically display this internal version to users. While it may seem like a minor tweak, it carries major consequences for email marketers.

Email marketers usually load images into an email and when these are loaded by your browser, the email marketers know the following:

  • That you opened the email or re-opened an email (showing more interest in a product or service)
  • Your IP address (showing your geographic location as well as connection speed, ISP)
  • Your Web Browser
  • Your Operating System and Version
  • Screen resolution
  • Device Type (Mobile, Tablet, Laptop, Server)
But Google has announced a move that will shut most of these tactics down: it will cache all images for Gmail users. Embedded images will now be saved by Google, and the e-mail content will be modified to display those images from Google’s cache, instead of from a third-party server. Email marketers will no longer be able to get any information from images—they will see a single request from Google, which will then be used to send the image out to all Gmail users. Unless you still click on a link, marketers will have no idea the e-mail has been seen.

Deeper Email Scanning by Google

While this means improved privacy from email marketers, Google will now be digging deeper than ever into your emails and literally modifying the contents. If you were worried about e-mail scanning, this may take things a step further. However, if you don’t like the idea of cached images, you can turn it off in the settings.
Of course, those who prefer to authorize image display on a per message basis can choose the option “Ask before displaying external images” under the General tab in Settings. That option will also be the default for users who previously selected “Ask before displaying external content”.

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