High unique opens when sending to internal distribution lists

When sending to internal distribution lists it's common to see high Unique Opens due to a few different factors:

  • Emails coming from internal sources are more likely to be opened.
  • Emails are often forwarded to other individuals or sometimes other lists.
  • Many individuals check mail on multiple devices, so an open on their phone and on their desktop would be 2 Unique Opens.

Since it can be a shock to see greater than a 100% open rate, here are some easy ways to quickly break down the data and see exactly where your Unique Opens are coming from.


Viewing email opens over time

The Clicks/Opens Distribution Timeline shows all your Opens, Unique as well as Repeat, over time. While useful to help determine the best time to send mail, it's also a great tool for identifying when an email was forwarded or re-sent.

To open the graph, click on the email you wish to inspect and you will be directed to the Email Stats page.

Small bumps in the graph are indications of new or renewed activity (a Friday email being opened on Monday for example) but bumps or larger spikes can also indicate that the message was forwarded on, or sent to another list:



Viewing opens on multiple devices

Emails being opened on multiple devices is a very common cause of high Unique Opens. There are also times when distribution lists can include other lists that the sender may not be aware of.

In this case, a great report to run is the Opens, Clicks and Device in order to see the type of devices the opens are coming from.

Navigate to Reports and select Opens, Clicks and Device. Before running the report, you can Add Subject Line, Add Folder, or Add Subaccount. Select the data as well as the date field during which you wish to break down the email(s) and watch the magic happen!

The data will look something like this:


This type of report can give great insight into how your emails are being accessed and help paint a much more complete picture of where your data is coming from. 


Opens are always the result of a user opening the message. Using the two reports above can help give you more certainty about where your emails are going and how they're being accessed.

Alternatively, you can check the device data for individual opens in the Open History. It is available for every sent email in the Summary of the Email Stats for a specific individual email

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