You can enable or disable open tracking on your sequence configuration page when creating a new sequence or editing an existing sequence. You can also enable or disable open tracking for all new sequences you create by default by visiting your settings page.
How it works
Gem inserts a transparent pixel in your outgoing emails -- think of this as a small picture you can't see. Once you check the box that says "Open message tracking" and your recipient opens your email, the pixel is downloaded from a remote server which notifies you that the email was opened.
For your outgoing messages through Gem, we use some clever tricks to prevent your own opens from counting.
Tracking pixels are the industry-standard method for tracking opens. Unfortunately, there are a few gotchas to tracking pixels, depending on which email client your candidate uses. This help article is meant to cover these issues.
By default, images aren't downloaded in Outlook. It's up to the Outlook user to click the 'download pictures' button in order to receive a notification that the email was read. This results in some opens not being tracked when they should have been.
By default, images are downloaded in Gmail, which means emails are typically counted as read correctly for Gmail users.
A small minority of users turn this setting off, which means it's up to them to click the 'download pictures' button in order to receive a notification that the email was read.
Some email applications (such as Apple Mail on iOS) download the pixel by default to render previews regardless of whether the user opens the email. This results in some opens being tracked when they shouldn't have been.
High open counts once a candidate replies
Once a candidate replies to your sequence, Gem has no way of distinguishing between you opening the thread or the candidate, so both start to count.
In addition, each time you or the candidate views the thread, an open may be counted up to two times. As you start to reply back and forth, the open count will start to become quite large.
For example, if you and a candidate have 5 back and forths, your open count may be 2 (each time you open the thread) x 2 (each time they open the thread) x 5 (each message sent) = 20 opens. Of course, the open count could be even higher if either you or the candidate open the email throughout the day without replying.
As a best practice, you shouldn't read too much into the open count once a candidate has replied.
Have any issues or questions on this topic? Please feel free to contact your dedicated Gem Customer Success Manager directly or our Support team at firstname.lastname@example.org.