About Open Tracking

When campaigns are sent through MailChimp, we embed a tiny invisible graphic in the bottom of your HTML email. This open tracker graphic, or web beacon, is unique to each campaign you send. Each time someone opens your email and views the images within it, that open-tracker graphic is downloaded from our server. Each time that graphic is downloaded, we'll count that as an open on your campaign report. Open tracking, along with click tracking, is an easy way to measure subscriber engagement.

Open Reports

Below, you'll learn two different ways to access your open results from the Reports page in your account:

Open Results from Report Overview

To view the open rate and total number of opens, follow the steps below:

  1. Navigate to the Reports page.
  2. Click the title of the campaign you want to work with.
  3. The Report Overview will display the Open rate and Click rate for your campaign, as well as the total numbers of opens and clicks.

Below, we define the open-related terms on Report Overview:

  • Open rate
    Percentage of total recipients (successful deliveries) who opened the campaign.
  • Opened
    Number of recipients that opened the campaign any number of times.
  • Total opens
    Total number of times the campaign was opened by recipients. This count includes multiple opens from individual recipients.
  • Forward opens
    How many times the campaign was opened by a recipient who was forwarded the campaign using a Forward to a Friend link. Note that only campaigns forwarded using the Forward to a Friend link can be tracked as a forward open. Campaigns forwarded using an email provider's forward button will not be counted as a forward open.
  • Last opened
    The most recent instance of a recipient opening the campaign.
  • Subscribers with most opens
    Subscribers that opened the campaign the most times.

Open Results on the Opened and Didn't open Tabs

To view which individual subscribers did or didn't open a campaign follow the steps below:

  1. Navigate to the Reports page.
  2. On the Report Overview page, click the Activity drop-down menu and select either Opened or Didn't open.

    These screens will display a full list of campaign recipients that either did or did not open your campaign and allow you to export those subscribers into a .CSV file.

You can also see a quick peek of both open and click stats from the  CampaignsReports, and  Automation pages. Hover over the open or click percentage next to the  View report button for a sent campaign or Automation workflow. To do this on a tablet, tap the open or click percentages.

You can also use open results to segment your list based on recipients' actions in your campaign to target subscribers and send follow up emails. 

Open Tracking Accuracy

Web-beacon open tracking is a good tool to get an idea of what your open stats are and make sure your subscribers are engaging with your content. However, there are some things to keep in mind when it comes to web-beacon open tracking:

  • This type of tracking relies on images and thus only works in HTML email. Web-beacon tracking won't work in plain-text campaigns.
  • Web-beacon tracking only works if your recipients have chosen to show or load images when they view your newsletter in their email program.
  • Some email applications automatically block images from displaying by default. Asking your subscribers to add you to their address book can help with getting your images through and get you more accurate open tracking.

Disable Open Tracking

Open tracking is enabled by default for all non plain-text campaigns. If you ever need to disable or reenable open tracking for a campaign, navigate to the  Setup step of the Campaign Builder and use the Track opens checkbox under the Tracking heading.

Troubleshoot Open Tracking

If you've checked a campaign report and it seems like your opens are being incorrectly tracked, try the suggestions below to see if anything stands out.

  • Make sure that open tracking was enabled for that campaign.
    If open tracking was not enabled for a campaign, there will be a notification at the top of the campaign report overview. To view the campaign report overview, navigate to the Reports page and click the View Report button for that campaign.
  • Check to see if the campaign was plain-text only.
    Since we can't add the web beacon image to plain-text emails, because plain-text doesn't contain images, we track the number of clicks in your campaign to determine opens. If you selected to track clicks on your plain-text campaign and there were no links for your recipients to click on, there would be no way to track opens for your plain-text campaign.
  • Make sure you're not tracking links that use system tags.
    We are not able to track links generated through system tags like *|UNSUB|* or *|UPDATE_PROFILE|*.
  • Something is blocking image tracking.
    In rare cases, something in the incoming filters will block our tracking image
  • A spam filter is causing high open rates.
    Your recipients may have an aggressive spam filter that clicks the links in your email campaigns before delivering the campaigns to your recipients' inboxes, to make sure your links don't direct to anything malicious. Because we count clicks as opens, the clicks from the spam filter would count toward the open rate. There isn't a way for us to see if a link has been clicked by a spam filter or your intended recipient. However, if you see an unusually high number of opens from a single domain, it is likely that their spam filter is clicking the links in incoming emails.
  • Gmail has clipped your message.
    If an email message is too large, Gmail will clip content and hide it behind a View entire message link. When the message is clipped, it also clips the tracking code that accounts for opens. To prevent this, reduce your message size to below 102kb.

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