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Why your Gmail open tracking statistics may be skewed

One of the most frequent emails I answer from users is:

I was testing your open-tracking, and I know that certain emails weren’t opened, but GMass still reports them as having been opened.

99% of the time this is because the user opened his own sent emails from the Sent Mail folder in Gmail. Doing so triggers the download of the open-tracking pixel, which is how GMass, or any email marketing system, knows if an email is opened. Opening the email up from the Sent Mail folder is equivalent to the recipient opening the email from his/her own Inbox.

Additionally, if a particular email address bounces, and you open up the bounce notification, and the original email is underneath, then an open could be triggered also because you’re now viewing the original email underneath.

Another scenario: you set GMass to just create Drafts for a campaign rather than actually send the emails. You then open each Draft individually to customize it. GMass will count you opening the Draft as the recipient opening the email.

How do we solve this?

As of March 2022, this issue has been solved with our companion Chrome extension, Tracker Blocker. The extension will block “opens” from registering on your own emails.

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4 Comments
  1. Changing this behaviour would be very valuable to me.

    Are you able to manipulate sent items in Gmail? If so, could the tracking pixel be omitted from the copy of the email in the sent items folder in Gmail once it has actually been sent???

  2. I sent my first merged mailing yesterday and it looks as though nothing went out. This is based on the report. How can I tell if anything actually got sent?

  3. This doesn’t answer how emails are being reported as opened when the intended recipient has never received the email. I am not going into my sent items, nor am I using the drafts function.

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