Images at Yahoo

For a while, Yahoo was giving preferential “images always on” treatment to Return Path Certified senders. The tricky part of this was the senders had to register a DKIM selector key with Yahoo. I had a lot of (somewhat rude) things to say about this particular design decision.

Over the last few months, a number of senders have complained about being unable to update their selector keys with Yahoo. (Insert more rude comments about how broken it is to use the selector as a part of reputation.) Around the same time, a few of us have noticed that Yahoo seems to be turning on a lot of images by default. A few of the ESP delivery folks collaborated with me on checking into this. They could confirm that images were on by default for some of their customers without certification and without selector key registration.

Earlier this week, Return Path sent out an email to users that said that Yahoo would no longer be turning images on by default for Return Path Certified IPs.

Yahoo! is shifting toward a more customer-centric way of delivering email, which includes letting individual users decide whether or not to display images from any given sender. This means that images will no longer be automatically enabled for Certified senders beginning on April 15th.

I don’t know what this means in context with the tests I and my fellow delivery experts did a few weeks ago, though. I guess we’ll have to repeat the tests after Monday and see what happens.

This may mean some certified senders will see a decrease in Yahoo! open rates next week. But don’t panic! It’s just an artifact of how we measure “opens” it doesn’t really mean people aren’t opening and reading your mail.

Have a great weekend.


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