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OBIEE Metrics: Auto Opens and Auto Clicks Explained

Otilia Antipa-Oracle
Otilia Antipa-Oracle Posts: 110 Employee
edited Jul 19, 2023 6:28PM in Eloqua

Since introducing Auto Opens, in the Eloqua 22A release, we’ve continued to enhance reporting for Auto Opens and Auto Clicks. We’ve updated this page (previously 'New Insight OBIEE Metric: Auto Open') to show the latest timeline on development.

FAQ section has also been updated to incorporate some of common questions we’ve received over the last couple months from you.

Thank you to everyone who shared questions and tips in the comments, keep them coming! 

AUTO OPEN : Eloqua 22A 

Auto Opens were introduced in the Eloqua 22A release. An Auto Open will capture emails detected as being opened by identified scanning or privacy tools, including Apple Mail privacy protection changes Apple introduced with iOS15. 

Auto Opens are removed automatically behind the scenes and thus are not included in Total Opens or any associated open rates – in other words existing open metrics from 22A (Feb 2022) forward will already have Auto Opens removed and no action is required on your part to remove them. 

AUTO CLICK : Eloqua 22B

Auto clicks were introduced with the Eloqua 22B release. An Auto Click will capture clickthroughs detected as being clicked by a bot and scanning/ privacy tool. Similar to Auto Opens, Auto Clicks are not included in Total Clicks or any associated clickthrough’s.


In the Eloqua 22C release we expanded Auto Open and Auto Click reporting to the following subject areas:

  • Campaign Activity by Activity Date
  • Campaign Analysis
  • Email Activity
  • Email Analysis by Send Date 


How do I enable this feature?

No action required to enable Auto Opens or Auto Clicks.  

How does this impact my existing reports and dashboards?

As Auto Opens and Auto Clicks are removed automatically behind the scenes, they will not be natively added as a separate metric column in dashboards or reports. Users who opt to create or customize reports can pull in the new metric(s) would like to do so.

Keep in mind that existing open and click metrics will have Auto Opens and Auto Clicks removed. Auto Open and Auto Clicks should not be used to measure email performance, but rather to understand the impact of auto generated activities as a result of the Apple mail privacy changes, as well as scanning and privacy tools.

How are Auto Opens and Auto Clicks detected and classified?

Auto Opens and Auto Clicks are detected by the user agent string that comes from the email open. For example; Auto Opens generated as a result of the Apple Mail privacy protection changes, will show “Mozilla/5.0” as the user agent string. Once we detect this user agent string, the open will be classified as auto generated.  If the user agent is not classified as a bot, it will not be classified as an auto click.

What are email ‘scanners and privacy tools’ ?

Email scanners and privacy tools will scan (open and/or click) emails for malicious content. 

How do I identify a true open from Apple Mail ?

If the user clicks through, we can presume an open.

Are Auto Opens only applicable to Apple Mail?

No, an Auto Open is applicable to any open attributed to scanning tools, including Apple Mail.


Will there be an Auto Open and/or Auto Click filter in the segment builder, or just in insight?

We are automatically segregating those auto opens/clickthrough’s. Segments built on an open or clickthrough will not include those auto open/clickthrough’s.

Are Auto Opens and Auto Clicks excluded from other areas in Eloqua, ie. campaign decision steps (‘clicked email’, lead score criteria, segment criteria etc..)?

Yes, Auto Clicks and Auto Opens are removed from all open and click activities in Eloqua; this means reporting as well as segment criteria, campaign canvas steps, lead scoring etc. 

It's important to note there may be a 15min delay with capturing the initial Auto Clicks. This is because in order to capture the click as being auto generated we need to register the user agent in your instance.

If the user agent for a scanning tool has not previously been identified and recorded in your site, click-throughs will initially be recorded, but will be removed after the user agent is recorded (this can take approximately 15mins), lead scores will initially re-score, but will be updated when either another activity happens, the contact profile is updated or at the next interval (24hrs). Email opens will be recorded and events set to be triggered by a click-through will occur. Once the user agent has been identified to be associated with auto generated behaviour, any subsequent clicks will be automatically classified as auto clicks.

