Here’s how to bring “read receipts” to email

We’re all familiar with the ominous read receipt. There’s the Facebook message, which your friend saw, but didn’t reply to, or that iMessage, which was sent 3 hours ago, seen, and ignored. That left us wondering recently, can people (PR agents in particular) know when we’ve read their emails?

It turns out they can very easily!

[Tweet “Here’s how to tell if someone has read your email message. “]

We’ve even come across two solutions that work on our devices (we’re all Apple here ate NZE), one that tracks emails by simply appending a few letters to the unsuspecting addressee’s email address.

Bananatag, the best solution we’ve seen so far, is  a very well-designed, intuitive service that is free for 5 emails per day, $5 per month for 100 emails, and $10 per month for 200. The paid versions offer in-depth analysis, reports, team functionality, and detailed notifications. The free version offers basic, but definitely adequate, notifications, and full metrics.

After you’ve signed up, there are Google Chrome and Firefox plugins that can allow you to track an email with a click of a button, but the easiest way to track specific emails is to append to the end of any email address.

For example, if I wanted to track an email I am going to send to NZE co-founder Jose Mathias (sorry Jose!),, I’d write his email as When he opens the email I sent him, I’ll get an email notification and be able to see how many times it was opened and what links he clicked on, etc.

For iOS, there is a great and free new app called Mailtracker which will automatically append a tracking pixel to all emails sent from your device. This one is exceptionally useful because it integrates seamlessly with the existing email app on iDevices, essentially adding read receipts and analytics to Mail.


It is currently free for two email addresses, and an Android version of the app is reportedly in the works. Unfortunately, there is no desktop version as of yet, but the app’s developers are looking for anyone interested in developing their API for desktop availability.

If I had to choose between the two services, I’d say Bananatag any day. Firstly, I wouldn’t want to track all emails, just the ultra-important, time sensitive ones. Secondly, Bananatag can be used on any device and on any platform simply by appending to the end of the email address. Thirdly, I love the name! Bananatag hehe.

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