Tracking when somebody reads your emails you sent.

By Mark Chinsky


You are probably familiar with the option in most traditional email applications like Microsoft Outlook for requesting a ‘return receipt’ to your emails.  You are also aware that with most email clients, this means that when a person opens you email with this turned on, they will get a pop up message asking if they would like to confirm receipt.  If they say ‘no’ you will never know if they opened the message you sent.  Many email programs automatically default to no and don’t even ask anymore once you answer ‘no’ once to a particular sender.

In addition, many web based and mobile email clients don’t even support the request and instead just ignore it.  Once again leaving you in the dark when it comes to read receipts in your email.

Here is where ReadNotify comes in.  ReadNotify is a web based solution that allows you to send important emails and know (most of the time) if the receipient opened it, if they forwarded it, when they read it, on what type of device (pc, mac, iphone etc) how long they looked at it and approximately where they were located when that happened.  It does this by embedding a small graphic in your email such that when the recipient’s email client (i.e. Outlook, Gmail etc) opens the email, it downloads this graphic and the system is able to correlate that with your original email and thus provide you with the tracking information.

About the only time this doesn’t work is if the user has the feature of showing images turned off in their email application.  I would say it works about 90% of the time.

I’ve been testing this service for about 3 months and have found it very useful.  If you are in sales, for example, knowing a prospect opened but ignored your email means one thing whereby if they never opened it, it could mean another.  Most prospects don’t realize the time you spend in the sales process and/or don’t want to disappoint you so they would rather ignore the email vs. tell you they simply aren’t interested.

You can even download plugin’s HERE that allow you to automatically select whether you do or don’t want to track an email and some additional advanced features.  These plugins work for Outlook, Apple Mail, and a variety of browser plugins for various webmail services.  Even without the plugin, you can request tracking as long as your return address is registered with ReadNotify.  You simply add their domain to your recipient’s email address.  For example, if you wanted to send to you would send to and that email would get tracked.  The recipient never knows about the tracking unless you choose to turn that on as an option.

Hope you find this tip helpful!