Open Tracking Overview

Article author
Sarah Malone


It Depends on Your Plan

Open tracking is only available on certain plans. For a breakdown of the features available in each Apollo plan, please refer to the pricing page. If you want to upgrade your plan to access open tracking, please reach out to the friendly Apollo sales team for further assistance.

Email tracking systems, which inform you when your emails are opened, use a 1-pixel image called a tracking pixel to obtain interaction data. Each tracking pixel contains individualized code to attribute to the recipient and to the email that they receive. Additionally, if the recipient downloads the image, Apollo also logs it as an email open event.

Pixel Tracking Image URL

Apollo's tracking pixel is hosted on Heroku, so that pixel displays as a Heroku URL.

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Open Tracking Considerations

Sometimes, email tracking systems mark an email as opened when they are not actually opened. The following scenarios cause false positives:

  • In Outlook, the recipient can view the email from the preview pane.
    • This causes the tracking pixel to download even though they didn't actually click on the email. 
  • The email recipient has a Google or G Suite address
    • As Google always proxies every link in an email, they may visit the link as a test. This can trigger an open event without the recipient ever reading the email. It is not a guaranteed outcome, but it is possible.
  • On mobile, the Gmail app displays the email on a preview screen.
    • This sometimes triggers an email open event without the user seeing more than just the subject and first few words.

On the other hand, false negatives are also possible. This occurs when a contact opened your email and the tracking pixel was not downloaded so it did not trigger an open event. If your contact has set their email to not download images automatically, you may get incomplete data.

The easiest way to combat this and improve your open data is to include a clickable link in your email. This ensures that anyone who clicked your link opened and read your message.

Try Turning it Off and On Again!

Please note, if you make changes to an active sequence, you need to turn it off and then on again to activate the changes.

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Enhance Open Rates with A/B Testing

A/B Testing helps to increase your open rates. By sending multiple versions of the same email, you can analyze the data to discover which version the recipients find most engaging. Use this data to tweak your messaging and enhance your open rates.

Read Add an A/B Test to an Email Step in a Sequence for more information.

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Low Open Rate Concerns

More often than not, low open rates for your emails are the direct result of bad deliverability and issues with your domain's reputation.

Some email providers may report emails as successfully delivered, but instead, move them to a contact's SPAM folder. That means a contact never actually viewed or opened the email. If a contact doesn't view your email, open rates remain low.

To help avoid emails blocked by SPAM filters, please see the Avoid SPAM Filters article to review Apollo's suggestions for improving your domain's reputation.

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