[thelist] HTML e-mail tracking

Arlen.P.Walker at jci.com Arlen.P.Walker at jci.com
Mon Feb 11 08:48:01 CST 2002

>I don't think this is true.  BT, I'm with you that we as web developers
>think it sucks that some advertiser is trying to trick us, but the
>general population has no clue that an image in an email is a tracking

I get *lots* of questions from newbies about that sort of thing. They"re
*very* worried about it and many of them are afraid to go online and do
anything of note because of that.

>  I get emails all the time larger companies... Jcrew, FAO
>Schwartz, Kmart, whoever... they *ALL* put image trackers in their email
>and no one is downgrading their stock because of it.

Um, it's just a suggestion, but using a bankrupt retailer as support for a
marketing practice doesn't help the point. ;{>}

>FYI there are entire corporations that do ONLY this.. their sole purpose
>is to send out targeted HTML emails to track people...

If I had a nickel for every time I heard someone (*not* a developer)
complain to me about HTML e-mail, or pop-under ads, or cookies, or anything
else that they've heard someone can use to track their surfing and buying
habits, well let's just say I wouldn't be working for a living.

I know businesses find this sort of thing useful and efficient. Businesses
would also find it useful and efficient to be given the customer's wallet
every time one walks into the store. Problem is, customers have desires as
well. My mother, for example, is a genealogy nut, not a web developer. And
she doesn't let anyone track her emails. How do I know? Because she asked
me to find her an email client that didn't do HTML. She called me, not the
other way around. She's one of those "normal folks" who has no intention of
being treated like a number in a database. She'd heard about "web bugs" and
the like from someone on one of her genealogy lists, and wanted to block
any of that action. My boss here is absolutely paranoid on the subject of
cookies, "because people use them to track your activities on the web."
Needless to say, *he's* not a web developer, either.

Just anecdotal evidence, not a scientific survey, but I've never run into a
single person who knew about those techniques that liked them.

Have fun,
Chief Managing Director In Charge, Department of Redundancy Department
DNRC 224

Arlen.P.Walker at JCI.Com
In God we trust; all others must provide data.
Opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.
If JCI had an opinion on this, they'd hire someone else to deliver it.

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