Newsletter "Open" Tracking...

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10/26/2012 1:36:25 PM
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Newsletter "Open" Tracking...

I've an idea for an enhancement to the newsletter functionality; I think it would work like this.

Tracking newsletter/e-mail opens is usually done via a 1x1 pixel image embedded in the newsletter. To fine-tune that process:

For each newsletter, add a "track open rates?" checkbox; if checked, a 1x1pixel image generated via an .ashx file is embedded in the newsletter, with the URL of the image containing the UserID (or SubscriberID) & Newsletter ID. When that .ashx page is activated, it'll capture the URL strings for SubscriberID & NewsletterID, and add it to the newsletter log file (as well as time), to show if newsletter has been opened by subscriber. From there, charts showing open-rates, time opened, and such would be simple to generate.

Does anyone see why this wouldn't be do-able, or have any other ideas on the matter? I've a client who'd really like to be able to track these metrics, but I'm not sure if I'll have time to actually write this functionality (not all of it at least - seems fairly straightforward). Input, y'all?

10/26/2012 1:54:41 PM
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Re: Newsletter "Open" Tracking...

I use ElasticEmail to send my newsletter and they have a way built in to their service to track delivery, bounces, etc but for html email they also can track if it was opened. So you could use that if you need an immediate and easy solution. I don't have any immediate plans to build something special for that. I suppose one could use an iframe that isn't visible to load a page from their site and track that.

To me the most useful thing though is the tracking of link clicks in my newsletter which I do by tagging the links from the newsletter to my site with google analytics ie by appending "?utm_source=mojoNews&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=mojoNews" to the urls. That gives me a way to report on how well my newsletter is doing at driving traffic back to my site.

Best,

Joe

10/26/2012 2:07:57 PM
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Community ExpertArvixe Web Hosting / mojoPortal Community Liaison
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Re: Newsletter "Open" Tracking...

I know there are 3rd-party methods of tracking this sort of thing; just thinking of a way to keep it integrated into the site, and adding on to current functionality. 

Hmmm...would probably not be horrendously difficult to set up tracking to automagically locate links and append values added via newsletter settings. I might actually try to make time to implement this; I think it would be a great value add for folks who have customers who actually use the newsletter feature. Any objections, or does anyone have further thoughts on the matter?

Regarding delivery...isn't that what the logging feature is for, to let us know if there was an issue regarding bounces, etc. - or am I not properly understanding how that currently functions?

10/26/2012 2:18:50 PM
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Re: Newsletter "Open" Tracking...

Logging logs smtp exceptions which may not always happen when a message bounces, it depends on the smtp scenario/configuration and the reason for the bounce, it doesn't alway result in an immediate exception. Some smtp servers when you relay a message they queue it so no error happens at the time of relay and nothing is logged. Later the smtp server may log it as a failure and or send a bounce message back to the sending address.

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