Best Email Tracking Software for Staying on Top of Your Mailing Game

Posted by Anastasia Kryzhanovska on October 7, 2020

Best email tracking software to stay on top of your mailing game
Anastasia Kryzhanovska

Anastasia Kryzhanovska
Senior Content Manager

Published on October 7, 2020

Despite all the existing means of communication, email remains the most powerful tool for businesses to reach their customers. As Oberlo reports, 49% of consumers say they would like to receive promotional emails from their favorite brands on a weekly basis.

However, there is a downside to email. When a business sends an email to its customers (or anyone sending emails, really), it isn’t aware of the result — unless it has access to email tracking software. This simple tool tells you if someone has read your email and how she or he responded to it.

Email tracking gives companies the power to build and maintain relationships with their customers in an exceedingly competitive inbox environment. This article describes the best email tracking tools, how they work, and the right way to use them.

How Does Email Tracking Software Work?

Email tracking tools are simpler than you might imagine. They place a 1×1 pixel image that is invisible to the naked eye into an email. The pixels are used to detect when an email has been opened, sometimes with the time and date, and send a report to the sender. This report can be a notification or a visual marking on the email.

This information can be very beneficial to businesses because they get a better insight into their customers’ behaviors, and they can make decisions that are more informed, such as about the most appropriate time to send emails or follow-ups.

Therefore, email tracking software is frequently used by sales and marketing departments to identify ideal engagement points with prospective customers and to improve their sales and marketing emails.

Limitations of Email Tracking Software

Like any software, email trackers have limitations. As already mentioned, they gather data thanks to the invisible pixel threaded into email content as an image. However, some outdated email clients still in use are not able to display HTML emails, so they show only plain text, removing any images.

There’s an issue with displaying images even for people who use up-to-date email clients, which is, hopefully, most of your recipients. However, some of them block those images for security reasons.

Then, there’s Outlook, which can wreak havoc on your analytics. Whenever a new email arrives, it goes to Outlook’s preview pane. And there goes the tracking pixel. Outlook will mark your email as read, and you won’t have a clue if it actually was.

Last but not least, some users may use blocking software to fight off tracking pixels, again, for privacy, which is a good reason as email tracking is sometimes used with bad intentions.

Email tracking has certain limitations, but it is still a very effective method for monitoring email performance. Even though the results may not be 100% accurate, it will still provide plenty of information for making more thoughtful decisions or to optimize an email strategy.

Email Tracking Software for Your Inbox

Email tracking software is great for business and marketing, but you can still use it for your personal or work needs. Imagine you have a meeting coming up, and you’ve sent all the details to your colleagues via email.

Even the responsible colleagues who frequently check their inbox sometimes miss a message, considering how much correspondence they get on a daily basis. You could ping them in chat to confirm if they’ve read it, but how many email clients allow you to link an email as well? Using an email tracker is much simpler.

It’s also useful if you send follow-up emails frequently. After all, there is no point in sending someone additional info if they still haven’t opened the initial message. However, you can send them a reminder instead.

Are you interested in trying out email tracking software? Mailbird, SalesHandy, and Mailtrack can help!

Mailbird’s Email Tracking

Best email tracking tools for personal use

Mailbird is a powerful email client that offers many advanced features, including email tracking. With Mailbird, you can manage multiple email accounts from one spot, integrate it with other apps, and boost your email efficiency and productivity in general.

One such feature is built-in email tracking (Mailbird ET) – for every email you choose to track, you get a list of recipients with their open status and either a date or “Pending” if they haven’t opened the email. If they have, you’ll see two green check marks beside the email and in the tracking list.

That’s a huge advantage for you as most email trackers only show the open rate counter, and not which recipients have opened and likely read your message. Mailbird, on the other hand, tracks each recipient individually. So, if you send group emails frequently, this feature would be quite useful.

Gmail or Outlook? Why limit yourself to just the two?

