| 7:53 pm on May 17, 2010 (gmt 0)|
I use Google Analytics.
This tool by Google will help you get started building track-able URL's in your newsletter.
| 8:03 pm on May 17, 2010 (gmt 0)|
Does Google Analytics keep track of the number of recipients who open the email or does it only track clicks?
| 11:39 am on May 18, 2010 (gmt 0)|
I don't believe it will. It simply tracks clicks. If you want more info you should invest in paid email service like Constant Contact or other similar program.
| 9:17 am on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)|
if you have a small list of subscribers mailchimp has a good free hosted edition for a small list.
| 1:51 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)|
if you send your newsletter as HTML, than it is possible to include pictures. these are hosted on your webspace. include a 1 pixel gif picture, call it newsletter-may.gif and send out the newsletter.
your webstats program should show you how often this pictures has been accessed which can give you an impression on readership of your newsletter.
Not a very good tracking method, but it could provide some insights.
| 3:43 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)|
As others above have said, this can be done but it will not be 100% accurate. Many mail clients will block images by default until the user takes some manual action (clicking a "display images in this message" link). If the user never clicks that in their mail client, you won't know they read it even though they did - your reports could show that 1,000 people read the news letter but it was really 5 times that and only 1,000 clicked the link to show images. Also if they're reading it from a cell phone, the option to show images usually isn't even there.
There are two ways I get around this personally:
1. Don't e-mail the entire newsletter - email a 255 character sample of the first paragraph with a link to your site to read the rest. Then you know for sure.
2. Incentivize them. If a particular newsletter is designed to push people into a new product, we'll slip in a link that lets them get a free $5 gift card for whatever product we're talking about. We're using the Card9 gift cards (which work like a coupon, so we're just basically taking $5 off the order but it's a plastic card that says GIFT CARD not coupon, which triggers that psychological difference in people's minds).
| 7:14 pm on Jun 1, 2010 (gmt 0)|
Excellent advice. Thank you all very much.
| 10:29 pm on Jun 9, 2010 (gmt 0)|
If you have a link to somewhere in your newsletter, why not use one of the shortening urls, most of them have a tracking feature.