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Feature Overview: Engagement Tracking

Applies to SocketLabs On-Demand

Engagement Tracking allows an SocketLabs On-Demand user to detect how their email recipients are engaging with messages sent to them. Specifically, the opening of a message, the click of a link, and a request to be unsubscribed are events that can be tracked by this feature.


The tracking of Opens, Clicks, and Unsubscribes has some limitations based on the way email and the technologies behind this feature work. Specifically, there are a few scenarios where these events will not be recorded or may be recorded multiple times. The following should be taken into consideration when using the Engagement Tracking functionality of our SocketLabs On-Demand service:

  • Opens will only be registered if the email message is HTML, if the recipient reads the email in an HTML reader, and if the recipient's mail reader does not disable the loading of remote images. This limitation is due to how open tracking works. Open tracking causes a tracking image to be inserted into the HTML body of each email to be tracked. The tracking image is transparent so it is not visible to the recipient. When an email message is opened and loads its contents including the tracking image, the image is pulled from our server and the email message can be considered to have been opened.
  • Clicks will only be registered if the email message is HTML. Click tracking causes each link to be tracked to be rewritten to point at a SocketLabs On-Demand server. When a user clicks on one of these links, our service records the click action before redirecting the user to the original link, which allows us to determine when a link has been clicked.
  • Unsubscribe links require confirmation before they are processed, so any user that clicks on an unsubscribe link but does not confirm the action in the resulting page will not be marked as unsubscribed. This is meant to prevent accidental unsubscribes from software that may visit links automatically, such as virus scanners.
  • Open events and Click events are both susceptible to false positives due to software such as virus scanners automatically scanning links and images used in email messages.


Engagement Tracking can be configured from the SocketLabs On-Demand Control Panel via the Configuration => Engagement Tracking menu, in the upper right corner of the Configuration drop down menu. In order to use this feature, users are required to configure a domain's CNAME to point at the SocketLabs tracking server. This is critical to ensuring quality of service. More information about configuring a domain's CNAME and why this is necessary can be found in this knowledgebase article.

Other options allow individual event tracking to be turned on or off (Opens, Clicks, and Unsubscribes) as well as allowing the use of Google Analytics. Normally, email messages require specific tags in their message bodies in order to utilize any of the Engagement Tracking events. Information on the syntax used when manually requesting these events can be found in this knowledgebase article. Alternatively, Open and Click events can be automatically inserted into messages without requiring any special syntax in the message body. This feature can be turned on by using the 'Automatic Tracking' option. Unsubscribe event syntax cannot be automatically inserted at this time.

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