Gmail Data Analysis Reveals Image Blocking Affects 43% of Emails

In December, Google announced that images in emails will now show automatically. We’ve kept a close eye on the increased open counts in Gmail—automatic image downloads have given us a unique opportunity to examine the impact that image blocking has had on email marketing for years. What we’ve learned is fascinating, and unveils a critical metric unknown to email designers before now.

Gmail Continues to Shift the Market Share Landscape

Mobile Gmail apps for both Android and iOS download images automatically and serve them via Google’s caching service. As users update to the new mobile Gmail apps, we’re seeing image caching affect mobile open rates, specifically opens made with the Gmail app on Android. As Gmail open rates rise, there has been a corresponding drop in Android opens. Since January, Android opens have dropped 34%—now representing 8% of opens.

Mobile Maintains 51% Majority; Gmail Gains 3%

After meeting (and exceeding!) the 50% tipping point in November, mobile opens maintained their majority share through December. For the first time since May 2012, webmail opens netted an increase—moving from 18% to 20% of opens. Meanwhile, desktop opens decreased from 31% to 29%. Earlier in December, Gmail shook things up with big announcements which contributed to another major change in email client market share.