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Tracking pixel

Tracking pixel

(also marketing pixel)

Tracking pixel definition

A tracking pixel is a small, often invisible pixel used to gather information about user activities (e.g., how they browse and what they click on). A tracking pixel may access and communicate such information as the user’s operating system, IP address, and location. Marketers may use tracking pixels in email marketing campaigns or on websites. The behavior data gathered through tracking pixels allows marketers to send the user paid ads more likely to interest them or measure an ad campaign’s performance.

Types of tracking pixels

  • Conversion pixels. Marketers use conversion pixels to measure the effectiveness of sales funnels and marketing campaigns. These pixels may appear in an order confirmation email or a “thank you” page that shows after making a purchase. Conversion pixels help companies understand the purchasing funnel (like responding to a particular advert or visiting an affiliate partner’s link).
  • Retargeting pixels. These pixels operate like browser cookies and provide information about where a user has previously been. Knowing this information helps companies make targeted advertising more effective. For example, imagine you’ve been looking up flights to New York on one website, then notice a different site starts advertising New York hotels. When something like this happens, it’s most likely the result of a retargeting pixel.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security