(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – If you think that by ignoring read receipts you’ve eliminated the possibility that emails sent to you from Outlook are being tracked, you need to think again.
In fact, a new tool from Toronto-based ContactMonkey lets users send emails from Outlook and track opens, clicks and a whole lot more without recipients even having a clue.
Unlike the read receipt system, with ContactMonkey’s Outlook integration, recipients can’t tell that their email activity is being tracked and they certainly can’t prevent it from happening.
This means that when someone replies with “sorry – I’m out of town” or “sorry I didn’t see this message sooner,” senders will know if this is in fact true.
Traditionally, Outlook has offered users its “read receipt” system, and it’s an incredibly cumbersome mechanism — not to mention how easy it is to foil. For as long as people have been using Outlook and read receipts to track their emails, cautious and privacy-focused recipients have been able to read their emails and bypass the read receipt system entirely. http://email.about.com/od/outlooktips/qt/et_ignore_rec.htm
ContactMonkey’s system, now available for Outlook, tracks emails without notifying recipients and offers a built-in always-on sidebar for the user that shows most recently-opened emails with detailed information on how many times an email has been opened, what email client or mobile device was used as well as where in the world the email was read.
In addition to email tracking, ContactMonkey gives its own insight on how your recipients are interacting with your message. If someone has opened your email multiple times and has clicked through your links, the system determines that they are most interested in working with you and are your most promising prospects.
Though this system has ruffled a few feathers, it’s an incredibly valuable tool for those who rely on timely information, or those who just want to keep tabs on their e-mail communication. The company has targeted sales people, PR professionals and job seekers, but with free integration into Gmail and Outlook, adoption is growing and people are increasingly tracking their daily emails.
According to the company, this plugin brings technology that’s been available to email marketers for years, to individual users.