So let's have a look at what these terms actually mean and how they are calculated.
What do we mean when we talk about open rates?
The way in which we determine an email has been "opened" is when a reaction is logged on our servers e.g. the servers know when images have been displayed in an email or when a link in an email has been clicked.
How do we know the images in an email have been displayed?
The images in the emails that you create in your NewZapp account are not actually sent with the email (they aren't embedded). This is regardless of whether they are in parts of the template design that you can't edit, or whether they are images you have uploaded yourself as part of your content. All of these images sit on our servers and wait to be "called into action". Once your email has been viewed with images displayed then our servers can log the exact time, along with the email address of the recipient and provide you with the knowledge that your email has been opened.
And is it the same principle for knowing that links have been clicked?
Yes. Well, it's very similar. The way we achieve the data on a link being clicked (whether it's a link on a piece of text or a link on an image) is by very briefly diverting any link included in an email to our servers before it then goes to the link destination. It happens in an instant but that visit to our servers is the trigger that enables us to collect valuable data for you.
Do images have to have been displayed for the links in an email to work?
No. Regardless of whether images have been displayed, if your link is a text link then your recipient will be able to see it and click it so we can class the email as "opened".
Will I know if my email has been opened if someone is receiving a text only version?
Yes. If someone is viewing your email as a text only email (which may be the case with some mobile devices) then the link that NewZapp provides at the top to "View this email online" is valuable in two ways:
1) It provides the recipient with an option to see the email in all its HTML glory via a web browser.
2) By means of the link being clicked you've gathered your data on the email being opened.
I don't want to have images or links in an email but I still want to know if the email has been opened.
Unfortunately nothing worth having in life is easy to achieve! But if you don't intend to place any call to action links within your email then you need to ask yourself, what it is that you are hoping to achieve from the campaign?
If it's purely a campaign to send information to your database that is not critical or requires any action on their part, or for them to contact you then you may have to accept that you won't be able to monitor how many emails have been read. For this option to be effective it will be more important than ever to follow the mantra of sending to a database that is current and clean, and using a subject line and from address that are relevant and engaging.
Click through rates, isn't that just the total number of clicks?
No. The click through rate of a campaign is centred around how many unique clicks you have achieved.
A unique click is a click on a link in your email by one person. If everyone who clicks on a link only did so once then your unique clicks figure would be the same as your "total clicks". But sometimes people click on the same link more than once.
For example, suppose 1,000 recipients "clicked" on a particular link but 49 of them clicked on the link 3 times. In this situation you would have achieved 1,000 unique clicks, whilst the "total clicks" would be 1,098. So no matter how times a single individual clicked on the same link you still have 1,000 unique clicks.