How images were used previously?
Gmail a few months ago brought a drastic change in the way images were displayed. This was a big blow for a majority of email marketers because the loading of the images from the promotional email revealed a lot about the person reading the mail. The marketers were able to get the referral data which could be used to understand the type of desktop application, website, or mobile, etc. the users are using. Apart from this, the marketer can also know about the folder you were viewing the email in. And, in the case the email was a spam, the users were more likely to receive it again as the spammers will be alerted that the user is active and has clicked the promotional email.
The changes that are introduced
To curb and protect the user’s interest Google has recently announced that the embedded images will now be saved by Google and the content of the mail would be modified to display the cache images. This will wipe out the third-party server completely as Google will be handling it. The marketers will no longer be able to receive any information about the customers previously. Many people are taking it as a negative move because it will hamper the email marketing campaign. Now, unless a customer’s click a link, there is no way the marketers can come to know about the details of the customers reading their email. This means only companies and brands that focuses on relationships with customers are going to flourish and prosper through email marketing.
The mobile application of the caching image version is expected to roll out somewhere in 2014. Google has taken this step because it wants to promote advertising on Adsense and wants the marketers to shell out less on the email marketing.
Does it affect all Gmail users?
The move will affect only those users who use the web interface and the mobile Gmail application. Customers who use non-Gmail application will not be affected by this change. The good news for the marketer is that only 20% people use Gmail through a web interface and a majority of the people are using mobile to access their accounts.