Email tracking is a very useful tool. It allows you to know when and how to followup with your contacts. SourceWhale's email tracking gives you the ability to know when your email was opened, and whether any links were clicked.

How email tracking works

In order to track your emails, a tiny pixel image is added to the body of your email. When the pixel is loaded, our email tracking assumes your recipient has opened the email.

The limitations of email tracking

Even though email tracking can be very useful and often gives you reliable data, there are times when it is not 100% reliable. Here are some reasons you may get either a false negative or a false positive in your email tracking.

False Negative

  • Some email providers have a default setting that disables image loading when an email is opened. If your recipient's email client has disabled image loading, you wont be notified that they opened your email.

  • If your recipient has a tracking blocker or security system installed, the tracking (or even your email) may have been blocked.

False positive

  • An error can occur if the tracking pixel is rendered as part of an email preview. Your recipient may not have opened the email, but because the pixel was loaded for the preview, email tracking will consider the email opened.

  • If your recipient's inbox uses bots to scan your email multiple times, looking for malicious files or spam content. (Note: This will show as the email having been opened 10 or more times in succession)

  • If you send an email to a distribution list which multiple people have access to, or if your recipient forwards your email, you may see a lot of opens for one person.


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