Email Tracking: The Complete Guide You’ve Been Looking For

email tracking

Email Tracking: The Complete Guide You’ve Been Looking For

Published By Sophie Krokida
May 4, 2023

Maybe you think that email tracking is something magical that can transform your marketing efforts into great opportunities and sales. And you’re right!

Email tracking basically allows you to know anytime how well your campaigns perform and why. This means that you can immediately change your strategy or improve your tactics to get better results.

If this isn’t magic, then I don’t know what it is!

What is Email Tracking

Email tracking is the method of monitoring the opens and clicks of the emails you send to your subscribers.

It’s a way of keeping up with how recipients interact with your campaigns, links, and attachments.

How Does Email Tracking Work

There are 3 ways to track an email. The simplest way is the “read receipts” one, while you can also use tracking pixels or trackable links.

Read receipts

Read receipts are an easy, opt-in way to see if an email has been opened.

It’s a feature that mail email services offer and you can turn it on from your email service provider.

I wouldn’t recommend relying on this technique though as for a notification to be received the recipient must allow it in their settings, or authorize the sending of a read receipt.

Tracking pixels

Tracking pixels is one of the most common ways to track email opens and clicks.

They are tiny snippets of code a tracking server loads in order to gather information about your subscribers on what they click on and more.

You could say that tracking pixels are like cookies. But unlike them, tracking pixels can’t be blocked. That’s why marketers consider them a highly effective tool for all digital marketers.

Trackable links

Another easy way to track your recipients’ actions is through trackable links. They are links you manually add to your content, in place of any URL you’ve included in your email.

When a user clicks on a trackable link, then your provider’s server is notified and all the information is collected in order to be passed to you.

Email Tracking Benefits

email tracking benefits

Save time

No one wants to receive dozens of newsletters when they haven’t even opened one.

And you definitely don’t want to spend your time targetting subscribers that aren’t interested in what you have to say.

Email tracking prevents you from sending unnecessary emails and saves time both for marketers and the email recipient. Plus, it saves time for your sales team, boosting their productivity.

Save money

Gone are the days when your salespersons had to print out all emails for record-keeping and follow-up. Welcome to an era of simplicity and cost-effective methods.

Because with email tracking you don’t need email printing anymore! Everything is right there, on your computer, shareable and accessible any time you wish. This way you save tons of paper and ink, while you also care for the environment!

Identify prospects

How many times have you spent your precious time trying to win subscribers you are not sure if they are actually interested in what you offer or not?

Relying on questionable prospects is time-consuming and tiring.

If, on the other hand, you use email tracking you can easily identify where your prospects are in the sales cycle.

This way you can create a better-targeted marketing strategy for these people to further attract them and lead them down your conversion funnel.

Valuable metrics

Are you measuring your email marketing metrics?

If yes, good for you.

If not, then we need to do some talking. Because this is not taking you anywhere.

For serious decision-making, you need to know the facts, not just assume. And email tracking is here to help you with that.

By measuring the right metrics you can build the right strategy and eventually generate more quality leads.

Just find the most important times and get ready to update your email list and generate better results.

Better optimization

I know you’re perfect. But sometimes your emails might need just a little optimization to get there.

So who’s gonna help you with that? Email tracking!

With email tracking, you can gather all the critical information that will help you understand what your prospects need to stay engaged and produce better results.

Data-driven decisions can lead to more effective marketing strategies and impressive company growth.

More impactful follow-ups

Follow-ups are a MUST. Because people are busy and might forget about your own email. Because they need to hear from you often. And because you might be leaving money on the table.

And I’m sure your follow-up emails would be very different if you knew if a subscriber clicked on a link and which one it was.

Email tracking allows you to create just the right follow-up email and increase your chances of conversion.

How to Make the Most of Email Tracking

Email tracking can make you a superhero. It can magically elevate your marketing efforts and make you stronger fast and effortlessly. Here are a few examples of how you can use it to unlock your superpowers.

Reward your most engaged readers

macpaw email tracking example

Your weapon: Conversion rates

If a subscriber loves your content, they sure deserve a bravo! By tracking who opens your emails frequently you can create a new segmentation list and offer them a discount coupon or some extra free content, PDF’s or whatever suits your brand.

By rewarding your most engaged subscribers you build stronger relationships and increase your open rates even more.

