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How is the opening of an email recognized?

The opening rate of a campaign is calculated based on an invisible pixel/picture within the email. It is invisible because it merges with the background color of the message.

Whenever a recipient opens an HTML message, as soon as pictures are downloaded, so is that pixel. It sends a request to the emailing server and this piece of information is recorded and analyzed at a later stage.

A pixel works the same way as a cookie on a webpage.

 

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