When a lead opens an email, does it mean that he or she has been “cookied” and we will be able to track his/her digital behavior on the website in future? Or do we need to have a lading page in order to do so?
Hi Vicky- Unless they have turned off their cookie settings, any website or email open would start the cookie path (even anonymously on the web property) based on the Munchkin being in place. A MKTO landing page would be able to identify your cookie details to help pre-populate a form on that landing page - but general web browsing can be done anonymously or known - but cookied.
Just a slight update to what Brigid above said - an email open will track the lead's email behavior but won't nessecairly coorelate that name with any web browsing history. Every visitor to your site is tracked every time they visit (unless they block cookies). In order to associate the name to the unique cookie (tracking ID) however, the lead needs to click on a link in a marketo email back to your site or fill out a form on your site or a landing page, an email open alone is not sufficient. Once they do this you will see their browsing history on the lead history. You don't need a MKTO landing page, you can do this with an embedded form on your main site as well.
Also, its worth noting that if someone clears out their browser history (eg: clears cookies) they will need to click another link or fill out another form to re-associate their browsing with their cookie.
@Vicky K You should ignore email Opens because a user who opens and thoroughly reads an email still won't get logged unless they have images enabled in their mail app. Opens can also be backfilled synthetically by Marketo which makes them ultimately ambiguous. Use Clicks as your reliable metric.
@Vicky K an Open doesn't allow ongoing tracking at all, even when it succeeds. Think about Microsoft Outlook with images enabled. Even if a user does download the tracking pixel (which tells Marketo they opened the email, at least for a couple of milliseconds) there is no way to track their later digital behavior because they are not in their browser at that time. You can't put cookies into Outlook.
Opens is never a good metric because, for security reasons, many/most (depending on your type of lead database, % of Gmail users vs. corporate users, etc.) mail apps simply don't allow Opens to be logged. That's why having clickable links is so essential. Links get the person into their browser, where you can be (reasonably) sure that only deliberate user actions are recorded and (usually) can set cookies for tracking over time.
I don't mean that seeing an Open in somebody's ActLog is completely devoid of meaning. It's that not seeing an Open is meaningless. Each lead could've paid just as much attention to the email, but only one of them was logged. Thus reporting on Open activities to measure success is grossly misleading.
@Vicky, there's a good overview of when munchkin tracks a lead and how a lead moves from known to anonymous here: https://community.marketo.com/MarketoArticle?id=kA050000000LCxMCAW
Essentially, a lead becomes known through a form fill, marketo email link click, or the SOAP Api (3rd party form) - an open is not sufficient.
@Sanford - thanks for the good explination on opens. I agree that the reliability of the opens varies based on your DB. Gmail, for example, downloads images for all emails, as do many mobile clients. So if you have a consumer DB than you will probably see more accurate open rates.