Were there times when you sent people emails and wondered what happened to them? I’m sure we all have.
Sending email campaigns is a proven marketing strategy guaranteed to bring in customers and sales. But, how will you know if your campaign is doing well? Did the recipient receive it? Did it end up in their spam folder? Did any of the recipients click on the links or open the attachments?
Before, there was no way to know what happened after you sent an e-mail. But with technology comes innovation, and now there are solutions available that allow you to know if your recipient opens your emails, clicks any of your links, and opens any attachments.
Email tracking brings about new possibilities for you and your business. You can now get insights about your campaigns and more and, with that, the power to make informed decisions.
What is Email Tracking?
Email Tracking is a way of tracking e-mails sent by marketers and salespeople and using the data gathered to make informed business decisions. Most e-mail tracking tools and software gives you data on the following:
- If your recipient opened your e-mail
- If the recipient clicked any links or attachments
- If your mail bounced
- If the recipient unsubscribed from the mail
- If your recipient marked the mail as spam
- If your recipient replies to your mail.
- Which e-mail templates generate the most opens, clicks, and replies
- Which links or attachments generate the most clicks
With these data, you can have an insight into how your e-mail marketing campaigns are doing. You will be able to determine whether you should continue with your current campaign, make some improvements, or stop it altogether.
Email tracking is not always available in standard e-mail systems. You can find it in sales CRMs, stand-alone e-mail tracking tools, and email marketing software.
How Does Email Tracking Work?
So, how does email tracking work exactly? Usually, you will receive a notification when a recipient opens or clicks the email you sent.
There are three ways you can track an email:
- Image Pixels — Most email trackers automatically insert an invisible image pixel in your emails. The image pixel detects the exact date and time when your recipient opens it. When your recipient opens it, their browser requests where the server is hosting the image. After parsing the request, it will then indicate that the email has been opened.
- Read Receipts — Some email clients offer this opt-in feature. For this to work, you and the recipient must be using the same email client, and the recipient authorized the sending of a receipt. People rarely use this option as it is very unreliable.
- Trackable Links — Another way to track emails is by having tracking links in your email that link to the content in the cloud. Using this approach gives reliable email click rates. You can use email tracking software to encode tracking links for you. This same software can provide you a wide range of data from the number of clicks to engagement associated with the links.
Why Exercise Email Tracking?
You may be sending 1000, 5000, or even 10,000 emails daily for your marketing campaign, but how will you know if it’s effective? How will you measure if you’re gaining any traction or conversion?
This is where email tracking can come in handy. More than just knowing whether someone opened your email, clicked your link, or opened your attachments, tracking emails can give you a lot of insight into your campaigns’ success or sometimes failure.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits you’ll get with email tracking.
You can save time.
There will be times when it’s tempting to send multiple follow-up emails to get a response from your recipients, but that can be a big turn-off to them if they haven’t even opened the first one.
Let’s say you’re an eCommerce store that sells lingerie, and you sent both potential and existing customers promotions about your upcoming sale. With email tracking, you’ll be able to see which of these customers opened your email promotion and those that did not.
It’s highly possible that those that opened your promotion are interested in purchasing from your store, and those that did not are uninterested. Knowing this, you can save time(and effort!) by just sending follow-up emails and future emails to those that show interest in what you sent.
Gives you context.
When you have an email tracking system, you can have a detailed activity history with all of your prospects. You can have a peek into your lead’s mentality.
Having an email tracker can provide you with valuable insights into your interactions with your contacts, networks, prospects, or customers. With this insight, you can strengthen your outreach by providing them what they need according to your relationship.
Here are some cases:
- If you noticed that your contact opened your email a couple of times in one day, you could send them a follow-up while you’re still at the top of their mind.
- You can see if your contact viewed any links or attachments you included in an email before your meeting.
- If you sent someone a follow-up email, email tracking could help you determine if your recipient is reviewing what you sent.
Email tracking will help you discover the things that can pique your customer’s interest. Knowing and understanding these will help you draft better emails that will likely give you the desired result.
Provides you with unique insights.
Admit it, writing emails is not always child’s play. It can sometimes be daunting and frustrating. It can be a struggle to figure out what to say or how to begin writing your email.
Having an email tracking software can give you just the right information you’ll need to fill that blank space. You’ll be able to see a clear connection between specific emails. Know which emails are getting replies and which aren’t and make improvements that will have a better impact.
Metrics You Can Track with Email Tracking
Your email marketing campaign does not stop with just sending out emails. You need to track metrics that will help you determine if your campaign is going well.
- Email Open Rate — This tells you how many recipients opened the email you sent.
- Email Click Through Rate (CTR) — This one lets you know how many people clicked the links in your email.
- Bounce Rate — This tells you how many email addresses didn’t receive your email either due to temporary or permanent problems with the address.
- Unsubscribes — This lets you know how many of your recipients decided to unsubscribe upon receiving an email from you.
- Conversion Rate — This lets you know how many people clicked a link then completed a specific action.
- Spam Reports — This tells you how many times your recipient marked your email as spam.
- Revenue/Sales Rate — This tells you how many orders your recipients generated from your email campaign.
- Forwarding/Share Rate — This lets you know the percentage of recipients who shared or forwarded your email to someone else.
You can know all of these if you use email tracking software. Once you know these metrics, you can quickly identify if your marketing campaign is a success.
Email Tracking Tools and Software
Many offer email marketing services, but not all of them provide the same thing. Some offer web design to law firms and offer email marketing features, while others whose primary focus and specialization are email tracking itself.
I’ve compiled a list of the top providers that offer email tracking to give you a jump start in choosing an email tracking software that might pique your interest.
Known for its robust and powerful sales platform, Hubspot offers marketing and sales software. Each has its email tracking capabilities made to meet the needs of marketers and salespeople. HubSpot Sales Hub tracks email opens and engagement then loads the information automatically into each prospect’s CRM data. While Marketing Hub has full-funnel tracking and support for A/B testing emails.
A Google Chrome extension, Right Inbox works within Gmail to boost your emailing efforts. It will help you find out who reads and clicks your emails, when and how many times they opened the emails, with the email tracking feature. Besides email tracking, Right Inbox also comes with scheduling features, email reminders, and sequences.
Streak is another Google Chrome extension for Gmail. It gives you a helpful sidebar that shows a visual activity log of email opens, view times, and location where the recipient opened the message. Aside from this, you can also use Streak for sorting your message by recent views or isolating sent emails that are still waiting for a reply.
SalesHandy offers email open notifications and activity tracking. Its email tracking is entirely free for Gmail users. If you want to access the Outlook add-in, you can upgrade to a paid plan.
Zoho provides several solutions, including CRM, SalesIQ, and Campaigns. The robust email tracking it offers will help you determine who’s opening your emails and where and how they’re engaging with them. Besides this, Zoho also supports A/B testing to help you find the most effective subject line, Call-to-Actions, and more.
It’s not enough to just send thousands of emails during your email marketing campaign. To have a successful campaign that brings conversions and sales, you have to monitor and track your campaign’s progress. Having an email tracking tool or software can help you with that.
Email tracking is more than just tracking if someone opened your email. It helps you save time and effort in your campaigns. It also gives you an insider on what your leads might be thinking. It can also provide you with insights that will help you determine what you can do to improve your campaign’s impact. And finally, it will allow you to track the key metrics that matter in determining your campaign’s performance.