Will Auto Opens and Auto Clicks apply retroactively? 

Auto Opens/Clicks will only be captured after the 22A release. 

Will I notice a change in my open rates with Auto Opens being removed?

Auto opens will be removed from open rates or any associated open metrics starting with the arrival of 22A (Feb 2022), thus marketers should be prepared to see a decrease in Open rates as a result of the Apple Mail Privacy Protection changes that were introduced with iOS 15 around Sept 20, 2021, opens rates may have been inflated.

Is there a plan to make auto opens part of the BULK API Activity Export?

At this time, we do not plan to add Auto Opens to the BULK API. 

For more information check out:

Apple changes: Arm yourself with an understanding of your audience

14 ways email marketers should adapt to Apple's Mail Privacy Protection

Impacts of Apple Mail Privacy Protection changes on Oracle Eloqua


Post edited by Otilia Antipa-Oracle on


  • Tyler Haire
    Tyler Haire Posts: 4 Red Ribbon

    If a contact opens an email after an auto open has already been detected, will that open still be recorded as a unique open? To put it another way, can a single email that is sent record an auto open and a unique open or are they mutually exclusive?

  • Hey @Tyler Haire ,

    An email can have an Auto Open and a Unique Open. If a contact opens an email after an auto open has already been detected you will see a unique open recorded and an auto open. Keep in mind the auto open is removed (and not counted) in existing open rates.



  • Sander Smolenaers-Oracle
    Sander Smolenaers-Oracle Posts: 1 Employee
    edited Feb 9, 2022 12:13PM

    Will the Auto Open be available as a separate Activity Type when exporting through the Eloqua Bulk API?

  • Stephanie.S
    Stephanie.S Posts: 9 Red Ribbon

    Is it normal for a specific contact to have more than 1 auto open?

  • Hey @Stephanie.S ,

    An Auto-open can be generated for every open request we get. Typically we see 1 auto open per contact, however scanning tools can be configured by clients to scan multiple times – meaning you can see multiple auto opens.



  • Stephanie.S
    Stephanie.S Posts: 9 Red Ribbon

    @Otilia Antipa-Oracle Thanks! Also wondering if you have suggestions on how to engage contacts with auto opens to actually open/click the email. I'm seeing a significant amount of auto opens vs. actual opens in some cases.

  • katp
    katp Posts: 16 Red Ribbon

    Will auto opens show on the activity log of the contact?

  • Hey @Stephanie.S

    Great question! It’s important to keep in mind that Auto Opens do not measure engagement performance, the Auto Open tells us only that the email has been opened by a scanning or privacy tool. I would use the same approach as you would for an engagement campaign (subject line optimization, A/B testing, send time optimization). Here are a couple blogs that talk more about different approaches to engagement campaigns:

  • User_D8DNQ
    User_D8DNQ Posts: 1 Green Ribbon
    edited Feb 23, 2022 5:38PM

    Wouldn't filtering out Apple Mail opens without also filtering these contacts from Total Sends not lead to inaccurate open and click rates?

    From what I understand, all Apple Mail users will be counted as auto-opens by default. If the Eloqua reporting filters all of these users out from opens and clicks without also filtering them from Total Sends, both open and click rates would be wildly inaccurate. In our case, approx. 40%+ of our contacts are Apple mail users, so this is big concern for us.

    Is there a way to filter out Apple mail contacts from Total Sends? Or at least a way to tag auto-open contacts, enabling us to filter them out on our own?

  • Hey @User_D8DNQ - It's important to note the behaviour of an auto open/click. An auto open or click simply means that we've detected the open or click as coming from a scanning or privacy tool. It does not mean that it has stopped the email from landing in the users inbox, thus contacts with auto opens are still part of total sends . We are filtering out auto opens and clicks from existing open and clickthrough rates as those rates would have been inflated. Additionally, if the end user clicks on the email we can create a presumed open based on the click.  

  • Robb Barrett
    Robb Barrett Posts: 12 Red Ribbon

    Couple of thoughts on this...

