Best Email Tracking Software in 2024 to See Who Opens Your Emails 

email tracking software cover image with a hand holding a smartphone with tracking software

You’ve just wrapped up crafting an important email campaign, one that could really make a difference for your business. 

As you hit the send button, a familiar sense of uncertainty sets in. You find yourself wondering if these carefully crafted emails will even get noticed. It’s a frustrating feeling. 

But what if you could see the impact of your emails in real-time?

This is where email tracking software tools step in. Let’s unpack what they are, how they help you, and how to pick one that fits your needs. 


Table of Contents


What is Email Tracking Software?

Email tracking software is a tool that monitors and records the activity of the emails you send. Its function is to give senders detailed information about how recipients interact with their emails. 

The technology usually works by embedding a tiny, invisible image, called a tracking pixel, into the email. When the recipient opens the email, this pixel gets downloaded, and the server records the details. Some tracking tools notify the sender when the recipient opens the email.

Most email tracking software gives you access to: 

  • Open rates: The percentage of emails opened out of all the emails sent.
  • Click-through rates: The ratio of clicks on links to the number of emails sent.
  • User location: The IP location of the recipient when they open the email.

So, who has the most use for this type of software? Here’s an overview: 

User GroupReason to Use Email Tracking Software 
MarketersAssess the impact of their email campaigns. 
Sales teams Measure client interest. 
Small business owners Gain feedback on email effectiveness.
Individuals Track personal emails for a response. 
Different reasons for using email tracking tools

Best Email Tracking Software

There are plenty of email tracking tools in the market, each with its unique features. Plus, any decent email marketing platform will have its own tracking features. 

If your only purpose is to see who opens your emails, we recommend Mailtrack. It’s simple and inexpensive. Plus, the free version will give you basic tracking functionality, but it includes the company’s branding. 

But if you need other functionalities or want to use email tracking as part of your sales outreach, you need to look for other, more elaborate tools. 

Here’s a brief overview of the best email tracking software in 2024. We’ll review each one in depth later on. 

SoftwareBest Use CaseOur RatingGmailOutlookFree VersionPrice
MailtrackEmail Tracking for Gmail4.8Starting at $5.99 per month
My SignatureGmail Tracking for Small Businesses 4.5$6 per month per user
StreakEmail Tracking and CRM for Gmail4.7Starting at $19 per month 
HubSpot SalesFree Email Tracking Software4.2Starting at $20 per month
MixMaxSales Engagement with Email Tracking4.4Starting at $29 per month
YeswareSales Email Tracking Software4.1Starting at $19 per month 
SaleshandyEmail Tracking Software for Outlook4.4$9 per month
StaffbaseInternal Email Tracking Software4.4Contact for quote
Top email tracking software for different purposes. 

Can You Put a Tracker on an Email?

Yes, you can put a tracker on an email.

This process involves using one or all of these three options: 

  • Tracking pixels: Invisible images that record when an email is opened.
  • Link tracking: Special URLs that track when a recipient clicks on a link in the email before redirecting to the intended URL. 
  • Read receipts: A request sent with the email that asks the recipient to acknowledge they have read the email. Different email clients implement this feature in different ways and some don’t support it. 

You usually can’t add a tracker to an email manually. That’s because you need to configure the email server to detect your tracking method and act accordingly. 

But there are plugins and tools for almost all platforms. We’ll list out some of the most popular ones later on. 

Sometimes, tracking an email isn’t a smart choice, though. There should be a balance between the need for information and respect for privacy. So, before adding a tracker to an email, consider why you want to do it and whether it’s necessary. 


Can You Track an Email After It Has Been Sent?

You can’t track an email after you send it. You need to set up the tracking beforehand, since email tracking works through pre-embedded trackers. 

Whether you use a tracking pixel or a read receipt, you can’t modify the email content once it leaves your outbox. 

While some email services, like Gmail, let you undo your emails for a short period (30 seconds max), email technology isn’t designed to provide an editing feature. That’s because your email isn’t stored on a server beyond your reach. 


Benefits of Email Tracking Tools

Email tracking tools sharpen your email marketing strategies and enhance your communication with clients. Let’s explore their most important benefits in detail.

Benefits of email tracking software
Overview of the benefits of email tracking software. 

Know if Your Emails Land in the Inbox

Email tracking lets you monitor your deliverability rates. You’ll know if your emails are reaching the inbox or if they’re landing in the spam folder. 

If you see low open rates, maybe your emails aren’t landing in front of your audience. Advanced tracking software isn’t limited to open rates, though. You can analyze your spam complaints, unsubscribe rates, delivery rates, and more to monitor your overall deliverability. 

