Gmail Now Displays Images By Default

Gmail has made an exciting change to how it handles images within emails, and I think you’re going to like this.

From now on, Gmail will never ask your subscribers to give permission to “display images below”. Instead, they will automatically display the images by default.

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This is great, as it ensures your subscribers see your emails just as you originally designed them: with juicy images and colorful designs rather than placeholders and rectangles.

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The difference is kind of striking…

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Google giveth, Google taketh away

Last week the email marketing world was taken by a storm when Google started caching images through its proxy servers. Google caches images the first time an email is opened, rewrites the image links and serves images to the user from its servers.

It’s a good change for Google and its users who are now protected from malicious code disguised as images, but it has an impact on email marketing providers like GetResponse, because we (like everyone else in the industry) track email opens by loading a hidden tracking pixel.

Now we have a full picture (no pun intended), let’s skip the geek-talk and narrow down how it affects you:

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What to expect?

  1. People will see your emails as they were meant to be seen (a huge WIN)
  2. Gmail unique open rate tracking should now be more accurate. Gmail displays images by default, so more people will view the open rate tracking pixel.
  3. We may not be able to track when your subscribers re-read your email, and so we may underestimate the total open rate for Gmail recipients.

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Who moved our cheese?

First they implemented the “dreaded” tabs, then they have messed with email tracking and now they are displaying images by default.

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You are never boring, Google :-)

  • Mary

    Great blog! When did this happen? I didnt see a date. I am still having to enable it. Yes, I will agree—google aint boring!

  • Simon Grabowski

    Mary, this change happened yesterday. Gmail rolled out the change to its desktop (webmail) client, and promised an update to its mobile apps (Android/iOS) “early 2014″. Their full announcement is available here.

  • Simon Grabowski

    Mary, this change happened yesterday. Gmail rolled out the change to its desktop (webmail) client, and promised an update to its mobile apps (Android/iOS) “early 2014″. Their full announcement is available here: http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2013/12/images-now-showing.html

  • Simon Grabowski

    It’s Christmas come early :-)

  • David Illig

    So it is June… and the ONLY email that requires me to select that I get pictures is GetResponse, on my own newsletter… WHY?

  • KatarzynaPietka

    Hi David, we’d love to help you with your issue – could you please be more specific about what the problem is? Thank you!

  • http://rebelmale.com David G

    I have the same problem. I send a real message from Get Response to my GMail account and I get the Google comment at the top of the email stating ‘Images are not displayed’ With a link to Display Images Below.

  • KatarzynaPietka

    Hi David, the issue you’re describing is a matter of Gmail settings, not GetResponse as a sender. All you have to do is change your display settings. Find out more under this link: https://support.google.com/mail/answer/145919?hl=en

  • http://rebelmale.com David G

    Thanks for the response, but disagree. My GMail settings are correct. the issue ONLY occurs if i sent it from an email address in Get Response which is the same as the email address that it is sent to. If i send it to a different email address, the images are immediately displayed.

  • http://coachcb3.com Chris B

    I agree with David. My email settings are correct withing Gmail to “always display images”…..But any email I get via GetResponse has the images hidded. I have to click on the “Display Images” link at the top of the email to get the images to show. This appears to only happen on the PC…..emails being viewed from my android device show images with no problems.

  • Sara-Ruth Wolkiewicz

    Chris, have you let our support team know? They will look into this problem ASAP.

  • http://coachcb3.com Chris B

    I have sent an email with the details and screenshots.

  • Sara-Ruth Wolkiewicz

    Chris if they have not reached out yet, you can send us a private message on our Facebook fan page, with your login email letting us know when you sent us an email and this will be passed on to make sure that someone gets in touch with you soon.

  • http://coachcb3.com Chris B

    They did. Very timely reply as I just sent the email yesterday. They tested an email series and it all worked properly on their side… Images displayed with no trouble. Hopefully it is working the same for my contacts. Why it doesn’t work for me is strange since my settings are correct within Gmail, who knows.