Email tracking is the recording of data that is collected from email marketing campaigns. Email tracking works through a couple of different procedures that aim to collect data on open rates, click through rates, click to open, and click to send rates. Email tracking also monitors unsubscribes, soft and hard bounces, and delivery rates, just to name a few more metrics. This tracking is used by marketers to measure the effectiveness of campaigns, and to create future plans. Ultimately, email tracking can give the user a tremendous amount of data regarding their marketing efforts and the effectiveness of those efforts.
The two most common metrics tracked by email tracking software–also impacted by spam filters–are open rates and click through rates:
The most common way to monitor open rates is embedding one pixel image in the email. Once the email is opened, this image loads and sends that data back to the tracking software, thus giving us the data behind if and when the email was opened. This is not 100% accurate in practice as some email softwares do not automatically load images without consent from the recipient. In this case, the image is never loaded and cannot record the necessary data to accurately track the open rate. Ultimately, this is the most commonly used practice as it does bring the most consistent results.
Click through rates:
The tracking of an email's click-through rate is recorded through the use of a trackable link within the email. Every tracking software will wrap a link in a redirect, which helps to record when a link is clicked, sending this data back to the software.