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A bitter-sweet deception of email tracking

In an awkward world of cold outreach, email trackers became a source of some certainty. Or did they?

By the way, if you really want to know how your message landed, use House of Pitch. This is how to write a winning card.

Now, Back to trackers.

Everybody wants answers

You want to know what happened to your message: Was it delivered? Opened? Read? Considered? Will there be any reaction to it? Email tracking systems provide answers to the first two questions. But if you treat this information as an engagement metric, you may find yourself tricked.

How email tracking works

This technology works by inserting a unique, transparent image into the email that is hosted on the tracking platform's server. Theoretically, when an email is opened, the computer will also request the invisible image. After the image is rendered within the email, the tracking platform marks it "open." However, this method is not foolproof and may not work 100% of the time.

One issue with email tracking is that images must auto-load in a user's email client to track opens. If the recipient's email client blocks images from rendering by default or if they view the email as plain text, the tracking pixel never fires. Additionally, apps like Ghostery and SmartPixel can prevent email-tracking pixels from firing altogether.

How email tracking tricks you

But this is only a part of the problem. While technical imperfection adds some inaccuracy to the cold outreach process, it's a psychological bias that forces you into making crucial mistakes.

When you see the mark "Opened," you might consider it an engagement signal, proof of interest, an invitation to follow up and push. Your communication becomes more aggressive. A false sense of interest messes with your tactics behind your own consciousness, and you choose the wrong tone and make bad moves.

You might start getting all up in their inbox with more and more messages just because you got that one little notification. But really, you're just fooling yourself and making annoying mistakes you wouldn't make otherwise.

Mind the limitations of the tracking

Honestly, if someone opens your message but doesn't reply, it's probably not catching their attention. We get it, though - it's better to hear a straight "No" than nothing at all. That's why we designed an app where you don't need trackers to find out if your pitch is a good fit. You always know where you stand with House of Pitch.


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