Another feature that sets Mailbird’s email tracker apart is that it works for all email addresses and providers you or your recipients might be using, while many others can only integrate with Gmail or Outlook.

Worried about privacy?

Don’t worry! Mailbird tracks only the time when an email was opened. All other data stays private, including email content and locations.

There’s only one ‘but’

Even though Mailbird’s email tracking is free, the email client itself is not. There’s a free trial, and once it expires, users can choose between two plans – Personal (starting at $3/month) and Business (starting at $4/month) – or you can pay a one-time fee.

SalesHandy

Best email tracker for GmailSource: SalesHandy

SalesHandy is a fine example of email tracking software for MS Outlook and Gmail users. However, if you are tech-savvy, you can use this tool with any email client, with a little bit of magic and an SMTP configuration.

How does it work? As soon as your email recipient opens your email, you get a notification from SalesHandy about the event, as well as a count of link clicks.

SalesHandy features

Aside from email tracking, you can schedule all your emails to be sent at a specific time — being mindful of when your recipients are in different time zones.

Another great feature of SalesHandy, which isn’t reflected in its name, is Mail Merge. With this feature, SalesHandy can send emails in bulk — up to 5,000 personalized emails per day — and follow up on them. You can add up to 9 automated follow-up stages.

What about the price?

What many users love about SalesHandy is that it has a free plan with unlimited email tracking. However, there is one catch. Outlook support is excluded from the list of free features. For this (and other advanced features), users must upgrade to a paid plan (starting from $9/user/month).

Mailtrack

How do I know if they opened my emailSource: Mailtrack

Mailtrack may be the best email tracker for Gmail. At the very least, it’s a handy Chrome extension.

The tracker doesn’t feature any extensive capabilities, but it can serve small business owners or freelancers who just want to track their emails, without any other bells and whistles.

What are its features?

Mailtrack reminds many users of WhatsApp with its read receipts. When you send an email, a single check mark will appear next to it. When the recipient has seen the email in its full glory, two check marks will appear next to it — same as in Mailbird, sans the added juice of an email client.

Anyone looking for an easy one-job tool with a clean, sleek user interface will love Mailtrack.

What about the price?

Similarly to SalesHandy, users can sign up for a free plan that allows them to send an unlimited number of emails. However, there is one catch. Every email you send will feature “Sent with Mailtrack” in the signature section. Those who are bothered by this can purchase a premium plan for $4.99 per month.

If you choose the annual plan, then your monthly fee will be only $2.49. The paid plans come with a few advanced features as well, such as reporting the percentage of emails opened or links clicked. Also, paid plans allow you to use Mailtrack on Android devices.

Email Tracking Features in Marketing Software

Mailbird ET, SalesHandy, and Mailtrack are excellent email tracking tools for freelancers, solopreneurs, and small business owners, but if you run big marketing campaigns, more advanced email software might be needed.

Email trackers don’t only help companies improve their email marketing strategies. They also allow closing big deals, reaching decision-makers, and connecting with CEOs.

Email Tracking In Action: An Overview of Case Studies

SC&H Group:

Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Mack McGee of SC&H Group has revealed how a simple email tracker helped his company score a $100,000 deal. His company spent weeks negotiating with a huge e-commerce client. When his company sent its final proposal, the client went silent. Three months later, Mark received a notification on his computer, telling him that the e-commerce company had opened his email and clicked the link for the proposal. He immediately sent them a follow-up email and secured a massive contract.

Influitive:

Bryan Tucker, regional manager at Influitive, described how an email tracking tool helped his company connect with prospects. After sending dozens of tracked emails, he focused his calling efforts on accounts that showed activity. This enabled him to connect with candidates in a matter of days whereas, usually, it would take him weeks.

PandaDoc:

Josh Harcus, director of channel at PandaDoc, revealed how email trackers helped his company speak directly to the CEO. After nurturing a lead for months, Josh was frustrated that he couldn’t seal the deal. He was mostly talking to the company’s business development director. One day, he noticed that person opening his initial emails. He immediately contacted him, asking if there is anything his company could do to speed up the process. This landed Josh a meeting with the CEO.

