e-mail tracker

(redirected from Email tracking)
Also found in: Wikipedia.

e-mail tracker

A service that automatically notifies the sender that an e-mail message was previewed or opened by the user. When users send mail from their e-mail clients, they can request read receipts (return receipts) from the recipient, but the recipient has to oblige that request. On the other hand, e-mail trackers do not rely on the recipient's cooperation and automatically send a response. Some services silently return the receipt, while others place a note at the bottom of the message indicating a receipt was sent.

The read receipt indicates the time the message was previewed or opened, as well as possibly the location of the recipient's computer and the duration the message was kept open. See read receipt.

A Web Bug Does the Trick
The tracker software in the user's machine inserts a Web bug into the message, which is an invisible GIF with a unique name obtained from the tracker's server. When the recipient previews or opens the message, the GIF is downloaded from the tracker's server, which reads the name and notifies the sender. If mail was relayed to a text-only, handheld device, the Web bug will not work because the e-mail must be displayed via HTML and be online to the Internet. See Web bug.

Two Tracking Methods
The first method requires a software installation in the user's machine; either a plug-in for Outlook or a program that resides in the background for other e-mail clients. When messages are sent, only the unique GIF names are downloaded from the tracker's servers. However, this method generally does not work when a Web browser is the e-mail client.

The second way is to route the message through the tracker's server by adding a suffix to the address. This method works with any computer and any e-mail client or Web browser. For example, the user would modify the address from "jane_doe@xyz.com" to "jane_doe@xyz.com.didtheyreadit.com" and the message would go to the DidTheyReadIt server, which inserts the bug.

Examples of e-mail tracker services are DidTheyReadIt (www.didtheyreadit.com), MSGTAG (www.msgtag.com) and ReadNotify (www.readnotify.com).

A Tracker Notification
This response came from the DidTheyReadIt e-mail tracking service (www.didtheyreadit.com). It was sent back to the sender to inform him that the recipient had opened the mail.
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.
References in periodicals archive ?
With the use of 2 Way Calendar Sync, email tracking, and email contact sync, users will save time and increase productivity.
Last week I wrote about the recent ethics opinion out of Illinois, Opinion 18-01, wherein Illinois joined Alaska and New York in concluding that it is unethical for lawyers to use email tracking software.
The 250ok platform powers advanced analytics for email tracking, deliverability, design, DMARC and engagement to power a large and growing number of enterprise email programs ranging from clients like Adobe, eHarmony, Furniture Row and Marketo who depend on 250ok to cut through big data noise and provide actionable, real-time analytics to maximize email performance.
MailChimp, in particular, has some amazing email tracking and reporting tools if you want to get fancy with it.
Claim to fame Paul Everton is the founder and CEO of MailControl, an anti-spymail solution that detects and removes email tracking code from emails before they are delivered to user inboxes.
Forrester's Email Marketing Review (EMR) scores companies on their email tracking and found that across all industries, marketers understand basic, but not advanced, email marketing practices.
"They allow you to deliver a session-oriented Web experience." Cookies are also useful for email tracking, preventing duplicate responses to surveys and such, and for Web traffic analysis, he said.
From their offices, customers have access to live test tracking that allows them to view evaluation services and receive up-to-date radiation values on the company's secure, password protected web site; requests for quotations via the firm's web site with prompt quotes via email; a complementary digital photo of their specimens on the exposure rack sent with their acknowledgement letter; evaluation reports in .xls spreadsheets and all other reports in .pdf format sent to their email; past evaluation reports through a secure area of the company's web site; and automatic email tracking information on return tests sent via Federal Express or LIPS.
"Oh and the Sultan of Brunei is testing his new email tracking device and will send you a huge ruby and a new car for every person that you forward his e mail to.
Other issues revolve around the use of tools designed to enhance the functionality of email, such as email tracking. I last wrote about the ethics of the use of email tracking software by lawyers in December 2016, after the Alaska Bar Association Ethics Committee concluded in Opinion 2016-1 (online: https://alaskabar.org/wp-content/uploads/2016-1.pdf ) that even if the use of email tracking software is disclosed, its application to emails sent to opposing counsel is ultimately both dishonest and unethical.