Gmail recently upended its image display policy and announced users will no longer need to click the “Display images below” to see pictures sent in email messages. Moving forward, images will show-up right in the email body when recipients open messages, and this could be beneficial to brands for a number of reasons. First, it stands to improve overall user experience because messages show the way they’re intended to be seen. Second, this update could provide marketers with better open rate data.
Marketing Land recently followed up with Google after the announcement, and the search engine’s reps allegedly confirmed automatically displaying images could help companies better track open rate data, rather than compromise it in any way.
That’s because marketers were previously unable to track open rates if customers clicked the messages, but didn’t give permission to display the images. According to Google, this was a precautionary method meant
to keep users’ data secure. Gmail now serves images from its own proxy servers, but it used to go through third-parties’ servers, which meant it was giving senders access to recipients’ data.
“We did this to protect you from unknown senders who might try to use images to compromise the security of your computer or mobile device,” stated Google’s official blog post.
“Thanks to new improvements in how Gmail handles images, you’ll soon see all images displayed in your messages automatically across desktop, iOS and Android.”
Because recipients don’t have to take another step to view images, a data floodgate should open and marketers can gain access to more accurate open rate data. Plus, brands that invest in custom graphics for emails can take pride knowing their text won’t stand alone in customers’ inboxes. Email copy will be properly supported by high-quality images and graphics to add a layer of context and engagement.