Top Three Marketing Automation Tools that Offer Email Tracking

Are you worried that your company has missed out on great opportunities because it lacks proper email tracking? Don’t worry! Hubspot, Salesforce Pardot, and Mailchimp can solve this problem.

Hubspot

Email tracking software for marketingSource: Hubspot

If you work in sales or marketing, you must have heard of Hubspot and its amazing tools for marketers and salespeople. Among those tools, Hubspot offers email tracking software that works with Gmail and Outlook.

If you’re tailing leads, the tool will ping you with a notification as soon as a prospect opens your email. This is perfect because you get the chance to catch a hot lead and close more deals.

Hubspot will not only tell you when someone opens your email. It will also reveal what the recipient clicks on the most, so you can figure out what they are interested in.

Hubspot offers its users a free plan that can be used to track up to 2,000 emails on a daily basis. Premium plans start at $50 per month, providing unlimited emails and an abundance of other features.

For example, Hubspot CRM will help you accelerate your sales. This feature allows you to organize, nurture, and track your leads and customers. The email tracker also includes all-in-one Marketing Software and all-in-one Sales Software. The marketing software gives you all the tools you need to market your product the right way while the sales software lets you automate your outreach, follow up seamlessly, and track your entire sales pipeline.

Salesforce Pardot

Email open rate report

Salesforce Pardot is marketing automation software packed with many advanced features, including email tracking. You can use Pardot for list-building, lead-scoring packages, contact tags, campaign rules, and a host of other automation capabilities. The best part is that all these complex features don’t affect the design. Pardot is easy to use even when it comes to the analytics and integration modules.

Salesforce Pardot gives you access to a host of excellent multichannel tools that you won’t find in most strict marketing automation software.  It will even let you create social media campaigns, schedule and send posts in real-time, and monitor your social stats.

If you’re interested in email marketing, you’ll be glad to hear that Pardot features email automation and plenty of other email marketing features. Besides working as standard email tracking software and notifying you when a recipient opens your email, Pardot has some other great features. For example, Completed Actions allows you to automatically add a contact to your prospect list when he or she completes a form, and you can run A/B tests to compare the effectiveness of multiple emails.

All these tools packed in one software package come at a price. Small businesses are quite unlikely to afford the starting price of $1,250 per month, but considering what’s under the hood, the investment may be worthwhile.

Mailchimp

Email tracking software with open and click rateSource: Mailchimp

Some businesses, regardless of their size, love splurging on expensive software. Others prefer using software that comes at a reasonable price. As for Mailchimp, it doesn’t have a price. You can use it for free! And, the best part is that it is not just basic email tracking software. Large companies can use it to send mass emails and handle transactional emails. Mailchimp is also equipped with A/B testing, robust email analytics, and other email automation features your company might need.

Also, Mailchimp allows you to access its built-in CRM even on the free plan. If you’re looking for an all-in-one emailing tool, regardless of your business size, then Mailchimp might be just the option for you.

However, there is something you should keep in mind. Even though the company promotes its email tracking software as a marketing automation platform, Mailchimp’s automation is not that intuitive to set up. Lacking a workflow editor, managing the steps in each automation can get a bit unwieldy.

The free plan allows you to send up to 10,000 emails per month to 2,000 subscribers. Also, most of Mailchimp’s advanced tools are accessible on this free plan. In contrast, Mailchimp’s paid plans depend on the number of subscribers. The most affordable plan ($29.99 per month) allows you to send mail to 2,500 subscribers. The most expensive plan, on the other hand, costs $259 per month and allows you to contact up to 50,000 subscribers.

Comparison of Different Email Tracking Software Tools

You’ve read a lot about the different tools, but which one should you go for after all? Here’s a concise email tracking software comparison to help you.

