David Nield gives some advice on email tracking and how to stop it
Tracking pixels can report the times and dates their associated email was opened, as well as the location of the device used, and the email client involved. That's a lot of data to feed back to a third-party that you might not know much about.
I knew these kind of things existed, but until I started using Hey I never understood what an epidemic this is. Understanding your marketing data is absolutely essential, I have skin in that game. Analytics of mass emails is absolutely essential to filling your customers needs — but the current levels of usage is frankly ridiculous.
Why on earth do you need to track your newsletter? Yes I see you, attempting to see when I open and on what device for absolutely no reason other than your ego. Stop joining in with the attention economy to satisfy your own need for validation. I’ve subscribed, I read it, it’s great. Isn’t that enough?
This is one of the reasons I kept control of my own emails because services like Substack either don’t, or certainly don’t appear to, allow you to turn tracking off. Reporting back to a third party what your email subscribers are doing is doing yourself a disservice and letting your readers down. Tracking marketing and needing to see some return for your investment is one thing, but letting someone else collect data that you have no control over is another.
Hopefully we see the same attention to data collection we have seen in browsers extend to more email clients going forward.