Email Tracking 101: Everything you ever wanted to know

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 (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.


User of the Week: Owen uses ToutApp for Customer Development

Our featured User of the Week entry comes from Owen McGab Enaohwo, Co-founder of SweetProcess. Every week or so, we'll profile a different person who uses our app to improve their email productivity. If you would like to be featured in the future, you can apply here.

My co-founders and I are working on a webapp called SweetProcess that will make it easy for entrepreneurs to scale their businesses by helping them quickly and easily create Standard Operating Procedures for their businesses. Our process will allow everyone on their team to know exactly what to do in any given situation and they can make use of the SOPs to deliver a consistent level of results to their customers.

Right now we are in the process of creating a Minimum Viable Product for SweetProcess. Before jumping straight into coding, we decided to call potential customers and interview them to find the burning problems that they have with documenting how processes work in their businesses and the exact solutions they want from a software.

My email process involves sending an email to a list of prospects in my field and having them click a link to answer a simple three-question survey. ToutApp’s analytics let me know who is interested in and who has completed the survey. From there, I have the opportunity to follow up and prioritize my recipients based on who appears to be showing interest. For example, those who complete the survey then get a phone call where we can drill into the problem and the solutions that they want from the SweetProcess software.

ToutApp’s templates, tracking, and follow-up mechanisms help me get my emails done faster and more intelligently. At the end of the day, these features help me stay in touch with everyone, from my initial outreach to my next follow-up to the final phone call.


User of the Week: ToutApp gains lifetime fans from BabyList

Every week or so, we'll profile a different person who uses our app to improve their email productivity. If you would like to be featured in the future, you can apply here.

I spearhead marketing and PR initiatives for BabyList. We provide expectant moms the ability to add items from any store to one universal baby registry – it's just as easy to use as Pinterest. BabyList is currently a part of an accelerator program and one of our main goals is to increase user sign-ups. We have a niche target market of pregnant women so we are constantly thinking of creative ways to reach them.

We LOVE ToutApp because it provides us greater insight to how the editors and influencers we are contacting are responding to BabyList. Our emails typically contain several links so we are able to gauge where people are clicking…and what they are interested in. And, at the very least, we'll know that they viewed our emails and how frequently.

Recently, I noticed one email I sent was viewed 27 times – I just knew that the recipient was interested and would respond soon. And, sure enough, she did!

We have just started using ToutApp and are already fast fans. I'm sure as we start drilling into the additional bells and whistles that Tout offers, we'll be lifetime fans.


How to write the best performing Sales emails

Put your brains together. That’s right. Here at ToutApp this is how we get stuff done. We use Tout to Tout Tout.

What’s our secret sauce? Team collaboration.

We want our emails to be sharp and successful. Sales emails should be casual. This is no excuse for bad grammar. Nor is catching up on emails late night. (ToutApp let’s me schedule emails to be sent later so my prospects don’t get an email from me at 2am on a Wednesday night.) Let’s give it a go to create the most successful sales template.

If I am sending out an email to 50 people, you can bet I want it to be successful. Three reasons I share templates:

1. I can get constructive feedback from my team.



2. I can keep track of my thoughts. 

Template analytics let me measure views and clicks.

Template notes let me keep tabs on everything else. “Closed most of my deals when I use this template or this template works best for prospects in New York”

3. Finally, if I share my templates my team shares theirs.

Sharing templates creates conversation around best practices without having to step away from my desk. Alerts directly from the Live Feed make this easy. I’ll see in real time when someone shares a template with me or comments on a team template.


Start sharing today! 


User of the Week: Dawoon Kang from Coffee Meets Bagel

I am the COO of Coffee Meets Bagel, a new social dating site where a 'Gilt Groupe' style daily deal meets online dating. Every day at noon, we match our members with one single who is their friend-of-friends. Members have 24 hours to “Like” or “Pass” their match, with two “Likes” resulting in a first date.

Our team is very small so we work fluidly but I mainly head the team's marketing effort.

A large part of my job entails building relationships with lots of potential partners and influencers in relevant industries. This involves a significant amount of cold-calling and emailing. I use ToutApp to hone my email title, messaging, and play with things here and there to increase the response/engagement rate. I love how I can track when and how many times the receiver views the email, clicks the link etc.

As a single in my late 20s, it's super fun working in the dating industry and in a product I absolutely LOVE to use myself! Part of my job entails socializing with many singles in the city at fun events and talking to them about their dating lives :) I feel so lucky to have this job.


Maximize your Sales Responses with Reply Tracking

ToutApp just got a little smarter

It’s always been our goal to give you real-time insight into your daily emails so that you can be more productive. We’ll tell you when someone views your email, clicks on a link, and most recently¬†when a recipient visits your website.

Replies matter

But real conversations aren’t just about tracking. For lack of a better word, they’re about… conversing, the give-and-take of replying back and forth. Having to wait around for your dream customer to respond to your email is frustrating.

That’s why we recently rolled out reply tracking for the vast majority of our users. Now, if a prospect responds to your email, we’ll display this in the Live Feed along with all of our other tracking information.

Here’s a video that shows reply tracking in action:

Right now, reply tracking works for our Gmail and Google Apps users. We’ll be extending this to our other integrations soon. We’re also looking to roll out some cool new features with this technology soon, such as alerting you if an important email does or doesn’t recieve a reply after x days.

Sign up for ToutApp and check out reply tracking today.


Learn Which Leads are Visiting Your Website

Before the days of email tracking, you would send out emails and have no idea what happened to them. It was a complete mystery whether your messages were received, viewed, read, or forwarded to others. That’s why we created ToutApp, a simple way to track and manage your day-to-day sales emails.

Are Your Leads Browsing Your Website?

But there’s always more that can be measured. The people you’re emailing are visiting your corporate website, for instance, and clicking around to visit various pages. We knew it would be helpful for our users if they could see which leads were visiting their site. So we introduced Tout Site Tracking.


Track Site Visits in the Live Feed

If you're a ToutApp user, you're probably already addicted to our Live Feed that shows you when your emails are being viewed or clicked in real-time.

Now, with Tout Site Tracking, we'll show you when visits are happening in real-time as well. We’ll log repeat visits and show which pages your email recipients clicked through to. This helps shed insight on your leads’ behavior so you can craft the perfect follow up… or better yet, call the lead right then and there to help.

Are you using ToutApp?

Along with site tracking, we offer view and click tracking, templates, email analytics, CRM integration, and team collaboration features. Check out ToutApp today to get powerful insights into the actions of the people you’re emailing.

If you have a cool tip or best practice to share about how you make ToutApp work for you, we'd love to hear! Submit your own tip here.