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phplist Documentation Message functions

Message Tracking

phplist offers two different methods to check whether a message has been opened or acted upon after it has been sent : user tracking and click tracking.

User tracking

User tracking can be used to see whether a HTML message has been opened by the recipient. To enable user tracking, you only need to add the placeholder [USERTRACK] at the bottom of the message template. This will insert a link to an invisible image in your message. When the user opens the message, the image is downloaded from your phplist system, which is then able to register who has opened the message.
Note: User tracking has some limitations, as it's effectiveness depends on the recipients being on line when viewing the message. Also keep in mind that the configuration of the recipient's email client or webmail application may prevent images from being loaded when viewing messages. User tracking can only be used with HTML messages.

Click tracking

Click tracking monitors whether a recipient has clicked on a link contained within a HTML or Text message. When enabled, all links in your messages will be converted to links that go through phplist. This will make sure that clicks are tracked and registered in the database. Click tracking can therefore be a simple and reliable way to monitor how many people have clicked through to your site from a message you have sent.
Note: Keep in mind that click tracking still is experimental. Your feedback is welcome and may help improve this feature.

If you want to use click tracking, you need to enable the clicktrack setting in your config.php file:

# Click tracking
# If you set this to 1, all links in your emails will be converted to links that
# go via phplist. This will make sure that clicks are tracked. This is experimental and
# all your findings when using this feature should be reported to mantis
# for now it's off by default until we think it works correctly

# Click track, list detail
# if you enable this, you will get some extra statistics about unique users who have clicked the
# links in your messages, and the breakdown between clicks from text or html messages.
# However, this will slow down the process to view the statistics, so it is
# recommended to leave it off, but if you're very curious, you can enable it

Privacy considerations

If you are using eiher or both message tracking methods, it is good practice to inform your subscribers you are doing so, for instance through your (organization's) privacy policy statement.
Note: Keep in mind that including this information in your privacy policy statement is not only good practice, but also a legal requirement in many countries.

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