Google is changing the way Gmail downloads images that are embedded in emails. This has caused some concern for our users about whether our Open Tracking will get less accurate. I’ll take this opportunity to explain why this is very exciting news for us.

The way it worked

Marketers link an image from an email. If the user clicks “Display images below” in Gmail, marketers get a bunch of information including location and device type in addition to being able to tell the email was opened. This information, in aggregate, gave marketers a lot of information about what types of people are interested in the emails they’re sending.

Status: Detailed but inaccurate

The way it works

Marketers link an image from an email. If the user clicks on the email, the image loads 100% of the time but it loads from Google’s servers. They don’t get location or device type but they still know who specifically opened the email (There’s typically an ID in the image URL).

Status: Accurate but only tells us whether or not the email has been opened.

In conclusion

Since we only wanted Open Rate anyway, the change is a huge win for us and it makes the whole process much less confusing.

About The Author

Paul is the CTO of PressFriendly and a Rails, javascript, and Obj-C developer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Father of 2, husband of 1.

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