    When I try to run a report in Insights and add in an Email Send Date Attribute or Email Open Date Attribute, the auto-opens don't show up but when I remove those fields the metric shows up. I've opened a support ticket, but I'm just putting it here in case anyone else has this issue.

    This doesn't appear to be catching all of the auto opens and clicks. For example, in the last couple of emails we sent out, I hid a bot checking pixel in the body of the emails. We had a "display: none" in the link so it wouldn't be seen by a human and I still got a bunch of clicks on the link. When I looked at one of the contacts, it's someone whose activity went Send, Click, Open, Website visit (in that order) at the same time, which is indicative of a bot checker. Another one went Send, Click, Website Visit, Open.

  • User_LD3M6
    User_LD3M6 Posts: 1 Red Ribbon

    I need an answer to the following question: Will the Auto Open be available as a separate Activity Type when exporting through the Eloqua Bulk API?

  • Hey @User_LD3M6 - Auto opens will not be returned via Bulk API as a separate activity

  • Michaela_Patt
    Michaela_Patt Posts: 6 Red Ribbon

    Appreciate the work by Oracle to help us be more transparent with Auto Opens. Is there a plan to add the metric to any other Subject Areas in Insight rather than just the Email Open subject area?

    It would be great to include on reports like the Email Analysis Overview report, which uses the Email Analysis by Sent Date subject area. This includes Total and Unique opens, but not Auto Opens.

    Our clients use this as a weekly report to check in on all email performance in a period of time at glance. Without Auto Opens on that platform, it now just looks like their open rates dropped dramatically and they are having a hard time grasping that they actually do have that many accounts on Apple devices.

    With the sheer number of Email Analysis reports available in Insight and the fact that the subject area already includes many other metrics, I could see this as a huge benefit.

  • Hi @Michaela_Patt, That's a very good idea. We like to encourage customers to share enhancement requests as New Ideas within the Dream It section of Topliners in Oracle Communities. You can Submit New Ideas on product features with your peers - plus, browse and vote on existing ideas!

  • Robb Barrett
    Robb Barrett Posts: 12 Red Ribbon

    The information shows that this is filtered out of reporting views but what about Marketing Activities or Response Rules for CRM integrations?

  • Auto opens and clicks are filtered out of all existing rates and associated metrics. Essentially auto opens and clickthroughs are removed from the table that stores opens and clickthroughs data. This means that marketing activities and response rules that use email opens will have auto opens and clicks removed.

  • Bojan M.
    Bojan M. Posts: 3 Blue Ribbon

    @Otilia Antipa-Oracle This needs clarification. The first comment suggests Auto Opens are included in the data but simply not distinguished apart from regular opens. The second comment suggests they're not being written to the same tables, and therefore may not be part of the activity export at all. Which is it?

  • Broode
    Broode Posts: 5 Red Ribbon
    edited Mar 16, 2022 2:45PM

    I understand that auto opens and clicks have been removed from the open and click metrics for insight reporting and that they are also removed at the segment level. Wondering if they are also removed at the canvas level when you use the "opened email" or "clicked email" steps in the campaign journey? This may be the same clarification Bojan M. is requested on 3/15. Thanks

    Post edited by Broode on
  • Hey @Broode - Auto opens and clicks are also removed at the canvas level when using 'opened email' or 'clicked email' steps.



  • Hey @Bojan M. - Auto opens are not included in email opens and is not available via the Bulk

  • Robb Barrett
    Robb Barrett Posts: 12 Red Ribbon

    @Otilia Antipa-Oracle - we need it soon though. Current reporting shows a huge dropoff in opens and clicks and we need to quantify that by showing that it's due to an artificial boost we've been seeing due to auto-opens and clicks.

  • User_0RQN2
    User_0RQN2 Posts: 1 Green Ribbon

    Is there a plan to make auto opens part of the BULK API Activity Export?

  • derek.bell
    derek.bell Posts: 93 Silver Medal

    @Otilia Antipa-Oracle I seem to be getting some inconsistent data across two specific email reports:

    1. Email Analysis Overview
    2. Email Open Overview

    In both cases, I opened the system version of these reports, added the AUTO OPEN metric to both and saved-as to create two custom reports for the same period 1 Jan - 31 Mar 2022 (I appreciate release 22A was mid-February).

