Read this article to know how YAMM tracking works and how we anonymize your recipients' data before we process it to provide the tracking metrics for you. Towards helping you with compliance, we provide choice of setting your email tracking off.
How email tracking works
Our tracking tool lets you know who opened, clicked, replied, unsubscribed to your email and which email addresses bounced.
When tracking is enabled, we generate random YAMM IDs to de-identify the recipients with. From then on, these IDs are embedded in the emails they receive, and scanned to track their engagement activities.
Have a detailed look into how we anonymize your recipients data with YAMM IDs, from the time of preparing the mail merge until the end of every user action on your tracked emails.
1. Generation of YAMM IDs
Every time you send a mail merge with the tracker enabled, we generate random but unique YAMM IDs for each recipient's email address of that mail merge campaign. These YAMM IDs are added as notes to each email address' cell of your spreadsheet, and never stored in YAMM’s database.
For example, let’s say you are sending an email campaign to promote your new website, and you would like to track click-through rate.
After sending your mail merge, notice the YAMM ID added as notes to each recipient’s cell:
For this specific recipient (firstname.lastname@example.org), we generated 2 types of IDs:
- 78080109, which is the randomly generated YAMM ID for this recipient
- 163b0b5959a9feff, which is the email ID sent to this recipient
2. Embedment of the YAMM IDs in the emails sent
If you have inserted a link in your email template (e.g: https://sites.google.com/site/scriptsexamples/home/news as a simple link or hyperlink), as shown below:
When your recipients receive your email, the original link will be re-encoded by embedding the respective YAMM ID to track their activity, and the final link will look like this:
You can then notice the same YAMM ID n°78080109 in the email sent, and in your Google Sheet.
3. Scan of the YAMM IDs when emails are opened/clicked
When a recipient opens/responds/clicks... the email, we will only store the YAMM ID and the related action (ie.: Opening an email, unsubscribing etc.).
Therefore, we do not know the email address/identity of the recipient who did a specific action to your email.
What data is stored when tracking emails?
YAMM does not store any email address...
... except bounces and unsubscribes
As stated in our Terms of Service:
As of December 2017, we are storing in our database the email addresses of some of your recipients. Specifically, if one of those addresses bounced or if one of your recipients manually unsubscribed (if you added an unsubscribe link in your emails), we will record said address to warn you if we find it again among the recipients of a future campaign. You can manage both lists (unsubscriptions & bounces) in Yet Another Mail Merge web app.
- Bounces are email addresses that never or no longer exist
- You can manage and clean by yourself your list of unsubscriptions from the web app
How to turn on/off our email tracker?
By default, YAMM has the ‘Track emails opened, clicked or bounced’ option checked in the mail merge configuration panel. So email tracking will be enabled for all your email campaigns by default.
If you don’t want to track your campaign (maybe to adhere to any compliance like GDPR), simply make sure that 'Track emails opened, clicked or bounced' is not ticked before sending your mail merge:
Email Tracking and GDPR
As a data processor, YAMM is fully committed to be GDPR compliant. Especially with such anonymization of your recipients data, we ensure the protection of the rights of your data subjects. Not only for our users from EU, we guarantee that we provide the same data protection to all our users.
For you, the data controllers, GDPR mandates that email tracking requires that the recipients have opted in to collection of tracking data. You need to collect clear, affirmative consent before you send them emails, especially for tracking the activity on those emails. We provide some suggestions and various options in YAMM which may be helpful for you in seeking consent from your subscribers.