Email Open Rate, is it accurate?

Learn about tracking email opens and why it is inaccurate.
inblog Team's avatar
May 14, 2024
Email Open Rate, is it accurate?

Open tracking tells you if your contacts open the emails you send.

How to calculate open rate

If you sent out 1,000 newsletters all at once, and 200 people opened them, that means your open rate is 20%

How open tracking works?

A 1x1 pixel transparent GIF image is inserted in each email and includes a unique reference. When the image is downloaded, an open event is triggered.

This open tracker graphic, or web beacon, is unique to each campaign you send. Web beacon trafficking is the industry standard for open tracking and can give you a general overview of your subscriber engagement. When someone opens your email, that graphic is downloaded from our server, and it's recorded as an open on your campaign report.

Why are my open rates not accurate?

Apple's Mail Privacy Protection (MPP)

With the rollout of Apple's Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) alongside iOS 15, the accuracy of open rates has become increasingly uncertain. This update, primarily affecting users on Apple devices, disrupts the conventional tracking mechanisms, leading to potentially skewed data. However, the impact extends beyond just Apple users; even non-Apple email clients like Gmail, Hotmail, and Outlook can contribute to inaccurate open rate reporting due to their spam filters. These filters may automatically open emails to check for malicious content, inadvertently triggering the tracking mechanisms and registering as "opens." Consequently, what might seem like robust engagement metrics could, in reality, be influenced by factors beyond genuine user interaction.

Furthermore, it's essential to address the issue of spam filters potentially inflating open rates. When spam filters click links in incoming mail as a security measure, it inadvertently triggers the tracking mechanism, leading to an artificial inflation of open rates.

Does tracking email opens still matter?

However, despite potential inaccuracies, tracking email opens remains valuable for understanding audience behavior and refining email marketing strategies. Additionally, when combined with other metrics like click-through rates and conversion rates, open tracking contributes to a comprehensive understanding of campaign performance. Thus, while not infallible, tracking email opens continues to be a relevant and useful practice in email marketing.

Rather than solely relying on open rates, Inblog also monitors link clicks in each campaign to supplement the open rate data.

Rather than solely relying on open rates, Inblog also monitors link clicks in each campaign to supplement the open rate data. By tracking link clicks, you gain insight into whether recipients not only opened your email but also engaged with its content by clicking on links. By knowing if they clicked, you also know that they read parts of your email and took action.

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