[thelist] HTML e-mail tracking

Scott Shou scott at firesites.com
Thu Feb 7 16:13:00 CST 2002


I've never heard of a javascript that would work across all the multitudes
of mail clients. However, I do know that many such firms make use of a
single clear gif, which they use to tell if someone's opened their mail.

How's it work? Well, the gif calls a remote server. Some places generate
unique gifs for each mail they send out. When the gif receives a view, the
mail's been opened. Naturally, this is limited to html emails only. Not that
scripting would work w/o html emails to begin with. . .

I am VERY doubtful that any such function exists which would work in mail.
They might just be doing the above and pulling your chain.


[[ Scott Shou  ~  Developer/Designer
[[ Firewall Media Inc.  ~  New York, NY
[[t] 212.367.7333  [f] 212.367.7679

----- Original Message -----
From: "Shaun Anderson" <shaunanderson at shaunanderson.info>
To: <thelist at lists.evolt.org>
Sent: Thursday, February 07, 2002 5:09 PM
Subject: [thelist] HTML e-mail tracking

> I know that this subject isn't going to make me any friends ( ;-) ) but
> been tasked with figuring out how to track who opens an HTML e-mail
> that we're sending out.
> I know about the 1 px x 1 px web bugs, but I've also heard from my boss
> about some sort of function (which she described as "HTML open") that
> also track who opened the e-mails.  She heard about this from the people
> are actually going to send the e-mail for us (a rented list that's opt-in,
> and market specific).
> I know nothing about this.  It sounds like Javascript to me, but that
> doesn't really make any sense to me either.  I don't know that many people
> who have JavaScript enabled in their e-mail client.
> Is there something in the header that could be used to track this? How
> reliable might it be?
> Another issue that I've been asked to research is how to track what e-mail
> clients people are using.  I know that this information is usually kept in
> the header (if it's sent).  Could this somehow be tracked in conjunction
> with a web bug?
> Thanks,
> Shaun
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