How Effective Is Email Tracking For B2B Sales?

This question comes up a lot as CloseFox works so closely with email automation tools, many of which track opens. When I started using email automation tools years ago I always thought that it was strange how most email recipients didn’t open my emails, then others opened them almost 20 times! The reality is that the way email tracking is done is somewhat flawed. Despite the flaw, I use it regularly to keep a feed of what is happening with my correspondence with prospects.

How Does Email Tracking Work?

Wikipedia has a pretty comprehensive explanation of what is going on in the email tracking world:

Some email marketing tools include tracking as a feature. Such email tracking is usually accomplished using standard web tracking devices known as cookies and web beacons. When an email message is sent, if it is a graphical HTML message (not a plain text message) the email marketing system may embed a tiny, invisible tracking image (a single-pixel gif, sometimes called a web beacon) within the content of the message. When the recipient opens the message, the tracking image is referenced. When they click a link or open an attachment, another tracking code is activated. In each case a separate tracking event is recorded by the system. These response events accumulate over time in a database, enabled the email marketing software to report metrics such as open-rate and click-through rates. Email marketing users can view reports on both aggregate response statistics and individual response over time.

The same technique is used by just about every marketing and sales tool that tracks email opens and can be easily implemented in new tools.

What Does This Mean?

Because of the way that emails are tracked using HTML or pixels it can decrease the open rate of emails because they are sent to junk or promotional folders. Some corporate firewalls will look for these types of messages and remove them from corporate in boxes.

Also, depending on which email tool the recipient uses the tracking data can be inaccurate. Basically the HTML/ Pixel tracking is activated when images are opened in your email. Some email tools open images automatically, and others do not open images unless it is requested by the recipient. That explains why some emails are opened multiple times (which often doesn’t make sense) and many emails are never opened.

Is This Data Valuable For B2B Sales?

If used without any other tracking information, email opens are basically a nice to have. They don’t demonstrate relevant engagement information and cannot give you any barring of which prospects are interested or not. supplementing email opens with click-through, document tracking and video tracking can give you a great picture of what is happening with your prospects. Looking at all of the data together can give you valuable insights into who is engaged and what interests them. The challenge is finding the time to look through this data and make sense of it all.


Email tracking is a relatively inaccurate and ineffective tool for B2B sales when used alone. This is due to the technology used to track the emails and the tools prospects use to read the emails. Not only can it lower the credibility of your emails, but depending on this information can actually harm your sales cycle. Trying to understand inaccurate data can be a big time waster. Combining email tracking with other forms of engagement tracking can increase the likelihood of accuracy and relevance. But still takes too much time out of the sales team’s day to create value in the day-to-day sales process.

About CloseFox

CloseFox takes the guesswork out of sales follow ups by providing insight into prospect minds. By simply attaching your sales documents and videos to your email and sales automation templates, CloseFox identifies which prospects to follow-up with and how. Allowing sales teams to save hours every day and increase the effectiveness of follow-up calls and emails. Unlike other tools, CloseFox utilizes a proprietary algorithm to analyze the engagement of prospects when viewing documents and videos, then provides the insight into what your prospects want. Empowering your team to win more deals.


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