Create and manage a Litmus tracking code

To generate your data, you need to include a Litmus tracking code in your email. When your email is viewed by your subscribers, this tracking code will load an image from our servers to discern what email client the recipient is using and their engagement time where possible.

Options to start new tracking code

We recommend you create a tracking code directly in your email project. This will ensure your email tracking and reporting are linked to your email project and available in the context of that email's workflow.

Create your code in one of four project areas.

  1. Summary tab in the Tracking section
  2. Builder tab code editor using the Insert dropdown
  3. Builder tab visual editor using the Insert dropdown
  4. Analytics tab using the New tracking code button

4 project areas to add tracking code Enlarge project areas image

Alternatively, you can create a tracking code from the top menu Analytics option. Choose Tracking code manager in the left menu, then select the green New tracking code button in the upper right corner.

Please note that any tracking code created in this way will not be linked to an email project in Litmus and reports will only be available to view from the Analytics dashboard. This option is best reserved for any emails you may be building and testing outside of Litmus or if you plan to use a single tracking code to track multiple emails with a shared template.

Either method will start the tracking code creation process. Follow the steps below to finish!

Start your code setup

Name the code with any method you prefer. Using the same name as your email may be helpful. Choose your email service provider (ESP) from the dropdown list. If you do not find your ESP listed or if you use a custom unique user ID parameter, select Other from the dropdown and enter a merge tag if the field does not automatically populate a UUID.

You can collect opens, engagements, and email client data without selecting your ESP or including any merge tag from your email service provider. The unique user ID will connect the other data we collect such as engagement and where your clients open your emails to a specific user without collecting the subscriber's personally identifiable information (PII).

Select the Next: customize your tracking code button.

tracking code setup step naming your code and ESP selection

NOTE: To ensure no subscriber PII is stored by Litmus, any data that is collected via any merge tag that resembles an email address will be scrubbed and will not be stored or appear in Email Analytics reports.

Customize your tracking code

Set an expiration date, email type, custom parameters, and tags. 

Step 2 of tracking code creation, customize your code

  • Expiration Date: The expiration date defaults to 30 days from the date you create the tracking code. You can update this based on your campaign needs up to 36 months.
  • Email Type: Select Marketing or Transactional as the type for your email. As we enhance our reporting features, this will help you group similar emails.
  • Custom Parameters: Add as many custom parameters as you would like. You will need to separate each custom data tag with a plus sign (+) after each tag.
    • Example: *|CAMPAIGN_UID|*+custom-data1+custom-data-2+custom-data-3
  • Tags: Add tags to make your emails easy to find and sort.

NOTE: To ensure no subscriber personally identifiable information (PII) is stored by Litmus, any data that is collected via any merge tag that resembles an email address will be scrubbed and will not be stored and will not appear in Email Analytics reports.

Add the tracking code snippet to your email

Once you've configured your tracking code, add it to your email. Best practice is to add your tracking code just before the ending body tag </body> of your email. Send a test email to the address Litmus provides to validate that your code has been placed correctly.

Step 3 of tracking code creation test your tracking code box

NOTE: Litmus scans your email headers to find the email address and associates that email with your Email Analytics campaign.

We have found that certain ESPs will spoof the To:, CC:, and BCC: fields to some data that isn’t the actual address that you are trying to send to. You may need to change your ESP preferences to send to the activation email address or contact your ESP to change this setting for you.

Sending without the activation step

If you skip the activation step, your tracking code will very likely still track correctly. However, you may want to use the activation step in future campaigns to make sure that your tracking code is working as expected.

Our system automatically activates codes with more than 500 opens tracked, so you will not lose any data or opens if you do not activate the campaign within step 3 of the code setup process.

Clear tracking code data

Your tracking code begins to collect data immediately once it's created so you will collect data from development and test sends. You can clear your tracking code before you send your campaign using the breadcrumb menu in the upper right corner of the code's analytics window.

NOTE: Your analytics window will not immediately show any change but your data will be cleared starting from the moment you select Clear data. There may be a delay up to 24 hours for your view to reflect the change due to background processes that must be completed.

tracking code analytics with breadcrumb menu indicated for clear data button

Rename or delete your tracking code

You can rename your tracking code in its summary page. Select the tracking code from the list in your Tracking code manager, then use the pencil icon to the right of its name to edit.

To delete your tracking code, use the trash can icon to the far right of the tracking code's entry in your Tracking code manager list.

IMPORTANT: Remove filter tags from your tracking code before deleting. Otherwise the tags will remain visible in your available filter tags list.

NOTE: Deleting a campaign is permanent, and you will lose all the past data you’ve collected on your report. This will also delete your published URL for the report as well. We recommend exporting all of your CSV reports before deleting your campaign to keep the data for your records.

Collecting data and viewing reports

Once you send your campaign, you’ll begin to see your data appear within Litmus. There is a delay from when your subscriber opens the email before your graphs and data update in your report. Data updates in cycles of about 5-15 minutes depending on your ESP.

If only a few people have opened your email, the data is likely to be quite skewed. Allow time for your recipients to begin opening your message before you try to interpret your Email Analytics stats.


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