It’s been almost a year since I switched tracking & analytics over to be off by default, and the feedback has been unanimously positive, even for the folks who end up enabling it (by which, to be clear, I mean no shade — Buttondown’s official newsletter has click tracking enabled!)
I’ve received a fairly common piece of feedback from privacy-conscious newsletters:
I love the commitment to less data collection. I wish I could just track open rates without actually tracking clicks, though: I don’t personally care too much about either piece of data, but when I sell to advertisers they often request some rough percentage of opens. Would it be possible to just keep track of opens?
The answer to that question is now yes! If you head over to your settings page, you’ll see the tracking setting replaced with four checkboxes:
The idea here is simple: rather than a binary state of “track stuff” or “don’t track stuff”, you as an author now have even more control over what information is important for you to keep track of. (And to state the obvious: everything remains off by default, and respects your original settings.)
Buttondown is probably going to shift even more in the data collection direction: I have plans this year to roll out bespoke page view counting, for instance, as well as to pull in some more payments-level data for paid newsletters. But rest assured: every step of the way, you get control over what you want Buttondown to hold onto, and that Buttondown’s data is for all intents and purposes your data.
(As always, if you have any thoughts about this or anything else, email me — I’m all ears!)