Is it possible to detect if an email newsletter has been forwarded?

John Shaver bobjohnbob at gmail.com
Wed Feb 6 14:10:17 MST 2013


I've never worked with these type of emails much before, but if these are
links they're clicking, couldn't you just save a cookie to their browser to
tell if they've been there before?  Associate the cookie ID with their link
ID.  Then if you get multple cookie IDs matching the same link ID, then
it's probably  a forwarded email, or they opened it from multiple
computers, or they deleted/didn't save the cookie.


On Wed, Feb 6, 2013 at 1:43 PM, Lonnie Olson <lists at kittypee.com> wrote:

> In a web request you also have access to the User Agent info.  You can
> combine this with the IP to get a pretty close approximation to a
> single user.  Subsequent clicks from different IP and/or User Agent
> will likely be a different person.  Though not foolproof, it's closer
> than IP only.
>
> On Wed, Feb 6, 2013 at 1:10 PM, Ken Snyder <kendsnyder at gmail.com> wrote:
> > We have an email newsletter that includes a tracking image, plus each
> link
> > contains a hash so that we know which recipients opened the email and who
> > clicked on what link.
> >
> > The client is asking if it is possible to detect a) if that newsletter
> has
> > been forwarded to someone else, b) if that new recipient opens the email,
> > and c) if that new recipient clicks on the links.
> >
> > My only thought is that we could make a loose inference of second-hand
> > opens and clicks by tracking the IP Address of each open and click. E.g.
> if
> > there are two clicks from two different IP Addresses it *could be*
> another
> > person.
> >
> > Is there any other way to detect second-hand opens and clicks?
> >
> > Thanks,
> >
> > Ken Snyder
> >
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