Re: Tracking E-mail marketing

From: Boris Kontsevoi <>
Date: Thu 26 Oct 2000 13:49:11 -0500

> We periodically e-mail to
> this group but have not tracked the results or marketed
> our list to advertisers. Does anyone know of any
> software that does a good job of tracking e-mailings
> that reports when the mail was opened and by whom? My
> tech team tells me it is a simple task...

Unfortunately, it's not a simple task. There is no any
technique that would deliver 100% accurate results. If
talk about "when was OPENED and by whom" then there are
two possibilities:

- Use tracking options when sending e-mails ("Tell me
when the message has been read"). Results depends on
configuration of e-mail servers and on e-mail clients
used by readers. There is no guarantee that you receive
"read" receipt from everybody who read. Additionally,
some processing of received receipts is required.

- Send HTML e-mails embedding simple tracking code into
e-mails and having a server side code to track results.
The drawback is that many people will open e-mails off
line and results will be inaccurate.

For the case when you need to track some action
performed by readers, for example that they visit a
targeted web site, not just open e-mail, the simplest
method is to use URL like It's
just point into your home page (or any other page) and
there is no any pages with "?trackingID". This
"?trackingID" will be just ignored when somebody click
on the URL but web site access log will store the fact
of access with such URL. Then it's possible to use any
access statistics software to get all the info on who,
when, from where, etc.

It could be many "professional" modifications of the
method above, for example with using a special
tracking page and re-direction to a target web site.

It's possible to use all above right away but if you
want to have some comfort, automation and nicely
formatted reports, it's necessary to program, probably
not 3 months but 3 weeks, and your techs are right in

Boris Kontsevoi

Web Site Design and Software Development

Received on Thu Oct 26 2000 - 13:49:11 CDT


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