How Email Tracking Works?

What is email tracking and how to track email. Typically associated with email marketing campaigns, email tracking can provide details to the sender of the email. How and when the main recipients interacted with the content. 

How Email Tracking Works?

What is email tracking and how to track email. Typically associated with email marketing campaigns, email tracking can provide details to the sender of the email. How and when the main recipients interacted with the content. 

There are no standards for email tracking metrics such as opens and clicks are typically associated with other web tracking technologies such as cookies and web beacons. Because of these constraints, there is no 100% accurate indicator that a message was opened or read by the recipient.

Email Tracking Works:- 

There are three ways to track email:- 

  1. Read receipts (via email software such as Microsoft Outlook and Gmail)
  2. Image Pixels (tracked images inserted in email content)
  3. Trackable links (tracked links inserted in email content) 

1. Read Receipts:- 

A feature found in Microsoft Outlook and some other email clients, read receipts are an opt-in way to see if an email has been opened. To receive notification, the recipient must allow read receipts in their settings, or authorize receipts to be sent.

This can be a more aggressive notification system, and only works if it is sent from the same email client (if you send to a Gmail address, it will ignore this request). If you don't know which email client the recipient is using, the notification could end up in a black hole.

Because of this, it is uncommon to use, and not very reliable as a tracking option. Also, if you receive an email acknowledgment, it is because the recipient has explicitly authorized it.

2. Pixel or Image Notifications:-

One of the more common ways to track the opening of an email is through a process known as web beacon smuggling. Small images (also known as tracking pixels) are loaded from a tracking server containing a coded file name. 

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When the email is opened, the image is called from the server and counted as a view or 'open'. This is how email open rates are calculated in most email tracking services.

Although this is the most reliable method of tracking, it is not 100% accurate. Many email clients (Microsoft Outlook, Apple Mail on your iPhone, and Gmail) don't always load images on open emails.

There are times like this. When images are not downloaded automatically, an option is given to download images after opening the email instead. In such cases, the recipient can still read the content without registering it as open. 

If you have a high number of emails being delivered to the Spam folder, or an unfamiliar sender, there may be fewer reported opens.

You can limit this by following email best practices to avoid spam tactics and increase your sender reputation by allowing customers and recipients to move your email to your inbox or by adding your email address to your address book, so you can be a Be a reliable sender.

The number of times you open untracked emails can vary. But we consider it to be between 18-35 according to the audience. 

3. Trackable Links:-

One final way to track email is to use a tracking link in your email address that links to content stored in a cloud-based content repository. This approach will deliver email click rates reliably. And another key metric commonly associated with email tracking. 

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By using email tracking software that encodes your link, you can see when and what users have clicked. Not all trackable links are created equal. Tracking software can provide a wide range of data—from returning multiple clicks to the actual engagement associated with a link.

Email Tracking Metrics:

These email tracking techniques will give you opens and clicks, which are then used to calculate general email tracking metrics:

  • Open rate
  • Click Through Rate (CTR or Click Rate)
  • Click to open
  • Click to send rate

Email tracking can give you insight and some basic metrics about how your email campaigns are performing. If your email open rates are low, or if emails are being delivered to recipients' inboxes, you should take a look at your email delivery.

There are other useful email metrics such as: unsubscribe, soft bounce, hard bounce, inbox placement, delivery rate, forward rate, and complaint or abuse rate.

While some metrics are determined by a type of email tracking technology called return-receipt or delivery status notification (DSN), these are primarily tied to your tracking metrics for email best practices and outreach to customers.

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