    The Email Open Overview report returned numerical values in the AUTO OPEN column. The Email Analysis Overview report was zero across the same 300+ unique email sends.

    Sames emails, same period. Different results.

    Any ideas?

  • User_C31DC
    User_C31DC Posts: 2 Red Ribbon

    In regards to multiple auto opens, we are seeing some contacts (with just one send) that may auto open originally, then show up as a true "regular" open, then display as additional auto opens...even after multiple days. Conversely, we see contacts that have a true open first, then have multiple auto opens after. Any thoughts on this? We've taken the stance to "count" any additional auto opens, after the first true open, as a true open. Wondered if anyone else is seeing/doing the same.

  • Hey @derek.bell ,

    Wanted to confirm, in both reports are you using the Email Send Date attribute to filter?

    The default prompt for Email Open Overview is Email Open Date, but to match the Email Overview Analysis it should be the Email Send Date attribute. Here's an example where I ran two reports, similar to your scenario where I used Email Analysis Overview and Email Open Overview and used the Email Send Date Attribute for the time span and returned the same results:

    Let me know, hope this helps! :) If the time span is using the same attribute and you're not seeing results we might need an sr, or feel free to send me a message and we can chat more.



  • User_FMXTI
    User_FMXTI Posts: 2 Green Ribbon

    In regards to how opens are being categorized in Eloqua, it would seem there are various anomalies / discrepancies with the open data. We have raised various examples with both Eloqua Product and Support teams and they have advised that an enhancement request should be submitted (which we will do) but it does seem this is more of a data issue/bug vs an enhancement request. What are we missing here that would point to enhancement vs bug fix?

    It would be very interesting to confirm if other Eloqua users are experiencing (raising) the same exceptions. At what point would the Eloqua Product team deem these exceptions addressable in an immediate future? What portion of the customer base would need to be affected in order to get traction on something of this nature?

    Some examples we raised were:

    1. Auto Opens only occur on Device = Desktop and OS = “Unknown” although we have found several “duplicate” contacts that would indicate the open is NOT an auto open. There are no auto opens on mobile devices, Why?
    2. Contacts that have consecutive opens and within milliseconds of each other are considered “true” opens however are more indicative of auto opens as it is humanly impossible to open an email simultaneously multiple times. This activity is typically very close to the email send time.
    3. Opens that occurred immediately after the campaign was sent. We provided examples for a single campaign in which, of the first 35 opens, 16 were from a single company, 6 were from 3 contacts that opened immediately after the send and within seconds of each open, 1 contact that had 2 simultaneous opens and another contact that was considered an auto open although this contact had 3 opens at different times. Note, the OS was “unknown” 
    4. This mis-categorized auto open activity appears in the contact activity log and reports which in actuality should be excluded.
    5. We used internal accounts to trigger opens and many a time found that for a single open, 3 records were triggered simultaneously. These were verified via the contact's activity log and more than likely a result of our spam filters scanning the email.

    In speaking with Eloqua Support we determined the following:

    • Auto open is a fairly new feature for which continuous improvements can be expected (but when and what is on the product roadmap?)
      • Auto open categorization and reporting can be “off”
    • User agent string data is not exposed to Eloqua users, why? Eloqua development resources are required to provide this data in order to have Eloqua users further analyze the auto open categorization.
    • It would appear that the open timestamp data is not taken into account as criteria in the categorization, why?
    • Preliminary observation of the open data suggests possible auto open categorization issues. Explanations as to why this data is deemed reliable has not been provided.
    • We need to quantify the ‘accuracy” rate of auto open categorization given that the single campaign used to cite examples had a large data set that was identified as “exceptions”
    • Auto open data usability ramifications extend to other Eloqua features such as reporting, segmentation, contact activity log, Fatigue Level and Send Time optimization.

    Again, it would be very interesting to confirm if other Eloqua users are seeing the same behavior with their opens (and potentially clickthrough) data.

    We welcome hearing any insights to assist in boosting our confidence in the data.