Allure dormant subscribers

Your weapon: Open rates

Marketing is not just about finding new customers. You also have to keep your existing subscribers engaged and active. So make a special newsletter just for those who don’t open your emails and seem to have lost interest. And do your best to change their habits. This could be a discount coupon, a digest of some important blog posts they have missed, or a reminder of your new collection they may not be aware of. To make this work make sure your subject line is attractive enough!

Take your content to the next level

a b testing example email


Your weapon: Click-through rates

There are many reasons subscribers don’t engage with your emails, even though they open them:

  • Your links are hard to find
  • Your copy is not good enough
  • You’re being too salesy
  • Your content doesn’t look good on mobile
  • You have too many CTR’s
  • You are targeting the wrong audience

And these are only some of them. So what’s to do?

Thank God for A/B testing! Make a habit of testing one thing at a time when you send out emails. This way you will find out what your subscribers want. what works better and what needs to change ASAP.

Best Email Tracking Tools

Let’s take a look at them!


mixmax email tracking tool

Mixmax is a Google Chrome extension for Gmail that tells you who read your emails and when. It’s a popular tracking system that helps you coordinate timely follow-ups. And it even includes an individual breakdown for emails sent to multiple recipients.

It provides users with valuable insight for planning your marketing campaigns while it also offers email scheduling, templates, and other scheduling features.

Simple to use and with a very friendly user interface, Mixmax is a great productivity tool for outbound campaigns.


Mixmax offers both monthly and yearly plans, starting at $9. It’s worth noting that you can get up to a 25% discount on annual plans. The platform also offers a free trial for the Small biz and Growth plan.


mailtrack email tracking tool

If you’re looking for a good free email tracking tool, then MailTrack is what I would recommend.
It’s a great entry-level solution to email tracking, uncomplicated and dynamic.

One of the best email tracking tools both for businesses and individuals.

It’s a tool that streamlines the process of sending emails by effectively monitoring the sent emails and informing the sender with a notification when the email is read. The notification indicates the date and time the email was sent, as well as the date and time the email was read. You can customize the notifications so you can select where you want to receive them and how often, either on your desktop or on your phone.

It’s ideal for keeping the mail tray updated. And it doesn’t require download as it fits your email without complications. Also, it’s available on desktop and Android.

MailTrack is a great ally in the marketing and sales process, as it helps you detect the actual potential customers or discard those who don’t read your emails.


The free plan allows you to track an unlimited number of emails forever. Paid plans start at €6.90 per month. All paid plans include all the platform’s features.


docsify email tracking tool

If you want to be instantly updated on what happens with the emails you send, then Docsify will become your next best friend. It’s a powerful Gmail & G Suite add-on that tells you when someone opens an email, downloads a document or clicks on a link.

It’s an extension that runs actively in the background and checks every email you send, sending you individual per recipient tracking and sequencing information.

Docsify with its nice design and visualization works flawlessly giving you great insight into your subscribers’ mail activity and helps you make your email prioritization process much easier.

A very strong and neat tool, Docsify is great for less tech-savvy marketers. It will help you understand who is and who isn’t engaged with your emails on the spot.


Docsify offers 2 plans, one free and one premium. These can be monthly or annually and they all start with a 14-day trial. All plans offer unlimited email tracking while paid plans also include unlimited attachment tracking and branding domain for documents.

Cirrus Insight

cirrus insight email tracking tool

Cirrus Insight is a sales software entirely managed from within your inbox, product from the Salesforce app exchange.

It makes tracking communication seamless from your email inbox and you can track whether a subscriber opened an email, how many times, and the location. You can also track engagement by tracking the attachment you’ve sent, seeing who read your documents, what pages they opened and who they forwarded it to.

An extra feature that makes Cirrus Insight a great choice is the MyLists tool that embeds important customer and account information directly in your email client, so you can access it while drafting messages.

Cirrus Insight is also great for effective follow-ups since the email tracker lets you sync your messages with your Calendar and Salesforce CRM. This way you can schedule your follow-ups easier. Moreover, you can use the reminder feature, which shows on the top of your screen in case the receiver doesn’t reply to your email.

Available as an extension in Chrome and Firefox for Gmail users and as an Outlook plugin, the software is easily integrated with Gmail, taking up very little space within your window, and its features help you reach your email marketing goals thanks to its updated data and notifications.