NAME

NOTABLE FEATURES

EMAIL SERVICE SUPPORTED

PRICE

Mailbird email tracking feature

  • Comes as part of a productivity-boosting email client;
  • Packed with advanced features and integrations alongside the ET;
  • Email tracking shows when each participant opened the email;
  • Opened emails have read receipt type of marking
  • All email services are supported
  • Free Trial Available
  • Paid plans start at $3 per month

SalesHandy

  • Notifications for every opened email and every click;
  • Up to 5,000 emails per day can be sent
  • Follow-Up feature for bulk emails
  • Gmail and Outlook
  • Can be integrated with any email client via SMTP configuration
  • Free plan
  • $9 per user per month

Mailtrack

  • Easy-to-use with a simple design and interface;
  • A one-job tool;
  • Instead of notifications, opened emails are marked
  • Gmail
  • Free plan
  • Paid plans start at $2.49 per month

Hubspot

  • Notifications received as soon as an email is opened;
  • Addition of Hubspot CRM to help accelerate your sales;
  • Up to 2,000 mails can be tracked on a daily basis (on a free plan)
  • Gmail and Outlook
  • Free plan
  • Premium plan starts at $50 per month

Salesforce Pardot

  • Suitable for large businesses looking for ultimate marketing and sales solution;
  • Easily set up and track social media campaigns;
  • Email tracking software and A/B tests greatly improve email marketing strategies
  • All email services are supported
  • Starts at $1,250 per month

Mailchimp

  • Email tracker that can also handle mass emails and transactional emails;
  • Free plan allows up to 10,000 emails to be sent monthly;
  • Can be used as a marketing automation platform
  • All email services are supported
  • Free plan
  • Paid plan starts at $29.99 per month

Try Email Tracking with Mailbird

Mailbird isn’t designed for large-scale email marketing, like Hubspot or Mailchimp. However, it is an exceptional email client packed with many advanced features, including email tracking. You can try out this feature and see whether it could benefit your business. If the answer is no, then you can opt for one of the more advanced email tracking tools such as Hubspot or Salesforce Pardot.

Besides email tracking, you will love Mailbird for its other features as well. For example:

  • The Unified Inbox allows you to manage all your emails and contacts from multiple accounts easily in one Inbox.
  • The innovative Speed Reader will make you literally fly through your emails.
  • Great features for email productivity, including Snooze notifications, undo send, schedule send, in-line reply, and calendar.
  • Integrations with many other apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Dropbox, Google Calendar, Asana, Todoist, and many more.

Wrap Up

Whether you need it for your business or your personal needs, email tracking can transform your email experience. By knowing whether or not someone has opened your email, you can make more informed decisions, especially when it comes to marketing and sales.

There are plenty of email tracking tools on the market. Among the best are Mailbird, SalesHandy, Mailtrack, Hubspot, Salesforce Pardot, and Mailchimp. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages. Some are more suitable for personal use; others are suitable only for large businesses.

Mailbird isn’t a tracker. It’s a complete email client with email tracking software, which can be used for both personal and (small) business needs. If you’re not sure whether this tool is the right one for you, then sign up for a free trial only. Once you experience the amazing features Mailbird has to offer, you will never go back to using your old email client.

What is the best email tracking software?

According to customer reviews, here are the best email tracking software tools:
Mailbird
Mailtrack
SalesHandy
Hubspot
Mailchimp
MixMax
Snovio
ContactMonkey
Salesforce Pardot
Gmelius

How can I trace the source of an email?

There are online tools that allow you to trace the sending location of an email, such as Trace Email Analyzer. To determine the source of an email, open it, and find its header. Then, copy and paste the header into the Trace Email Analyzer. Click on the “Get Source” button and wait a few seconds for the result.

Is tracking email legal?

If a company that is tracking customer emails is GDPR compliant then yes, it is legal in this case. Otherwise, if you don’t have malicious intentions, then checking if your colleagues have viewed a message is okay.


Anastasia Kryzhanovska

Anastasia Kryzhanovska
Senior Content Manager

Published on October 7, 2020

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