Do you know what email tracking is? Email tracking is a way to monitor the email delivery sent to another person. For those of you in the know, I’m sure you have your favorite or best email tracking service or software, but to those of you who are not familiar with this kind of service then read on..oh and even though you might have a favorite, maybe one of these three tools will interest you.
I just read an article via a Alexis Kleinman who wrote an article back in February this year ( 2014) where she was horrified by a new “app” The application in question is a Google extension is called Streak and when installed it lets you know when someone has read an email you sent in other words it is an email tracking system. Streak is considered a productivity tool that you can get from the Google webstore and I have to say that it is pretty impressive! Some of its attributes are
– keep track of status, notes and details of each customer.
– see every email between a customer and your team, right in your inbox
-schedule those crucial emails for the times when they’ll have the most impact
-and of course it has the ability to track emails in your inbox.
I have to say that while I can understand a bit of concern, I am still trying to find out why it is horrifying
If you would like to read this article and I hope you do check out “Horrifying Gmail App Informs People When You Open Their Email” . I am unsure if it was the word “horrifying” with the word “Gmail” in the title that had this post so popular, but I can say that for whatever reason this post has 217 comments and counting.
Of course email tracking is not a new idea, in fact it goes back to the IETF in the 90’s ( Internet Engineering task force) when they introduced both the Delivery status notifications and Message disposition notifications. If you want to read more about the communication medium of the email, Wikipedia has a very good entry including a snippet about email tracking.
I have also read that AOL back in the 90’s had a read receipts and an unsend option and there are many email marketing services such as MailChimp who have been using email tracking techniques for at least 10 years or more.
It is a truism that the thought of tracking email may not resonate with some people and in fact some will say outright that it is creepy/horrifying and can be used for “evil” purposes and then there are others who will find that this kind service to be of great value. So why do some people love it and who do others hate the idea of an email tracking service?
To put this in perspective think of the business person or marketer who depends on email to do business and want to see if their email is attracting interest, the rental property agents dealing with bad tenants or the job seeker who wants to know if their resume is being read. Email tracking can be a very useful tool.
I do understand why some people may find email tracking “creepy” and maybe even “horrifying”! When you consider that this type of service could be used for other purposes that are not so positive such as a stalker knowing when you open a mail and knowing where you are is obviously terrifying to people. Other people get annoyed that you know that they hadn’t bothered to read your mail ( oh I forgot to check my email excuse) or there is general “creepiness” feeling of people invading your “privacy”. The fact is people have always considered their email private and even “sacred”!
Love them or hate them, understanding these kinds of services will be useful to you as a marketer and today I would like to talk about 3 email tracking services
b) Hub signals
c) email cherry
These three email tracking providers are very useful for what they do ,the costs are very different and all three of these email tracking services are built on the freemium business model;
1. ReadNotify has been in business since about 2001 and it’s based in Ireland. ( getting information on this service has been a bit of a challenge lol). According to their site, they are the original tracking service of its kind and they have two types of options – 1. free trial( Free trials last for two weeks or 25 emails (whichever comes first) and 2. the paid subscriptions as follows: subscription of monthly ($3.99 USD a month/basic yearly subscription USD $24.00 /premium yearly subscription $36.00)
– There are two ways to send tracked mail – manually or automatically and some of the tracking reports you will see are:
– Complete delivery details
– Date and time opened
– Approximate geographic location of recipient
– Map of location (available on paid subscriptions)
– Recipients IP address
– Referrer details (ie; if accessed via web email account etc)
– URL clicks
– How long the email was read for
– How many times your email was opened
– If your email was opened on a different computer (such as forwarded)
Just to let you know ReadNotify has an affiliate program or you can become a reseller.
While I have not used this program personally, everywhere I went to research email trackers, I would see ReadNotify. This got me curious and so I did research on the service and I have to say it seems pretty darn good. I have read many reviews of people liking this product but please do your own due diligence and do your own research on ReadNotify or try the free trial and see if it will be any good. ( Please note I am not affiliated with this company in any way)
2. Signals by HubSpot is one of those tools that will indeed have you in awe. There are two options for using signals and that is free or as to be expected the upgrade. The free version is nothing to sneeze at as you will get 200 free email and click notifications every month. If you decide to upgrade the cost will be $10.00 per month and you will get
*Salesforce lead intelligence
*Website visit notifications
* salesforce email tracking
*Gmail open and click notifications ( unlimited)
*email and phone support.
This is a very awesome email tracker, but there are limitations, it only works in Chrome . Signals does have an add-on for those of you who use Outlook for windows which will be helpful if Outlook is your desired email provider
What I like about it ( I’m using the free version) is that you will be instantly notified when a person opens your email via a notification pop up in the right hand side upper corner on your screen. You are given the choice to not send mail with the tracking. I guess what I don’t like is that people won’t know that you are tracking your emails and contacts.
It is a very clean app, it has a lot going for it and did I mention they have a pretty good blog with good info? If you want to give it a try, then here is the link for the extension -> Signals by HubSpot
The last email tracking tool I want you to know about is called
3. Email cherry. This is a very new company and I was pleased to find it and try it out. Like the other email tracking tools I have shown you this is built on the freemium business model. You can get to try it out for 7 days and there is no sign up required . It is nice to know that this product can be used on “Gmail, google Apps, Hotmail ,Outlook.com and Yahoo mail. It is also nice to know that email cherry works on Chrome and firefox. You can turn off the email snippets or tracking altogether and you can clear your stored date at any time.
When I downloaded Email cherry it was very simple and smooth . Gmail is my main email provider and since downloading , I now have a email cherry tool bar that resides just above my email.
I was aware that this was a shareware tool at the very beginning and was a bit concerned about upgrading as like many of you, I am on a budget. It was with a pleasant surprise that after the trial period, I was given the choice to either pay to upgrade OR to get it free when you shared with your friends. I was shown a message that I could send where I could edit was written and and boy was I thankful and yes I did.
I think the only limitation that I can see is the fact it is new and has not shown that this is a service that will be around next year..but I would also say that from what I can see, the support I have been given, not only will they be around, I can see this company adding on to what they are doing right now and I really want to be here to see it all unfold. While I am not getting paid to talk about Email Cherry, because I did use the option to share with friends and contacts, I am affiliating with them to be able to use the upgraded product.
Whether you love email tracking services or not, you need to find options that will help you as a marketer or a business person. Weigh your own pros and cons and see which service is right for you and if you know of other services that track email I would like to hear about them
I hope that you have found this article of mine useful. If you have liked it – I would appreciate if you would share it with your friends on all the social networks..