Once you identify the cause, you can adjust your approach, test different solutions, and track the change in deliverability. 


See Who Opens Your Emails and When

Email tracking assigns unique IDs to each email you send. So, you can see exactly who opens each email and when. 

This feature especially comes in handy for sales teams. You can identify which potential clients are showing interest in your message so that you can send targeted follow-ups. Cold outreach teams can also benefit from this feature, but at Campaign Refinery, we’re completely against cold email

Of course, legitimate tracking platforms give your aggregate data or remove information that might reveal the recipient’s identity. And, as a responsible sender, anonymized information should be enough to help you understand your audience. 


Run Effective Email Campaigns

You can use your tracking data to amp up your email campaigns. Say your tracking tool shows a high open rate but low click-throughs. This could mean your subject lines are catchy, but the email content isn’t driving action.

Try more compelling call-to-actions or clearer links. Run A/B tests with different email versions. For example, one has a bold button for a call-to-action, and another uses a hyperlinked sentence. Compare the results and keep refining. 

With these tweaks, you can optimize your emails for engagement and boost your campaign metrics


Pinpoint the Perfect Send Times

Tracking tools show you when your emails get the most attention. 

Let’s consider an example: You send a batch of promotional emails and, thanks to tracking, you can see that half your list opened them within the first hour. You can use this insight to spot patterns — maybe most opens happen on Tuesday mornings or right after lunch breaks. 

This way, you can find the best time to send your next campaign at the right time to boost your chances of getting noticed.


Send Perfect Follow-Ups

Creating follow-up emails can feel like a tightrope walk — you want to be persistent without being pushy. Email tracking can be your guide here. 

When you keep an eye on how recipients interact with your emails, you get a clear picture of their interest levels. 

For example, consider someone who opens your email multiple times without taking action. They might need more information or a gentle nudge. You can address potential questions or highlight key points they might have missed.

On the other hand, if your initial email doesn’t get opened, it might be time to switch tactics. Maybe try a new subject line or send the follow-up at a different time of day.


Personalize Your Emails

Personalization is the secret to making your emails stand out in a crowded inbox. The goal is to make each recipient feel that your email was crafted just for them.

Every time someone interacts with your email, they give you a clue about what captures their interest.

Use this data to shape your content and write emails that capture attention. If storytelling hooks your audience, weave more into your emails. If subscribers interact with your product updates, send more of those. And if detailed updates are a flop, keep them short and sweet. 


Mailtrack: Email Tracking Software for Gmail

Mailtrack is a user-friendly Gmail plugin to track emails, although it supports Outlook, too. According to the company, the plugin is GDPR-compliant and audited by Google. 

You have to install the plugin from the Chrome Web Store and connect it to your gmail account. It seamlessly fits into the Gmail interface, almost as if it was a native feature. You can view reports, run campaigns, and change your settings. 

The plugin also adds a button to the compose screen to let you control tracking settings for individual emails. You’ll get a notification as soon as the recipient opens your email. 

Pros

  • Real-time read receipt notifications.
  • Link tracking in emails.
  • Tracking pixel detector. 
  • Affordable pricing structure.

Cons

  • Limited to Gmail and Outlook users.
  • The free version includes a Mailtrack signature.
  • Lacks advanced analytics and CRM functionalities.
  • Not suitable for large businesses looking for in-depth email campaign analysis.

Pricing

Mailtrack operates on a freemium model. The free version offers unlimited email tracking, but includes the Mailtrack signature in your emails. 

For a more professional look, they offer a Pro version which removes the signature and adds features like link tracking and campaigns. The cost is relatively affordable, so it’s a great option for users on a budget.

mailtrack Pricing Options
Mailtrack Pricing Options

My Signature: Gmail Tracking Plugin for Small Businesses and Freelancers

As the name suggests, My Signature’s primary goal is to help you generate on-brand email signatures. But the signature doubles as a tracking pixel. It lets you track email opens and interactions. So, it’s a great option for freelancers and small businesses who want to promote themselves while also tracking their emails. 

To use My Signature, you need to install its Gmail plugin to get real-time notifications when someone opens your emails or clicks on a link in your content. 

Pros

  • GDPR-compliant. 
  • Affordable pricing for the paid plans. 
  • Easy to use interface with intuitive settings. 

Cons

  • Limited analytical capabilities. 
  • Tracking features are only available to paid users. 
  • The signature might have a slight impact on deliverability.  

Pricing

My Signature doesn’t offer email tracking with its free tier. You can only choose one of the handful of free templates for your signature. If you upgrade to the Pro Plus plan, you get to use the tracking capabilities.

