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How To Track an Email: The Best Tools of 2022

7 min read

By Josiah Mwangi

If you have sent an email to a potential customer and never received a reply, you have likely wondered what happened to the email. Did the prospect receive the email, or did the email get filtered into in the spam box? Email tracking help eliminate these doubts by telling you when a recipient opens an email, views an attachment, or even clicks a link in the email.

Email tracking software uses web beacons to allow users to monitor the actions of the intended recipient. The beacons reveal the exact time and date an email was opened, the location of the recipient, IP address, and email click-through. An organization can use email tracking to identify the optimal engagement point with potential customers, and get important data that they can use to improve marketing messaging.

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What is Email Tracking?

Email tracking is a technique of monitoring the delivery of email messages to determine the actions taken on outgoing emails. It tells you the email open rates, click rates, location, and attachment views, and then using the information collected to inform business decisions. Email tracking software use a tiny image pixel (web beacon) to know the time and date when an email was received, and the actions taken by the intended recipient.

When the recipient opens the email, the web beacon alerts the sender of who opened the email, on which device, when, and where. If the recipient performs certain actions like email clicks and attachment views, the sender receives a notification, informing them that the recipient performed certain actions on the email they sent. Most organizations use email tracking software in their sales and marketing departments to maximize engagement.

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Benefits of Email Tracking

Using email tracking in your company communications can help you better understand your customer or user. Here are some fo the ways email tracking can help your organization:

Get unique insights

When you track outgoing emails, you get valuable insights about how the intended recipient engages with them. If a contact opens an email, clicks a link, or views the attachment, you can increase the chances of converting those leads into actual customers.

Accurate follow-up

When you send an email to multiple contacts, email tracking helps you know how each of them interacts with the content. If a prospect has opened the email multiple times, you are more likely to get a reply if you follow up with them.

Save time

If you see that one of your prospects is actively engaging with an email, you know at the very least they’re interested. However, if the recipient doesn’t even opened the email, you’ve probably hit a dead end, and are unlikely to be successful in converting them.

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How to Track Email Open and Click Rates

If you are ready to start measuring customer engagement with your emails, there are four important steps you should follow. They include:

Set guidelines on email tracking practices

Start by defining how the email tracking software will be used by your team. Determine when and how follow-up emails will be sent, and the specific email templates (if any) to be used. Remember to disclose that you are tracking emails in the company privacy policy, based on GDPR and CPPA rules.

Install an email tracking app

Depending on the data you want to track, you should install your preferred email tracking tool. Most tools work with Gmail only, but you can find an email tracker that works with other email service platforms like Outlook and Zoho Mail.

Compose an email

Draft the email and add the intended recipients email addresses, but don’t send it yet.

Check the “track” box

You should see a checkbox on the Gmail or Outlook toolbar. Check the box if you want to track the email or toggle it off if you don’t want to track it. You can then send the email and wait to see when the recipient opens, clicks, or views the attachment.
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Best Email Tracking Apps to Try in 2021

If you want to get started with email tracking, here are the best apps currently available.

1. Streak

Streak is a handy solution for Gmail users, allowing businesses to see the open rates, view times, and location of the intended recipient. It’s a hybrid between a CRM solution and an email tracker, and is integrated into the email sidebar. It displays a visual history in your Gmail inbox to give you useful insights.

You can also sort emails by recent views or awaiting replies. You can check the “Recently Viewed” category to know which prospects are the warmest and more likely to respond positively to a follow up. You also get real-time notifications when a prospect opens or clicks a link in the email.

Streak has a free plan with unlimited email tracking, mail merge up to 50 contacts, and basic CRM with up to 500 rows of data. If you want more data, you can buy one of Streak’s plans, which start at $15 per user, per month.

Screenshot: Streak

2. Mailtrack

Mailtrack is a Google Chrome plugin that allows users to track when emails are opened and clicked. It’s free, and allows you to track an unlimited number of outgoing emails. Mailtrack tells you when a contact opens the email and the type of device used.

Once you send an email, you will see one green checkmark and one grey checkmark next to the message. When the recipient opens the email, both checkmarks will light up green. Mailtrack also sends desktop notifications when the intended recipient opens the email.

There’s also a pro version with additional features such as campaign reports, reminders, CRM integration, etc. The pro version has plans ranging from $1.99 to $4.99 per month.

Screenshot: Mailtrack

3. HubSpot

HubSpot is a popular name in the sales and marketing niche, thanks to its collection of tools tailored to specific business needs. Email tracking is included in HubSpot’s suite of tools.

When a contact opens an email, HubSpot automatically loads the information on the contact’s activity stream. You can also use the activity stream to scan all communications between the business and prospect. Users also get real-time desktop notifications.

HubSpot’s Email tracking is available for free, but paid plans are available starting from $45 per month.

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4. Mailalert

Mailalert is an email tracker for Gmail that provides unlimited email tracking for free. It also offers link tracking for free, without any branding or logos attached to the email.

Users get real-time notifications of any actions taken by the recipient. This allows businesses to get more actionable data to determine the level of interest of a prospect, and convert warm leads into customers.

Screenshot: Mailalert

5. SalesHandy

SalesHandy is a no-cost email tracking software that offers unlimited email tracking and scheduling. Users receive real-time desktop notifications every time a contact opens an email or clicks a link.

This software allows users to create and save up to five templates. You can export a CSV file of the analytics report for further analysis.

SalesHandy has a free plan, but the premium plans start at $9 per user per month.

Screenshot: SalesHandy

6. Mailtracker by Hunter.io

Hunter.io is a popular email finder and verifier, and they also have a free email tracking tool. This tool is available as a Google Chrome extension, and tracks email open rates, open times, and devices.

Once you install this tool, it adds a checkmark next to the send button in Gmail. The checkmark is enabled by default, but you can toggle it off if you don’t want to track an email. When the intended recipient reads the email, Mailtracker by Hunter.io shows a notification. However, there are no real-time desktop notifications and you must be viewing the message in your Gmail account for you to see the notification.

This tool is free, and it does not attach any identifiers to your emails.

Screenshot: Hunter.io

7. MixMax

In addition to the traditional features, MixMax email tracker provides access to meeting scheduling, sales templates, and up to 100 emails open tracking per month. You can also create polls and surveys within MixMax.

MixMax is available for free, but the 100 tracked emails is insufficient for most users. If you want to increase this limit, you can buy a premium plan starting from $12 per month.

Screenshot: MixMax

8. MailTag

MailTag is a data-rich email tracker that has helpful features like unlimited email tracking, link-click tracking, unlimited scheduling, and ping sequences. It also provides real-time notifications when a prospect interacts with your email.

A unique addition to MailTag is the automated follow-ups feature. You can set up automatic follow-ups, ultimately saving you time.

Mailtag does not have a free version. It has a single plan billed at $9.99 per user, but you can sign up for the 14-day trial before you commit.

Screenshot: MailTag

Choose a Provider

Whether you’re looking to increase your leads or measure customer engagement, finding the best email tracking software can save you money and time. You no longer have to wait for a response from a cold lead or send multiple follow-ups without success. With an email tracker, you know the type of interaction the recipient has with your emails and have a better shot at converting them.

About the Author

Author

Josiah Mwangi is a talented business and finance writer with a passion for family-oriented tech and new gadgets. He’s had articles featured on Huffington Post, Corporate Finance Institute, and other top publications. In his free time, he likes to go hiking with his two German Shepherds.

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