The way we record opens (please see article regarding this here) – means that sometimes inaccurate results are possible. These can be broken down into two categories.
False Positives (Email Opens when the recipient may not have opened)
Some email clients (like outlook) have the ability to "preview" a campaign using a preview pane (like this below). When this is set up by default, the preview pane will download the images automatically recording an open. When a subscriber clicks on the email with the desire to delete it, it can also record as an open because when they select it, the email client will display it in the preview pane, and therefore download the images which will record as an open.
Likelihood of Occurrence: Rarely
False Unopened (Email Unopened when the recipient may have opened)
The majority of email clients (Outlook, Yahoo, Hotmail) don't display images automatically (mobile devices are an exception here); they only display images when the recipient actively displays them or allows them from the sender. Because of this it's entirely possible that recipients may review your email content without downloading the images which would not record as an open when they have actively read your content.
Items to note here:
- Most mobile devices download images automatically (iPhones etc.) so these will record as opens for your campaign
- If you format your email campaign correctly users will want to click on links which in turn will record that as an email open
- You can manage ways to reduce the likelihood of this happening by providing instructions to your subscribers when they sign up
Likelihood of Occurrence: Sometimes