I saw some people saying their newsletter has X open-rate. How can I know this thing?
The technique used to work out if an email has been opened or not is to put a tracker image with a unique identifier in the request URL so your server can log that the email has been at least viewed. This image is normally just a 1x1px square that is invisible to the end user. The src of the image will be something like
tracker.php?user_id=1312, then on your server,
tracker.php takes that user_id string and can mark that user as opening that email.
However, any figure you gain from from technique can't be taken expclicitly, there are a number of factors that can lead to both an over-estimate and under-underestimate:
- Most email clients ask you to download images purely for this reason
- Users may open the email but not read it
- Users may not receive the HTML version
- Images may be pre-fetched by virus scanners and scanned
Are you using Google Analytics? Then you can use http://support.google.com/analytics/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1033863 custom campaigns. Here you have an http://support.google.com/analytics/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1033867 URL Builder.
This depends on how you distribute your newsletters, are you using client software or an online service provided by your hosting provider like phplist, or a service such as mailchimp which offer stats like open rates as standard.
the image tracker solution already mentioned is a preferred solution of mine.
Probably the easiest way is MailChimp.
- Nice UI/UX
- Pretty good stats for open rate, Clicks, unsibscribe etc
- You can also link it up to google.
- And it is FREE
Have been using it for the last 6 months. Only complaint is that the template editor is a bit tricky at the start.