PoliteMail offers three tracking modes, Aggregate, Individual and Anonymous. Aggregate Tracking and Individual/Anonymous Tracking are like apples and oranges. You are still tracking your total audience participation, but in very different ways. Aggregate mode tracks the email message, Individual and Anonymous modes tracks the recipients.

In Aggregate, every device and browser is counted, so when one recipient views the email on their desktop and mobile device, that will count as two opens. With Individual/Anonymous, one recipient who opens the email on both their mobile and their desktop is counted as one individual open (on two devices). In Anonymous mode, you are not (even technically) able to identify or drill down to an individual recipient’s open, read or click interactions.
With Aggregate tracking, the message is processed exactly the way it normally is in Outlook and Exchange. This make is less technically complex to configure, however the metrics collected are not accurate to the audience size, as they are exaggerated whenever one recipient uses more than one device or browser to access their email.



How Does Tracking Work?

Opens are tracked using uniquely encoded, transparent beacon images referenced from within the HTML email message using standard https requests to the PoliteMail Server. Reads are timed while the message is open, whether in the preview pane, in the browser, or on a mobile device. Links are tracked via redirects, by replacing the direct link URLs within the original email with encoded links, when clicked these https referenced links redirect from the PoliteMail Server to the original destination URL.

Technical Note: Tracking modes may be locked down on the server side, such that only one mode, or a specific set of modes, is available to users. When more than one mode is available, users may set their default preference.

Aggregate Tracking

Aggregate Tracking is simple, but not highly accurate. It does not collect or store any Personally Identifiable Information (PII). Aggregate tracks the message, and counts unique devices and browsers. Aggregate tracking provides you with entry level metrics. Because most recipients will view email on more than one device or using more than one browser, the counts are exaggerated when compared to your actual audience size. To calculate a metric or percentage, the denominator is typically your list size (recipient count), so the metrics tend to be overstated in aggregate. Using the total device opens (unique devices accessing the email) as the denominator gives you a more accurate metric, but you will notice your device count is typically significantly larger than your audience size. With Aggregate tracking, there is no follow-up or segmentation capability. Aggregate does not require any Exchange configuration.

Individual Tracking

Individual Tracking collects name, email address and related interactions (opens/reads/clicks), and the resulting email metrics are accurate to your audience size. Name and email address is considered PII. With Individual Tracking, PoliteMail users will be able to identify specific recipient actions (or inactions), so senders can identify who did what when. Use Individual Tracking if you want to track individual or group behavior over time, have compliance requirements to verify message delivery or reading of specific messages, or have follow-up requirements such as sending an email to everyone who didn’t click a specific link.

Anonymous Tracking

Anonymous Tracking collects name and email address information, but disassociates such PII from their email interactions. At the time of send, the tracking data is anonymized, such that PoliteMail users (even technically) are unable to determine if a specific person interacted with a specific message. This mode provides metrics as accurate percentages of your audience, but does not provide the ability to drill down to see any individual interaction behavior. Anonymous Tracking still allows personalization of the message (addressing by name). Use Anonymous Tracking to maintain individual employee privacy, as it is compliant with the GDPR and other EU Data Privacy regulations.