Machine opens are no longer counted in the campaign statistics
We had to make a change, and like all tough decisions, we concluded that the best course of action was to pick an option and lean fully into it.
You see, we recently encountered a couple of bad cases of machine opens inflating the open counts beyond reasonable expectations, including some MAIL_OPEN events with a timestamp predating the MAIL_DELIVERED touchpoint.
In the past months, we had already decided to filter machine clicks out when defining a customer's “last active date”. The logical step here would be to filter machine opens as well, as they do not reflect a user interaction with an email but rather a bot crawling through the content to check for viruses or spam, sometimes before even accepting the email for delivery.
Now, there is no industry standard on this matter, really, and this decision would change how a campaign would perform in open counts when compared to a campaign from before the change. This is why the decision was difficult to make, but we decided it would bring the best value for the end-user, as machine opens are still available as Events, should you want to track them. We just removed them from the open counts aggregated in the campaign statistics.
This change will slightly affect the open rate. However, this metric relies on unique opens, so it would not be affected by removing extra machine opens after an actual human opens. The change only removes “false positive” opens where a bot returned an open Event, but the recipient did not actually open the mail at all, which should provide more accurate results.
If you have any questions related to the change, please send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our team is happy to help!