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Email tracking in Gmail: Full guide with steps and tools

Master email tracking in Gmail and learn how to effectively track emails with Mailbutler. Check out this easy-to-follow guide here.

First published

04.10.2023

Last edited

14.05.2024

Read time

9 minutes


    By James

    James has seven years' experience as a Content Marketer, bylines on Left Foot Forward, Submittable, and INOMICS, and a Master's in History. In his free time he likes to read, play guitar, and write for his personal blog.

    Email tracking is a way to check if emails you've sent have been opened. It uses certain software or tools, usually built into email clients like Gmail, to provide this information.

    With these tools, you're able to know whether the recipient has opened your email or not, and sometimes, when and where they did so.

    In essence, email tracking works by including a small, invisible tracking pixel, or a line of code, in an outgoing email. When the recipient opens the email, the pixel is downloaded, which sends a notification back to the sender, indicating that the email has been opened.

    Why is email tracking important in Gmail? 

    • Enhanced User Experience: With email tracking, users can verify if their emails are not only received but also opened and read. This adds a level of transparency and certainty to the communication process, improving users' experience.
    • Better Communication Management: By knowing when recipients read their emails, senders can plan their follow-up correspondences more efficiently, ensuring that important messages do not remain unnoticed.
    • Useful for Professional Contexts: In business environments, email tracking can be a crucial feature. Businesses can monitor the status of their proposals, quotations, or promotional emails sent to clients and prospects, determining the effectiveness of their communication strategies.
    • Increases Accountability: In scenarios where crucial information is delivered via email, tracking can provide proof of receipt and reading, helping to increase accountability and prevent misunderstandings or miscommunications.

    Setting up email tracking for Gmail 

    Email tracking for Gmail can be achieved through various solutions, primarily categorized into browser extensions and third-party applications.

    The following steps will guide you on how to install an email tracker extension for Gmail:

    Installing the Mailbutler extension 

    You need to begin by installing the best email tracker for Gmail such as Mailbutler. This can be done by: heading over to your Google Chrome Web Store, searching for the Mailbutler extension, and clicking the "Add to Chrome" button to install.

    • Go to Mailbutler's Get Started page. Or download it here directly from the Gmail Chrome Store.
    • Click Add Extension.
    • You will be redirected to Gmail.
    • Click on the Mailbutler icon to open the Mailbutler Sidebar.Mailbutler in Gmail
    • In the Mailbutler sidebar, click Start using Mailbutler.
      Start using Mailbutler Gmail tracking
    • In the new window that opens, enter your email address and set a password for your Mailbutler account, then tick the box next to Accept terms & conditions and click Sign up.
    • In the Mailbutler sidebar, click Allow access.Allow MB access
    • Log in with your Google account and click Allow.

    You are all set and you can now start using Mailbutler's email tracking features in Gmail!

    Check if Mailbutler is installed

    Mailbutler is correctly installed in Gmail if you see these new buttons added:

    • your Inbox view:

    Mailbutler features in Gmail

    Other Gmail email tracking tools

    1. HubSpot email tracking

    HubSpot email tracking

    HubSpot offers email tracking software that provides actionable insights on a lead's email behavior, allowing users to personalize outreach and close more deals faster.

    Key Features:

    • Real-Time Notifications: Users receive notifications as soon as someone opens their emails.
    • Detailed Analytics: It provides a complete view of a prospect's interactions with your emails.
    • Multi-Platform Support: Send tracked emails from Gmail, Outlook, or directly from HubSpot.
    • Integration: Connects seamlessly with Gmail, Google Workspace, Outlook, and Office 365.
    • Document Tracking: Allows tracking of document downloads by leads.

    Pricing:

    HubSpot offers email tracking software, with additional features available in their Sales Hub. For more detailed pricing information, you can visit their pricing page.

    2. Streak email tracking

    Streak email tracking

    Streak offers an email tracking solution that integrates seamlessly with Gmail, allowing users to know when their emails are viewed. It is designed to be user-friendly, enabling users to send their first tracked email in 30 seconds right from Gmail.

