How to Track Email Opens in Mail Merge

Mail Merge for Gmail lets you easily track email opens so you'll know when an email has been viewed or read by the recipient. The campaign reports in mail merge will show which email subscribers opened your campaign and how many times were the emails viewed.

Enable Email Open Tracking

To use open tracking in mail merge, go to the mail merge sidebar in your Google Sheet and expand the Enable Email Tracking section.

Next, specify a campaign name and check the option that says Track Email Opens. When you run this merge campaign, it will automatically include a 1x1 tracking pixel that will help track the recipient's interaction with your message.

Track Email Opens

View Email Open Reports

To open your email tracking reports, go to the Mail Merge menu and choose Open and Click Report under the View Campaign Reports menu.

Mail Merge Campaign Reports

Select the campaign name from the list of available campaigns that have sent under the current Google account and click the Open link to view the email open report for that campaign.

A new sheet will be added in your current Google Spreadsheet with details of the recipients who have opened your email campaign. Here's how a sample report:

Email Open Report

The email open reports includes the following information:

  • Date when the email message was sent to the subscriber.
  • Email address of the subscriber
  • Date and time (timestamp) when the email was first opened
  • Email Client or web browser of the subscriber, interpreted from the user agent string
  • Approximate geo-location of the subscriber.

How Email Tracking Works

When you enable email open for any mail merge campaign, an invisible GIF image (or web beacon) is embedded in all your outgoing email messages. When the recipient opens the email message, this hidden image is also requested with the message and the open event gets recorded in Mail Merge reports.

tip

You should use a visible image in your email, like add your company's logo in the email signature, and this will motivate the recipient to download images with your messages.

Email Tracking Limitations

  1. The tracker can only register an email-open event if the recipient allows downloading the message's images (including the invisible GIF).
  2. If your email message is very large, Gmail may clip the message and that may block the pixel image from downloading on the client’s computer.
  3. Gmail and other web-based email clients cache images on their own servers. The email open event will be recorded but since the images are downloaded on Google's own servers, the correct location of the recipient may not be available.