What is Email opens from unknown location

What is "Email opens from unknown location"?

When you send emails through Zoho Campaigns, and if you have opted to get the location data of the email recipients, the data along with the open and click rates will be displayed in the campaign reports.

The open rate is tracked with the help of a hidden one-pixel image placed in the body of the message. When an email recipient opens the email and when the one pixel image is downloaded, an"open" is recorded in your Campaigns database. When the recipient opens the email multiple times, the open count increases. The click rate is calculated when an email recipient opens an email and clicks the link present in it.

When an email is opened or when a link is clicked, data about the Internet Protocol (IP) address from which the email recipient accesses their mailbox is saved and used to determine the recipient's location. This location is identified by mapping the IP address with the entries in the internet service provider's database or regional internet registries.After acquiring location information, you can use the data that's collected to send personalized campaigns.


Though the exact location of an email recipient cannot be identified, you can determine their city/town/village if the email is frequently opened and the links in them are clicked. The data that's collected may sometimes be inaccurate due to insufficient information in the geolocation service provider's database and various other factors.

Let's take a look at the major road blocks you might face when trying to determine the geolocation of email recipients.

When emails are forwarded

When an email recipient forwards an email to their friend and when that friend opens the email and click the links, the recipient's friend's location is identified and is assumed to be the original email recipient's location.

For example, if an email recipient in Brazil forwards an email to a friend in Russia, and when the friend opens the email, the IP address used by the friend in Russia will be analyzed and the corresponding location will be saved in the database.


When email recipients use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

When email recipients use a VPN to access their mailbox, the IP address of the VPN is used to determine the location, and the location of the VPN's IP address will be considered as the email recipient's location.

For example, if an email recipient in Brazil uses a VPN in Russia to access their mailbox, the location of the IP address (Russia) is assumed to be the email recipient's location.


Image proxying

Generally, when people receive email from unknown sources, the images in those emails are not displayed because the email is not from a trusted source. Now, some mailbox providers have started to cache images in emails for security reasons. They download the images in their proxy server, check for security threats, and then send the email to the recipient's inbox.

When images are downloaded and links are checked for malware in the mailbox provider's proxy server, the location of the mailbox provider's proxy server is saved as the email recipient's location in your Zoho Campaigns database.


When anti-spam and phishing email software is installed

Sometimes email recipients have installed security software to protect their inbox. These anti-spam and phishing software programs will check emails that reach a recipient's inbox, open the links, download images, and scan them for malware. In such scenarios, the IP address of the security software's server will be used to determine the location, and its location will be assumed to be that of the email recipient.


Under the circumstances listed above, Zoho Campaigns won't be able to identify the exact location of a lead. In these cases, in the campaign report, we will mark them as "Unknown location" under the "Opens By Location" section.

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