Sep 20, 2006

Ask MailChimp: How do you track email opens?

Q: How do you actually measure email opens? Also how are
you able to individualise these opens? Also obviously
if people don’t open their images this won’t be tracked.

A: Opens are measured in HTML email with a tracking .gif. It’s tiny, transparent, and virtually invisible to the recipient. When the image file is downloaded from our server, we measure that as an open. MailChimp generates a unique URL for each recipient, and uses that in the .gif file’s  <img> tag for every single recipient. If people don’t turn on images, or if they only view the plain-text version,
the .gif obviously won’t work. However, MailChimp can still track opens (even in plain-text emails) if someone ever clicks a link in their email (so long as click-tracking is enabled by the
MailChimp user).

More information on tracking and email campaign reports in this free PDF guide. You might also be interested in MailChimp’s enhanced campaign reports here.