What Are Machine-Opens?

Open rates have always been tracked through a tiny invisible image embedded in the email code. When the email is opened, that image loads and the loading of that image tells the sender that their email was opened.

That's how MailPoet detects open rates and one of the criteria to determine "Inactive" subscribers.

However, with the recent Apple Privacy updates and other email clients using scripts and spam filters, a false open can be triggered by scripts and code when the email images are automatically downloaded before the user even sees the email.

This will result in the appearance of an email open where one may not have actually occurred. In other words, open rates will no longer be able to be the primary metric when measuring the engagement levels of your subscribers, but we can still estimate these stats and detect when an email has been opened by a human or a machine.

To correctly show human opened statistics, we need to differentiate which opens were made by a machine and which were not. It means that you'll see the "machine-opened" rates when checking the detailed statistics for each sent newsletter: If open or click doesn’t have user agent associated (e.g., historical data or if the website owner removes the data from database), the metric is counted as made by a human.

In the example above, "opened" represents the "human-opened" rate. To get the overall open rate, the two percentages would need to be added together. In this example, the total open rate for the email would be 42.9%

Minimizing Machine-Opened Emails:

Reducing or removing machine-opened emails entirely is challenging, as it depends on factors beyond your control. However, you can take some steps to minimize their occurrence:
Focus on engagement: Send relevant and personalized content that encourages recipients to open and engage with your emails. By providing value to your subscribers and ensuring your emails are interesting and useful, you may increase the likelihood of them actively opening and reading your messages.
Avoid spam triggers: Use email best practices to avoid triggering spam filters. Craft subject lines and email content that are clear, genuine, and avoid spammy or misleading language. This can help prevent your emails from being flagged as spam or automatically filtered out.
Regularly clean your email list: Remove inactive or unengaged subscribers from your list. This can help improve your overall engagement rates and decrease the number of machine opens by focusing on those who are genuinely interested in your content.
Despite these efforts, it's important to note that the prevalence of machine opens can vary depending on the email client, security settings, and individual preferences of subscribers. It's not possible to completely eliminate machine opens, but by implementing best practices and focusing on engagement, you can improve the accuracy of your email tracking metrics.

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