Why can’t I track email opens?


Webtrends Analytics 9.x
Webtrends Analytics 8.x


You are sending out an email newsletter or sales media, an you want to know how many people opened it. You have placed either a tracking code or an image request inside the email to detect it being opened.


The issue with tracking email opens is that it can no longer be done reliably. This is largely due to hackers who attempt to use the html capabilities of the email client to run scripts to compromise client systems, or by spammers trying to verify an email address as valid. As a result, the vast majority of email clients no longer run scripts or display images by default.
Hackers have included scripts in emails that are either malware in an of themselves, or cause the system to download malware from remote servers.

Spammers have used image placement within email to confirm the validity of email addresses for use in future spam. If the image request is served, the spammer now knows that email address is valid and can use in future spam.

As a result, it is normal for an email client to deny these activities by default when opening an email. Emails will not run the JavaScript nor will the display images unless the viewer gives permission to do so.

Some users will allow image loads, and so you may receive some results using that method, however this will not be a reliable technique.

The best method of tracking email success is to check the results. Provide the user a link within the email that uses the wt.mc_id (campaign) parameter within the email.

This event will then be traceable through the campaign reports.