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How do email trackers work, and are they reliable?

Email trackers work by inserting a small snippet of code in your HTML formatted email.  An example of this code is shown here:

You can insert this anywhere within the <BODY> tags of your HTML email message, but normally it is inserted right before the closing </BODY> tag.  The actual snippet of code you would use in your email is available within your account by pressing the tracker code next to the email tracker.

When the recipient reads the email, the above script is called, and logs the user's viewing of this email.  The script returns a small (1x1 pixel) transparent image.


In order for the email tracker to log that an email was viewed, the recipient's email client must call the script.  Some email clients will automatically call this script, and display the image.  In this case the viewing of the email is logged.

Other email clients will leave it up to the user whether to call the script.  These email clients can display messages like:

"Some pictures have been blocked to help prevent the sender from identifying your computer.  Click here to download pictures."

If the user does not download the pictures, then the email tracker script will not be called, and will not log that the email was viewed.  For this reason, the email views reported in your account may be lower than the actual number viewed.

See Also: Do I have to use an email tracker?
  What is the UID field in the tracker code, and how can I use it?
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