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Question:How can I see if someone opens up my newsletter?

Answer:This really only works when you are using an html newsletter (text newsletters can't tell you the open rate).The "trick" to seeing whether or not someone has opened up your email newsletter is to embed a small transparent image at the bottom of the newsletter. Actually, you're not really going to put an image there, instead the image lies on your server. But, when someone opens up the newsletter, they are trying to serve up all the images in the newsletter, including your transparent image. A simple bit of code can be used to track when the transparent image is being served. Moreover, when you put the unique id of a newsletter subscriber in this process, you can also tell who opened up the newsletter.

The technicalities for doing all of this isn't very hard (although some people who are trying to sell you email marketing tools will try to convince you it's rocket science). Nonethess, because tracking open rates is such an important part of email marketing, you want to make sure you have a robust system.

One other note. As you will soon learn, tracking open rates is an imperfect science. For example,that little transparent image may or may not be requested when someone reads your newsletter in the preview screen of, say, Outlook. So, don't be surprised at seeing some strange results from time to time.


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