Industry changes, particularly iOS17 have introduced the concept of 'pre-fetched opens' or 'pre-opened email'.
Pre-fetched opens are cases where the recipient's inbox automatically opens an email as soon as it is delivered.
This results in higher than expected open metrics which are artificially inflated.
To make sure you're getting the most accurate engagement data, Ometria has two open metrics:
- Opens - All opens, including those pre-opened by the recipient's email provider
- Opens (human) - Email opens which Ometria can verify were performed by your contacts and customers (humans), excluding pre-opened.
You can choose whichever metric you prefer, but we highly recommend using human opens in your reporting to build an accurate picture of your engagement.
The human metrics are:
- Emails opened (human)
- Email open rate (human)
- Email click to open rate (human)
- Email order to open rate (human)
You can find these in the following reports:
- Email performance in the Overview dashboard
- Campaign performance for automation and broadcast campaigns.
- Individual automation campaign reports - overview and flows tabs.
- Individual broadcast campaign reports - contact analytics and variants tabs.
How does Ometria know if an open is 'human'?
An email open is registered when a mailbox provider or email client, e.g. Gmail or Apple, download a specific image pixel embedded in the email.
When they download this image they also send information back to the sender about the device requesting the download. This information usually includes data about the device type, e.g. mobile, desktop, tablet.
When Apple introduced Apple Mail Privacy Protection they restricted the data being sent back, so that senders can only see that an Apple server is requesting this information and nothing else.
So, when Ometria’s email sender (SparkPost) sees that an Apple server with no other information has downloaded the image, it is identified as pre-fetched, i.e. non-human.
SparkPost then identifies any opens which are not pre-fetched as human.
What if a human later opens a pre-opened email?
Unfortunately, once an email is pre-fetched/pre-opened by the mailbox, SparkPost can’t tell if any subsequent opens are human.
This means that there may be pre-fetched opens that are also human opens. Ometria has no way of getting this data.
We recommend that you look at your ‘human opens’ as a trend, not an absolute number.
Send time optimisation
Our optimise send time feature in broadcast campaigns bases calculations on human opens only.
This is because pre-fetched opens are not useful when selecting a contact's preferred open time.
If there isn't enough open data for a contact, the sent time optimisation model applies your account average.