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Re: Custom Coding for 1x1 px. Tracking GIF

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Jim_DiModica
Level 3

Custom Coding for 1x1 px. Tracking GIF

Is there/can there be a mechanism that allows for custom coding of the 1x1 px. Tracking GIF that's included in emails?

Our mail system, and probably others like it, disarm this GIF which neutralizes its opens/click-tracking abilities; and announces this disarming in the email's subject line. Our IT folks feel that custom coding of this GIF might be a good work-around.

Any info appreciated.

Thanks.

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SanfordWhiteman
Level 10 - Community Moderator

Re: Custom Coding for 1x1 px. Tracking GIF

Can the Marketo tracking code be modified to more closely resemble the top, unfettered code?

Short answer: no.

MailScanner absolutely wants to catch your CI tracking image.  Their web bug detection is intended to catch any "phone home" pixels; it's simply a coincidence that no one has reported its structure to MailScanner so a rule can be created for it.

In any case, it isn't possible to change the structure of the Marketo tracking pixel. 

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SanfordWhiteman
Level 10 - Community Moderator

Re: Custom Coding for 1x1 px. Tracking GIF

Are you talking about removing the tracking pixel? Because there's no amount of coding that can stop it from being stripped if you're up against an anti-spam layer that's intent on removing tracking images, let alone images in general.

It actually isn't that common to have anything app/prepended to the subject line b/c of images. A warning about images being disabled in the reader pane, sure. But not altering the subject.

Jim_DiModica
Level 3

Re: Custom Coding for 1x1 px. Tracking GIF

Thanks, Sanford, for your reply. Let me clarify.

Our other email service includes a tracking GIF that our company's incoming mail server doesn't have a problem with. It doesn't change its code; and doesn't add "Disarmed" to the subject line:

<img src=3D"http://portal.criticalimpact.com/c2/534420/24327/=c71dfbd4f6fb80d33947229f28c3afba-ci.gif">

Marketo's tracking GIF has this code:

<IMG SRC="http://news.testequity.com/trk?t=1&mid=MzEzLUtKUS0xNDc6NDQ3OjE3MTg6MTg3NzowOjE1NzU6NzozNDMwOTM6ZGltb..." WIDTH="1" HEIGHT="1" BORDER="0" ALT="" />

Our incoming mail server replaces it with this and adds "Disarmed" to the subject line:

<img src="http://www.mailscanner.tv/1x1spacer.gif" width="1" height="1" alt="Web Bug from http://news.testequity.com/trk?t=1&mid=MzEzLUtKUS0xNDc6MjYxOjE1MTM6MTEyNzowOjE0MDY6NzoyMTA1Mzc6ZXZlc..." />

Are we correct in assuming that since mailscanner is re-writing the code, the open is not recorded?

Can the Marketo tracking code be modified to more closely resemble the top, unfettered code?

Thanks again.

SanfordWhiteman
Level 10 - Community Moderator

Re: Custom Coding for 1x1 px. Tracking GIF

Can the Marketo tracking code be modified to more closely resemble the top, unfettered code?

Short answer: no.

MailScanner absolutely wants to catch your CI tracking image.  Their web bug detection is intended to catch any "phone home" pixels; it's simply a coincidence that no one has reported its structure to MailScanner so a rule can be created for it.

In any case, it isn't possible to change the structure of the Marketo tracking pixel. 

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Jim_DiModica
Level 3

Re: Custom Coding for 1x1 px. Tracking GIF

Thanks very much.

And finally, when mailscanner re-writes the code as per above, does that affect Marketo's email stats (delivers, opens, etc.)?

SanfordWhiteman
Level 10 - Community Moderator

Re: Custom Coding for 1x1 px. Tracking GIF

The rewriting makes it impossible for the user to ever enable the tracking image, thus the Opened Email activity will never be logged.  But Opens are an unreliable metric anyway, since a user needs to manually enable images in many email clients.  You shouldn't take Opens as representing all the humans who looked at the email.  Depending on whether you're largely B2B or B2C, Opens may leave out many or even most of your leads.

It won't affect Delivered activities, as MailScanner is purposely letting the email through instead of blocking it.

It will, most likely, affect the success of your campaigns for those users behind a MailScanner gateway, since the "disarmed" warning makes the email look dangerous.

Jim_DiModica
Level 3

Re: Custom Coding for 1x1 px. Tracking GIF

As I take a second look at the two GIF codes I see that the non-problematic image's tag doesn't have the height and width attributes. Perhaps the web bug detection rules focus on GIFs with width="1" and height="1".

Who at Marketo might be able to change the code for a test?

Thanks.

SanfordWhiteman
Level 10 - Community Moderator

Re: Custom Coding for 1x1 px. Tracking GIF

Who at Marketo might be able to change the code for a test?

You don't need anyone at Marketo to test -- you can just create a test IMG tag yourself.

Regardless, I wouldn't expect Marketo to stop adding height and width attributes to tracking pixels unless a very compelling case is made.  Remember, you are trying to circumvent a privacy layer that is specifically trying to block tracking pixels.  It's not like it's it's trying to catch something else and accidentally blocking tracking pixels.  But if you want to put pressure on them to do this, you should open an Idea.