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Open & Click Through with Java SMTP

Jagadeesh Balasubramanian
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 30, 2007
Posts: 13
Hi,
I need to implement open and click through statistics for emails generated out of the system. We have already implemented RFC3464 to track hard and soft bounces. But what are the ways to capture the mail opened by the reader or read by the user event when bulk emails are sent ??

Can someone throw some light on this?

Paul Sturrock
Bartender

Joined: Apr 14, 2004
Posts: 10336

The only way is to use the spammer's technique of including an image in the mail, and that is liable to be defeated by most MUA's these days (assuming your mail is not caught by spam filters).

RFC3464 will only get you statistics from mail servers that support it (and older SMTP servers out there will not support this).

So, can't really be done with the mail alone. You need to work with the lowest common denominator (SMTP) which make no provision for reporting delivery success or failure. Your best bet is to include a link in your mail and hope user's click on it, then you can record which mails were successful. Its not a completely hopeless bet; if the people you mail are actually interested in whatever you mail them about you can expect a decent amount of clicks. If they are not its probably pointless emailing them anyway.


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Jagadeesh Balasubramanian
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 30, 2007
Posts: 13
Thanks Paul. Probably might go on implementing the image approach if the client insists and tell them that it's not 100% reliable.
Paul Sturrock
Bartender

Joined: Apr 14, 2004
Posts: 10336

Jagadeesh Balasubramanian wrote:Thanks Paul. Probably might go on implementing the image approach if the client insists and tell them that it's not 100% reliable.


You are welcome. Be aware this carries the risk that your mails will be identified as spam and filtered out, and it wont work with Outlook. It is a spamming technique after all!
Paul Clapham
Bartender

Joined: Oct 14, 2005
Posts: 18570
    
    8

Paul Sturrock wrote:Be aware this carries the risk that your mails will be identified as spam and filtered out, and it wont work with Outlook. It is a spamming technique after all!


When my wife discovered this technique was being used on a mailing list she subscribed to, she described it as "creepy". This is another risk you will be taking.
 
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