    Key Features:

    • Immediate Notifications: Users get notified with a browser or email notification as soon as the recipient opens the email.
    • Single-Click Toggle: Users can turn email tracking on or off with a simple toggle right in the Gmail compose window.
    • Organized List of Tracked Emails: Allows users to see all their tracked emails in chronological order, knowing exactly who to follow up with next.

    Pricing:

    Streak offers various pricing plans to cater to individual needs and business requirements, each providing a set of features designed to optimize email tracking and management in Gmail.

    Related post: Trace an email

    3. Mixmax email tracking

    Mixmax email tracking

    Mixmax is a sales engagement platform designed for Gmail, allowing users to track, automate cold outreach, and create workflows to engage more customers and close more deals. It is built to empower the entire revenue team to generate and close more revenue efficiently.

    Key Features:

    • Personalized Sequences: Users can build personalized sequences across email, phone, and social media to boost response rates.
    • Real-Time Updates: Offers real-time updates on prospect activity, allowing users to monitor real-time email opens, clicks, and engagement.
    • Automate Repetitive Work: Users can create powerful rules to manage Salesforce updates, sequence enrollment, and hand-offs between departments.
    • Interactive Dashboards: Provides interactive dashboards to track which sequences and team members get the most engagement.
    • One-Click Scheduling: Allows prospects to book meetings easily, reducing the time spent on coordinating meetings.

    Pricing:

    Mixmax offers a free trial, and for more detailed pricing information, you can visit their pricing page.

    4. Gmelius email tracking

    Gmelius email tracking

    Gmelius is a leading email automation and collaboration software built for Gmail and Google Workspace, designed to reinvent your workday by providing real-time visibility on workload, super-fast email processing capabilities, and flawless collaboration without leaving Gmail.

    Note: Email tracking has been discontinued and is not available for new Gmelius users due to new data protection laws (e.g., GDPR).

    Key Features:

    • Shared Inboxes: Convert any email into a Gmelius shared inbox and let your teammates manage this shared email from their own Gmail inbox.
    • Helpdesk Integration: Turns Gmail into a helpdesk and lets your whole company de-silo customer interactions.
    • 2-Way Integrations: Offers 2-way integrations with your other tools, allowing discussions of emails with the right stakeholders inside Gmail.
    • Automated Workflows: Integrates with your tech stack and lets you automate workflows, turning Gmail into a collaborative workspace.
    • Visibility and Ownership: Provides complete visibility on your team’s workload and clear ownership of tasks, allowing monitoring and management of all your company's emails from any teammate's account.

    Pricing:

    Gmelius offers a 7-day free trial with no credit card required. For more detailed pricing information, you can visit their pricing page.

    5. GMass email tracking

    GMass email tracking

    GMass is an email marketing tool that integrates seamlessly with Gmail, allowing users to send mass emails and mail merge campaigns directly from their Gmail accounts. It is designed to maximize engagement and deliverability, ensuring that your emails hit the inbox, not the spam folder.

    Key Features:

    • Mail Merge with Google Sheets: GMass can read data live from any Google Sheet and even monitor for new rows to send emails automatically.
    • Email Reporting Analytics: It provides campaign-level reports showing how many people opened, clicked, replied, and bounced.
    • Personalization: Connect to a Google Sheet and personalize with any column, or use basic first and last name personalization without a spreadsheet.
    • Automatic Follow-up Emails: Set automatic follow-up emails to send in a sequence until your recipient replies, boosting response rates.
    • Schedule Mass Emails and Mail Merges: Schedule a mail merge for any time in the future, or set it to repeat daily or hourly.
    • Behavior-based Campaigns: Send to a segment of a prior campaign, like everyone who opened the last campaign, or everyone who didn't click the last campaign.
    • Reply Management: Emails received in response to a mass email, including replies and bounces, are automatically categorized, preventing Inbox clutter.
    • Email List Builder: Find email addresses deep inside your Gmail account just by searching.

    Pricing:

    GMass offers a free trial, but for more detailed pricing information, you can visit their pricing page.

