Email Tracking 101: Everything you ever wanted to know

Feb 26, 2013, by Lauren Buchsbaum, Happiness Officer

Tout helps you track the day-to-day emails you send from Gmail and Outlook in real time. We see this as a way for senders to learn more about who's interested in your emails and use that information to improve your communications.

The principles around email tracking are relatively simple -- however after perfecting our technology over nearly a two-year period, we've found that the devils in the details and edge cases.

We get a lot of questions around the ins and outs of email tracking, so here's a primer on the four different types of tracking we offer and how to use them.

View Tracking

What it means: We'll tell you when a recipient opens an email you sent them.

How to use it: Send an email from our website, or hit the "Tout It" button in Gmail or Outlook.

How it works: We track email opens by placing an invisible image inside the emails you send. Any recipients who have enabled in their email client will show up as having viewed your email. 

Now, here's the catch. If your recipient does not have images enabled, we won't register a view. While Tout tracking tries to capitalize on all images in your email along with some other tricks to track views, view tracking is never 100%... so be sure to concentrate on our 3 other types of tracking! 

We also work very hard to filter out your own views from this activity - even if you're using another email address of yours to test our tracking. If you're using a team account with us, too, we'll make a note when a member of your team views an email.

For the tech curious, Tout uses a combination of browser cookies and IP addresses to track engagement around your emails.

Best practices: Put an important image (a screenshot, logo, chart, or graph) that encourages your users to enable images. You'll get much better tracking that way!

Related FAQs:

Click Tracking

What it means: We'll tell you when someone clicks on a link in your email.

How to use it: Send an email from our website, or hit the "Tout It" button in Gmail or Outlook.

How it works: We'll convert all your links to tracking links so you'll know when your recipients click on them and what they click on. 

Best practices: Put a call to action at the end of your email in link form - have your recipient go to a page on your website, fill out a form, or access a public calendar of yours to schedule a phone call. Then you'll be able to see who is interested and be able to follow up with them accordingly. 

Related FAQs:

Site Tracking 

What it means: We'll tell you when someone you emailed visits your website.

How to use it: Site Tracking requires you to place a Google Analytics-like script on your website. First, you'll need to be on our Startup plan or higher. Then you can head over here and follow the instructions to paste the Javascript code into your website.

How it works:

  1. You send an email to a recipient. They view it or click on a link.
  2. They visit your website, now or in the future.
  3. We'll track where on your site they're paging around and display it in the Live Feed. Site tracking is fairly similar to click tracking, except it doesn't require a recipient to click on a link in your email. If a lead types your website into their browser two weeks after you've sent them an email and they never responded, you'll know when that happens.

Best practices
If you have a special campaign running on your site, make sure to paste your tracking code there. We also recommend tracking behavior on your pricing pages, about us, product tour, or any sort of sign up form. You can even set up Site Tracking Actions to know when they make a purchase or sign up for your service.

Related FAQs:

Attachment and Presentation Tracking

What it means: You'll be able to learn when your recipients are viewing, paging through, or downloading a presentation or file you've shared with them.

How to use it: Click the "Link" or "Link to File" button in Gmail or toutapp.com (coming soon to Outlook). Send your emails out through Tout and pull up the Live Feed.

How it works: We'll upload your attachment to Tout servers and add tracking information to it. Attachment and presentation tracking works with PDFs, Word docs, and Powerpoint presentations. As recipients click through to your attachment, we'll tell you in your Live Feed how they are engaging with your content right down to the slide they keep staring at.

Best practices: Use it! If you've uploaded a Powerpoint, you'll see what pages your recipients keep coming back to, or which pages cause them to lose interest. You can use this to tailor your follow-up and also make changes to the documents themselves. 

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attachment tracking  click tracking  email  email tracking  email tracking 101  gmail  outlook  salesforce  tout  toutapp  view tracking  website tracking 


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