This news applies whether or not you personally use Gmail.
Some truly fantastic marketing news came out on December 12th when Gmail changed the way it handles images within email messages.
With this change, images automatically appear within an email body, rather than requiring users to click a button, “Turn On Images.” Why is this such good news?
Reason #1: Because a ton of your customers and prospects use Gmail, the world’s number one email service provider.
Reason #2: Until today, images were turned off by default, unless the user had told Gmail to “always show images from this user.”
You see, when email marketers (like you and I) want to track our open rates, it’s critical for recipients’ email images to be turned on. Otherwise, open-rate-tracking just does not work. Why’s that?
When a service like Constant Contact sends out an email to thousands of your customers, they include an one-pixel image within each email that is directly linked to a specific email address.
That way, when Jim Smith opens the message and “images are turned on” that single pixel gets downloaded from the Constant Contact server, and the service is able to assume that “Jim opened the message” — then Jim will show up on your Open Report. But if images are turned off, the pixel is not downloaded, the server is clueless, and the marketer (you) has no idea if Jim read your text or not.
So, starting immediately, the open rates that you track should start to increase. And by immediately, we mean “as gmail rolls it out to all users over the next couple of weeks…”
Reason #3: Just as important as open-rate-tracking, is the look and feel of your campaign. Hopefully your email campaigns are designed to look good and properly display your brand through appropriate use of images and layout. With Gmail images now turned on by default, your recipient has a much better chance of seeing what you intended… and not just text plus empty boxes.
With today’s great news, does it mean that email marketing was “bad” before? Absolutely not. Email Marketing is probably the single-most cost-effective way to keep in touch with your important contacts.
- Today’s change is only good news for you and your Gmail users. It has no impact on recipients using Yahoo, Hotmail, Outlook, etc. Those folks were valuable before, and remain just as valuable today.
- All along you could track items that “Jim” clicked on, even if Jim never turned on his Gmail images. So if Jim clicked a link to your latest article, you could see that before, and you can still see it now.
TwinBees is an Authorized Constant Contact Service Partner. We help more than 80+ clients’ send professional email messages to their customers, donors, and prospects. If you have questions about your email marketing efforts, or would like open a free, 60-day trial account, call us at (858) 877-3733. Or click the “ad” above.