    You may be interested in: Read receipt Gmail

    Considerations for choosing email tracking software in Gmail

    When selecting an email tracking software like Mailbutler, it is crucial to consider various factors to ensure that the tool meets your requirements and adheres to ethical standards.

    • Privacy Concerns

    Evaluate the privacy policies of the email tracking solution to ensure that the collected data is handled responsibly and that the privacy of the email recipients is respected. Mailbutler prioritizes user privacy and adheres to stringent data protection standards.

    • Accuracy

    The accuracy of the tracking tool is vital for obtaining reliable insights into email interactions. Mailbutler is renowned for its precise tracking features, providing users with accurate and timely information on when their emails are opened and read.

    Strategies for using email tracking with Gmail

    Monitor Link Clicks: Enable link tracking to track which links in your emails are being clicked. This allows you to gauge recipient engagement, understand their interests, and optimize your email content accordingly.

    Use Real-Time Notifications: Set up real-time notifications to receive instant alerts when recipients interact with your emails. This enables you to promptly follow up with interested leads or identify the best time to reach out.

    Utilize Email Scheduling: Email tracking in Gmail allows you to schedule emails to be sent at a later date or time. This ensures that your emails reach recipients at the most opportune moment for maximum impact.

    Implement Personalized Emails: By tracking recipient behaviors, you can create personalized emails tailored to their interests. This increases the likelihood of engagement and boosts response rates.

    Gmail email tracking dashboard

    Real-life examples of experts using email tracking

    Experts across various industries use email tracking to optimize their communication and marketing strategies. Steve Anderson, CEO at Junk Yard Near Me, uses it to identify consumer behavior trends, enabling more tailored and responsive campaigns.

    Elice Max, Co-owner and marketing director of EMUCoupon, relies on tracking data to refine email marketing strategies and enhance open rates.

    In recruitment, Linda Shaffer, chief people operations officer at Checkr, employs email tracking to monitor candidate engagement and optimize the hiring process, she even combines it with Gmail labels for easier categorization.

    Tim White, Founder of Milepro, uses it to assess the effectiveness of affiliate links in the content, crucial for revenue generation.

    And, Angus Chang, co-founder and director of Iupilon, leverages email tracking to align email content with customer interests and preferences, enhancing engagement and response rates.

    Tracking emails in Gmail FAQs

    How does Mailbutler’s email tracking work with privacy protection?

    Mailbutler's email tracking feature still works even with Privacy Protection enabled. The only difference is that the country and device may not show. However, times, dates, and a general geographical location will still be available.

    How do I turn on email tracking in Gmail?

    To turn on email tracking in Gmail, you can use third-party solutions like Mailbutler, which integrate seamlessly with Gmail to allow you to track emails effectively. Here’s a simplified guide on how to track emails in Gmail using Mailbutler:

    • Install the Mailbutler extension from the Google Chrome Web Store.
    • Go to Mailbutler's Get Started page and click Add Extension.
    • Once redirected to Gmail, click on the Mailbutler icon to open the Mailbutler Sidebar and start using Mailbutler’s features in Gmail.

    Does Google offer email tracking?

    Google itself does not offer built-in email tracking features within Gmail. However, there are numerous third-party tools and extensions available that integrate with Gmail, allowing users to track email opens, link clicks, and more. So, while you can track emails in Gmail, it requires the use of additional tools like Mailbutler to enable this functionality.

    How do I stop email tracking in Gmail?

    To stop email tracking in Gmail, you can follow these steps:

    For Gmail Website:

    • Open Gmail and click the Settings gear icon.
    • Click on See all settings in the Quick settings panel.
    • In the General tab, find the Images section and select the Ask before displaying external images option.
    • Click Save changes at the bottom.

    For Gmail Mobile App (Android and iOS):

    • Open the Gmail app and go to Settings.
    • Select the email account you want to configure.
    • In the Images section, choose Ask before displaying external images.

    Summary

    Email tracking is a crucial tool for optimizing email communication strategies, and Mailbutler is considered to be a top choice based on the ratings. By choosing Mailbutler, users can ensure responsible use of email tracking, enhancing their Gmail experience while respecting recipient privacy and consent.

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