Cirrus Insight offers plans for both Gmail and Outlook, annual and monthly while there is also an Enterprise plan customed designed for your needs. Prices start at $27 and you can also try the platform for 14 for free.


yesware tool for email tracking

One of the best email tracker apps Yesware is very simple and intuitive to use and navigate and implements greatly with your email service.

For Gmail users, the app adds an interface to your account that lets you access the Yesware tracking features directly from your inbox. For other email clients and software, the app can be installed via your browser extension.

It is aimed mostly toward sales reps so they can monitor their leads and customers.

Yesware keeps you notified about what happens with the emails you send, as well as about your attachments and links. Additionally, you can track icons in your Sent and Inbox folders in order to see who’s engaging with your emails at a glance. The tracker also includes real-time notifications that help you give timely responses and follow-ups.

Moreover, you can see the entire history of tracked emails through Yesware’s activity, with the help of filters.


Yesware offers 3 different plans, monthly or yearly, starting at $12, while you can also sign up for a free trial.

Top 5 Metrics You Should Be Measuring

Whatever your goal, if you create the right strategy, email marketing can help you succeed. And the good news is that emails can be perfectly traceable in every aspect.
Here are the most important metrics you should measure in order to make the most of your efforts.

Open rate

open rate formula

This metric measures how many recipients viewed your email, compared to the total amount delivered – or sent.

To get high open rates you need to be very careful when crafting your subject line while you should also choose your sender name wisely. Also, Moosend helps you get higher open rates with the automated resending feature.

Click-through rate

click through rate formula

One of the most critical metrics, the Click-through rate answers your question of whether your receivers are engaged with your emails and is indicative of your email’s content performance – images, copy and CTA’s.
To improve your Click-through rates you can work on making your links more relevant and enticing and your content more interactive with images, gifs, and videos.

Bounce rate

bounce rate formula

This metric indicates the number of emails that could not be delivered to your subscribers and were instead sent back.

There are two kinds of bounces you should be monitoring: Hard bounces and soft bounces.

Hard bounces are the emails that are permanently rejected due to an invalid email address or because the recipient has blocked you. Soft bounces are emails that are rejected because of temporary reasons.

To make sure your emails are always delivered and don’t bounce, make sure your lists are clean at all times, remove old addresses and ask your subscribers to update their email address.

Unsubscribe rate

Unsubscribe rate formula

It’s very important to know how many users unsubscribe from your mailing list. Because a high unsubscribe rate means that you are doing something wrong and you need to change your strategy.

To keep your unsubscribe rate low you should better segment your lists, let your users decide the email preferences, make your emails mobile-friendly and make more personalized emails.
A good unsubscribe rate should be less than 2%.

Conversion Rate

conversion rate formula

The conversion rate indicates the number of recipients who clicked on a link or an image and completed a desired action.

This can be purchasing a product from your store or filling out a form.
Basically, this metric is important because it helps you understand how effective your emails are in relation to your objectives.

To achieve high conversion rates you should always A/B test your campaigns so you can make the little changes that will do the trick.

Email Tracking and GDPR


GDPR is the General Data Protection Regulation that changed the marketing game since 2018. It’s a set of regulations that give people greater control of their personal data. And if you don’t comply with the guidelines you can’t and shouldn’t email anyone.

According to the official GDPR website, personal data can be “anything”: names, photos, computer IP addresses, etc. And of course, email addresses.

So what should you and your sales team know about email tracking and your recipients’ privacy?

That subscribers:

  • Ηave to agree to be contacted
  • Have to agree for their personal data to be collected
  • Must know how their data is collected
  • Have the right for their data to be edited or deleted

But what does this mean for your business? And how will you get your strategy in place according to GDPR?

1. Never contact the Do Not Contact lists

I know how hard it is. But when it comes to privacy issues you need to be impeccable now more, no matter the kind of email you send. If you don’t respect peoples’ choices you could be exposed to violation claims.

2. Don’t forget the opt-outs

This may seem like a no-brainer to you but still, there are many marketers out there that don’t give you this option. Make sure you always add opt-out information in every email you send. And make sure the button is super prominent!

3. Don’t overdo it

Even if you have permission to contact your subscribers, reaching them too frequently might feel like an intrusion on their rights. So don’t abuse their trust.

Now what?

Now track! Get serious about your emails and keep an eye on who opens what, when, and why. It’s easier than you might think, and much more effective than you could ever imagine.

Even better, let Moosend do the dirty tracking job for you!

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