Why does my campaign report show unusually high clicks/open rates?
How email servers or spam filters can affect reporting
If you're seeing more clicks or higher open rates in your campaign report than you'd expect, it could be down to several reasons:
- Your campaign is being forwarded. We use tracking identifiers in URLs in email campaigns. When contacts forward campaigns to their own contacts, any subsequent clicks will be attributed to the original recipient of the campaign, since the URLs linked in the forwarded email remain the same. Unfortunately there’s no way for us to see whether a link is being clicked by the original recipient or someone to whom they have forwarded the email.
- A spam filter may be opening your emails and clicking/checking your links. Before your campaign even reaches your contact's inbox, their mail servers or email client scans each message for malicious links. Sometimes, this check effectively "clicks" through all of the links included in the email to make sure that they are safe. These automated clicks are often indistinguishable from any clicking the human recipient might do, and can lead to inflated numbers in your campaign report.
- Gmail and Apple mail sometimes performs pre-fetching. Both Gmail and Apple continuously evolve how they treat emails, both from a performance and privacy perspective, and have been known to click links and pre-fetch images to speed up link previews and cache multimedia.
Because of this, you should use click reports and open rates only as an indicator of performance.
Taking the above bullets into account, it's worth pointing out that any automated clicks within email campaigns are likely to be evenly distributed across all links within that email. That means that any links showing a higher number of clicks are being engaged by real users. It is therefore helpful to pay attention to the order of most popular links rather than to the specific number of clicks for each link.