Is it possible to measure open rates and/or click-throughs from a particular scheduled reminder email?

Civimail has well developed functionality for open rates and clickthroughs etc, but we have a use case that calls for people to receive an email from a scheduled reminder at the time when they sign up to a group (the email will be sent as a result of an activity generated when they sign up to the group.)

The people are signing up on paper, so there's no problem with spam nor need for double opt-in. Our volunteers are then going to enter people into a webform and at that point the system will send them an email.

We'd like to measure open rates and/or click-throughs from that email.

Is there any cunning trick to make this possible?

If not we can of course adapt our procedures to send mailshots from CiviMail to people every 4 or 6 hours... but that manual process is an additional complexity.

We can also pull these people into MailChimp and do it from there, but we'd lose quite a bit of data possibilities if we did it that way.

Hence my question.

Thanks for your help.

  • Fairly sure that I have seen people doing this with a cunning trick or two. iirc It involved smart groups and civimail. i've asked them if they can take a look and shed some light... Commented Oct 16, 2016 at 7:36
  • Any further insights on this? It certainly sounds interesting...
    – Andyg8
    Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 18:54

2 Answers 2


The Mandrill Emails Extension (https://github.com/JMAConsulting/biz.jmaconsulting.mte) has code that treats all transactional, non-bulk email in CiviCRM as a single job. Basically, it converts all non-CiviMail emails into a single CiviMail job for this sort of reporting.

Unfortunately, the pricing changes of Mandrill (formerly free for up to 12k emails/month) and requirement to also pay for MailChimp have put use of this extension out of the reach of smaller organizations. Despite developing this with client and MailChimp funding, we now recommend SparkPost for smaller organizations.

But the code is there under the open source AGPL-3.0 license if you want to make use of it.

  • Thanks to everyone who's offered answers! This looks like the best option so far - if you are already using Mailchimp its current pricing is $20/month for 25k emails/month. That's a lot of emails for a sme... So not too pricey. I've been having difficulty getting my installation's emails to be authorised by Mandrill's smtp server - will update when I finally solve that. Thanks again!
    – Andyg8
    Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 18:53
  • Glad you find the offering useful. For others reading this, blog.mailchimp.com/important-changes-to-mandrill explains that you have to have a paid MailChimp account with Mandrill. The minimum cost for MailChimp is $10 / month 0-500 subscribers, so a minimum of $30/month to use the Mandrill service.
    – Joe Murray
    Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 19:43
  • BTW, I've now got Mandrill up and running, and it plus the extension have exactly answered the question, and much more! We can now make an automated, transactional email series from Civi with opt-in/out, based on a group, an activity and a scheduled reminder, and use Mandrill to create plain text versions of the email, inline styles as well as tracking delivery, opens, clicks, bounces per email. It's really powerful! I'll write it all up in a separate Q/A here when I get a mo... and in the meantime if anyone wants help in this area feel free to ping me. Thanks again for a great extension!
    – Andyg8
    Commented Dec 13, 2016 at 21:52
  • Very glad you like it, @Andyg8 . Please do the writeup. You might also want to post it as a blog on civicrm.org as well as use a Q & A here to refer to the blog.
    – Joe Murray
    Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 16:08

Not sure you'd class this as cunning or hacky but we have a trick & some code. Essentially we've changed scheduled reminders to send from CiviMail rather than triggering it's own one-shot emails. Workflow something like this

  1. Set up a regular email in CiviMail complete with tracking
  2. Send to a test group of internal emails
  3. Set up your scheduled reminder, with our code the interface can now select previously sent CiviMail emails instead of building the email in Scheduled reminders
  4. What ever triggers the email triggers it and the corresponding email adddress is added to the email spool for the CiviMail email, next cron Civi notices the spool has one more email compared to sent emails and sends it's to the extra email.

It's not perfect as the activity date is on the original CiviMail send, which is something I want to clean up. Talk to Parvez @ Veda he should be able to supplt you with the code.

  • So does this then also provide a way to give you bounce reporting for scheduled reminders?
    – petednz - fuzion
    Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 8:13

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