Pardot Read Rate: Are Prospects Spending Time on Your Emails?

By Lucy Mazalon

The most widely used metrics in email reporting are open and click rate – they’re easy to capture, communicate, and demonstrate that your emails are effective at reaching prospects. But is that really true?

Marketers who had previously relied on email opens and clicks have been stunned (not in a good way). Email opens have always been a vanity metric – one number that masks a spectrum of engagement, from prospects glancing to actually reading the content. Open rate has never been a good indication of how ‘sticky’ your email content is.

With the introduction of Apple Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) the waters have gotten even murkier. This is a setting available in Apple Mail that will open every email, therefore, obscuring (hiding) any real opens by your prospects. In other words, this prevents Account Engagement (Pardot) from accurately reporting email open rates.

READ MORE: “Death of the Open Rate”? Apple Mail Privacy Protection and Pardot

Pardot Email Interaction Report

The email interaction report in Account Engagement (Pardot) will give you insight into how long prospects spent reading the contents of your email. If you’re plagued with low click-through rates, this is one report you should pay attention to.

You may be familiar with ‘dwell time’ in Google Analytics – read rate is a similar concept.

Viewing the interaction report can be useful in diagnosing ‘weird’ open rates:

READ MORE: Weird Open Rates in Pardot Email Reports Explained

Available for every list email sent from Account Engagement (Pardot) – so, not including emails sent from Engagement Studio.

How does Pardot measure read email? There are three levels of engagement, broken down according to how long the prospect had the email content open, as follows:

  • Glanced: < 2 seconds
  • Skimmed: 2-10 seconds
  • Read: > 10 seconds

The report presents overall figures (for the email send) as percentages, e.g. 29% read rate, based on all prospects on the entire list. You will not be able to see time recorded for each individual prospect (not like you can uncover for Pardot tracked page visits).

You will also find out:

  • How many prospects forwarded emails.
  • How many prospects printed emails.

Again, you can’t drill down into which specific prospects took these actions, neither the recipient of the forwarded message.

Find the Email Interaction Report

  • Navigate to: Pardot Reports → Marketing Assets → Emails → List Emails. Click on a sent email.
  • Running along the top are four sub-tabs. By clicking Interaction you will see the figures and the pie chart, like below:

Read Rate and MPP

Account Engagement (Pardot) read rate reports use Litmus technology to track engagement. I wondered if Apple Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) would impact the tracking accuracy.

In their white paper and on their blog, Litmus don’t claim to draw a direct line between MPP and it impacting the accuracy of their read rate technology. One can assume that if the email is actually opened, the tracking pixel still works accurately. What the post-MPP period has shown (i.e. in 2022) is that the amount of time subscribers spend on emails is dropping year on year:

Source: Trends in Email Engagement [Infographic]

They also provide averages – with the caveat that these vary widely across campaigns, so bear that in mind before using these as benchmarks:


How much time prospects are spending on your Pardot emails content is a metric that’s closer to you than you may think. However, it’s worth recapping report’s limitations – it doesn’t measure read engagement at the individual prospect level, neither does it give insight into scrolling behavior.

I wonder what you will uncover. Will these interaction reports finally demystify why your emails get high open rates, but low click-through rates?

The Author

Lucy Mazalon

Lucy is the Operations Director at Salesforce Ben. She is a 10x certified Marketing Champion and founder of The DRIP.


    March 30, 2021 9:07 pm
    I am confused why the glanced and skimm rate are in the same context
    November 08, 2022 3:58 pm
    For read rate - what is a solid % to have here? Is there a good average number to base our read rate on?
    Lucy Mazalon
    December 29, 2022 12:44 pm
    Hi Christina, Good news is that I've updated the article, and have included Litmus' averages from their 2022 white paper – with the caveat that these vary widely across campaigns, so bear that in mind before using these as benchmarks!

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