Table of Contents
About tracking technologies
Tracking an opened email can basically only be achieved through different technologies:
- Tracking Images
- Link tracking
LUCY uses only tracking images and link tracking, but not read-receipts.
Read-receipts: Some email applications, such as Microsoft Office Outlook and Mozilla Thunderbird, employ a read-receipt tracking mechanism. This technology is not supported by any web based mail client or any mobile device. However, requesting a receipt does also not guarantee that you will get one, for several reasons:
- Users can generally disable the functionality if they so wish
- Even if it is not disabled, a user may be forced to click a notification button before they can move on with their work
- Even if a user is not forced to click the read receipt, he can simply ignore it and the sender will get no notification
As this technology is perceived very intrusive, limited in its use and does not give any reliable results it is not used by us or any other company in the internet to track opened email.
Tracking pixels (also known as beacons) let you track email opens. Once embedded in an email, a tracking pixel connects to a 1x1 pixel GIF file stored on LUCY. When the tracking pixel is viewed, it pulls the GIF file from the web server, creating a logged event that lets you know if the user opened the message.
Restrictions with tracking pixels
If the mail client has turned off automatic image loading, then the image will not be loaded from LUCY and therefore you will not be able to track if the user opened the email. Most mail clients (Outlook etc.) today have disabled automatic image loading. As a result, you won't see if users opened the emails. But you still will be able to track clicked links within the email.
Preliminary downloading image by mail client
The opposite effect is also possible: some mail clients/programs for the caching or security purpose may preliminarily download the external content of the message, and this action will be defined by Lucy as “opened message”, although, in fact, the recipient did not open it yet.
Each link in LUCY contains a unique identifier which enables the application to see, who clicked the link. This technology is used to also determine automatically, who has opened the email. The opened email statistics are therefore always a combination of tracking images combined with link tracking. Link tracking is enabled by default and does not need to be configured manually.