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Tracking emails is about to become harder

There’s been much talk about tracking website visitors becoming harder in the future, but not so much said about tracking email campaigns. This too will get more difficult, however. Even now, I suspect many email recipients would be horrified to know that we can tell whether they’ve opened our emails, what app they used, what their IP address is, etc. We may have had it too good for too long.

For example, subscribers using the Apple Mail app (and that will be a lot of email recipients) are soon going to be given the option of opting out of allowing ‘tracking pixels’ in emails. Most will take it. Tracking pixels are the bedrock of measurement in most commercial email applications. Reported ‘open rates’ will drop like a stone, even though the real readership will be unaffected.

To prepare for this, I’d start by ensuring you’re concentrating on measuring the interactions in your emails. They’re the most important thing, after all. Unsubscribe rates are something else which won’t be affected by tracking changes, so get to love them more too. It’s not ideal, but we’ve had a good ride.