|Email pixel tracking plays a part in how SharpSpring tracks activity for emails sent to leads.
Pixel tracking is the practice of inserting a 1px-by-1px transparent image—usually a .GIF or .PNG file—into the header, body, or footer of an email.
This article will provide information on email pixel tracking.
When the email containing the image is opened and the tracking pixel is loaded, the image sends a message to the server indicating that the email has been opened. SharpSpring includes a tracking pixel in every email that is sent out of the platform. This is how you are able to access all of the analytics and automation features when recipients engage with your emails.
As such, tracking pixels are effective tools in developing personalized or targeted content, as they provide information based on individual email opens. Leads may open emails with certain content while disregarding others. Leads may be more apt to view specific email content at a specific time or at a specific location. Well-crafted designs or relevant content may have a recipient open the email multiple times. The information that tracking pixels provide can prove valuable.
While SharpSpring does offer the feature to track certain forwarded emails, there are certain things that cannot be done through or are otherwise impacted by pixel tracking. There are times that, when an email is forwarded, the tracking pixel is maintained but otherwise creates problems for tracking.
As the pixels are images, recipients that automatically block images from loading or otherwise display all content as text in received emails will block the tracking pixel, preventing it from providing information. This means that tracking pixels only register opens if the pixel is loaded. More web-savvy recipients could have certain browser plugins that disable tracking pixels from activating altogether, whether or not the pixel has loaded in the email.
It is also important to understand that pixel tracking only reports information of opened email, and that is not a measure of click-throughs, form fills, or other interactive engagement. The tracking pixel can report an email was opened, but not provide certain context clues as to whether or not the recipient clicked a link or otherwise cared for the content. In addition, email clicks are not tracked via these pixels. Email clicks are tracked by the traffic being routed through SendGrid.
This adds a certain risk to repeated engagement, as subsequent emails may be unsubscribed from or marked as spam. That said, tracking pixels present a means of obtaining information that would otherwise be unknown.
To that end, Google caches and serves their own pixel in a way that can interrupt tracking. For information on using email pixel tracking in conjunction with Google Analytics, refer to Google's external documentation on the feature.