What can be gained by email tracking?

treasture chest of information

Email tracking is used when the sender wants to know if the recipient opened the email or clicked any of the links.

What users have become far too used to doing is they make up an email and hit send. And that was it. There was nothing more to do. You would wait patiently, sometimes frantically, to see if your marketing push generated any response. Did the recipient get the email? Did they open it? Did they read any of the attachments?

It does not have to be that way. The story should not end there. And no, you do not have to use a third party email system to send out your basic contact emails.

It is now common knowledge that when the big players (Wal-Mart, Staples, Apple, Amazon, etc.) on the INTERNET send you informational and marketing emails, everything you do regarding those emails are tracked. Was it opened? Which headlines did you click? What product images caught your eye or mouse click as the case may be?

Email tracking is now available to the masses.

There are many benefits of email tracking. Besides the few key points just covered above, here are just a few: Open Notifications, Re-Activation Notifications, and Audience Device Demographics.

What are Open Notifications?

By placing link to a hidden image in your email, when the email client contacts the server to retrieve that image, the sender knows that you have opened it. And the sender now also has the date and time that the open occurred.

What are reactivation Notifications?

In the same way an Open Notification tells you that an email you just sent was open, Reactivation Notifications alert you when an old and long forgotten email from a contact that you thought had moved on, sudden is ready to re-engage you. If you get multiple notifications from a single contact moments apart, that is a good sign that they are digging through the emails you sent looking for more information. Perhaps it’s a good time to call time? You know, strike while the iron is hot.

What types of Device Demographics are available?

In that same hidden-image request sent to the server, it sends with it in the request a number of identifying bits of information about the device and/or email client that is trying to display the image. The server will get things like:

  • The Date/time of the open or read request
  • The Client-side IP Address
  • Browser Capabilities
  • Operating system and version
  • Device Type Identifier
  • Screen resolution
  • Any relative cookies

From the client-side IP address, there are Geo-IP location services available, which will translate the IP address into an approximate location on the globe. You will know where the recipient is when they opened the email. This has some very interesting effects if you happen to be in human resources, contacting an employee that called out sick. Hopefully they are actually home and not in Aruba when the email is opened! Concepts like this can be further extended if you happen to be a bail bondsman or bounty hunter and you would like to know where your target is located. Send them an email!

If you are into email marketing, getting other device information, such as browser capabilities and screen resolution can help you with creating newer marketing designs that display properly on the devices used by your customers.

Does your confidential information stay confidential?

Did you ever wonder if a confidential email that you sent out, that had one of those fancy legal disclaimers saying to delete it if you are not the intended recipient, was forwarded on to a third party? Would you ever know? Could you ever know? Well, now the answer is yes. Not only it is possible, it is also quite easy to monitor. With sigbop email tracking, when the original email is forwarded to another recipient, the original tracking id and image goes along for the ride. When the new recipient opens it from a new device and IP address, you now have potentially recorded a breach in confidentiality.

What is important about this hidden-image approach to tracking is that the recipient will not know that they are being tracked. Unlike older methods, like when Microsoft Outlook pops-up a window telling the recipient that a read-receipt was requested, the hidden image approach is silent.

With sigbop's email signature solution, there is no need to change your email address. Your email stays your email. You know what? We don't want you to change the email address of your recipient either. Any email tracking service that asks you to only add .sometrackingdomain.com to the end of your recipient's email is routing your entire outbound email through their server to alter the email in some way in order to magically do the tracking. We do not want or need you to send your confidential emails through our servers. We don’t change any of that! You install a simple plugin in Gmail or Outlook and the plugin inserts your custom branded email signature and tracks the email. If you choose to receive read notifications, sigbop will send you a notification with the appropriate details each time one of your tracked emails or documents are opened.

The sigbop Email Tracking system works with most modern browser-based email companies including Hotmail.com, Live.com, Passport.com, Outlook.com, and Google Gmail. Our desktop, client-side plugins include Internet Explorer 10+ and Microsoft Office Outlook 2010+

What are some other benefits of email tracking?

With our re-activation notifications, you can better time your phone calls to your clients. Rather than the typical cold-call being road-blocked by administrative assistants, you can use these notifications to side step the road-blocks and amaze many recipients with statements like “I understand [Bob] has got some questions on the emails I’ve sent and I’m following up.”

By reviewing the sigbop email tracking reports, you can implement your own A/B testing on email subject lines and content to see which variation of the email gives you better results. Besides testing subject lines, you could also try altering the days and/or times that you send out your marketing. The information provided by sigbop email tracking gives you the ability to make these decisions based on real data and not just hunches.

So, what are you waiting for?