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We’ve talked before about things that can artificially supress open rates, and the dangers inherent in not being aware of the issues.

This was brought home today by a colleague, who writes about an experience they had with being dropped from a mailing list that they read regularly because they read in “no images” mode, causing the sender to assume that they weren’t reading their mailings. Because my colleague was reading in “no images” mode, the 1×1 pixel image that the sender uses to track opens never got sourced.

My colleague writes:

“I’m a member of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and get a couple of their email newsletters. I also read them in Eudora in a relatively conservative mode (no images, etc.). Well, I just got this email from them:

Your subscription to NFIB SmartBrief has been canceled due to inactivity over the past 12 months.

If this is a mistake, and you would like to reinstate your free subscription to NFIB SmartBrief, click on the link below to re-subscribe to this newsletter.

[link redacted]

To prevent this from occurring again and to ensure delivery of this newsletter to your inbox, please enable image loading in your email client and add to your email address book or safe senders list.

Loading their tracking images is a requirement for continuously getting their emails? Jeez!

What’s ironic is that this is one of the few newsletters that I do take the time to at least skim.”

Even more interesting is that when he went to resubscribe (and note that I consider the NFIB to be very lucky that he bothered to resubscribe), he discovered that they offer a text-only version, through which they couldn’t possibly track those open rates.

What’s the lesson here? Well, there are a few, but one, for certain, is to be aware that there are things which can artificially supress your open rates, and you need to take them into account whenever looking at open rates for any reason.

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