The plan costs $6 per month per user and gives you access to additional addons, templates, and analytics. It also removes My Signature’s branding from your emails. 

My signature Pricing Options
My Signature Pricing Options

Streak: Email Tracking and CRM for Gmail

Streak offers a unique approach to email tracking and customer relationship management directly from Gmail. 

It adds a button to the Compose window in Gmail. This way, you can control which emails you want to track. Like most tools on our list, Streak sends a desktop notification when a recipient opens your email. 

Another cool feature in the free version is the ability to create snippets. This is helpful if your emails contain repetitive information. You can quickly send similar emails without typing or copy/pasting the same information multiple times. 

Streak also gives you a dashboard to view all your tracked emails in chronological order. So, you can follow up individual emails based on when they were opened. 

Pros

  • Additional functionality other than email tracking. 
  • Extensive educational resources. 
  • Plenty of email templates for different purposes, such as project management, prospecting, and customer support. 

Cons

  • Limited to Gmail users.
  • Advanced features and customization options are only available in higher-tier plans.
  • Some users find the CRM functionalities in an email interface overwhelming or cluttered.

Pricing

Streak offers a five-tier pricing model that includes a free tier and a 14-day free trial for its paid plans. The email tracking feature is available in all the plans. But if you want link tracking, too, you’ll have to upgrade to a higher plan. 

The higher plans also include higher caps on the number of contacts, advanced CRM features, AI assistance, and team collaboration features. 

Streak Pricing Options
Streak Pricing Options

MixMax: A Sales Engagement Platform with Email Tracking

MixMax is an email-based sales engagement tool that lets you unify your email interactions with various prospects. It comes with sequencing features that help you follow up with prospects efficiently. 

It also features an email tracking tool that notifies you when each recipient opens your email. You can integrate the feature with Slack, so that you’re not limited to desktop notifications. 

What makes MixMax more powerful than many other competitors is the reporting features. You can pinpoint which content generates the most opens, clicks, and conversions. Plus, you can embed dynamic content, such as polls and surveys in your emails. 

However, MixMax is overkill if you’re a one-man team. It’s designed to simplify sales engagement tasks for teams. And the price is higher than other platforms on this list. 

Pros

  • Email templates to increase efficiency. 
  • AI assistant for content creation and personalization. 
  • Extensive integrations and team collaboration features. 

Cons

  • Geared toward sales teams. 
  • More expensive than other email tracking tools. 
  • Steep learning curve because of all the features. 

Pricing

MixMax’s pricing is on the confusing side. The good news is that basic email tracking is included in the free tier. But to get the most out of it with integrations, you’ll need to sign up for the Growth plan. 

The plan costs $65 per month and gives you access to the other features, such as the AI assistant, email sequencing, and custom branding. You can save up to 25 percent by committing annually. 

MixMax Pricing Options
MixMax Pricing Options

Yesware: Sales Email Tracking Software

Yesware is a comprehensive email tracking and outreach tool for sales teams. You can schedule, send, and track a high number of emails. It keeps you on track with your outreach and reminds you when you need to re-engage prospects. 

In terms of tracking, Yesware tells you when someone opens an email, clicks on a link, or downloads an attachment. It integrates with both Gmail and Outlook, giving you an interactive sidebar with aggregate and email-specific data. 

Yesware also offers tools for team members to stay organized and synchronize their tasks. 

But Yesware does have a few limitations. For one, integrating it into your existing CRM system can be challenging. So, if your operations are CRM-heavy, you should look for another tool. What’s more, the meetings feature is supposed to simplify meetings, but it isn’t as intuitive or effective as specialized tools. 

Pros

  • Integrates with Gmail and Outlook. 
  • Handles large email volumes efficiently. 
  • Comprehensive tracking capabilities.
  • Extensive learning resources. 

Cons

  • Challenges in integrating with existing CRM systems.
  • The meetings feature may not be as effective as other tools.
  • More expensive than simpler tracking tools, especially at higher tiers.

Pricing

Yesware’s pricing is complicated. There are five tiers with progressively more features and higher costs. The free plan gives you basic email open and attachment tracking and 10 campaign recipients per month. Free users can’t remove Yesware’s branding from their emails

When you upgrade to a paid plan, you get unlimited tracking and a higher cap on your monthly campaigns. And if you’re part of a scaling sales team, the Premium plan gives you additional features like team reporting. 

Yesware Pricing Options
Yesware Pricing Options

Saleshandy: Email Tracking Software for Outlook

Saleshandy is an email tracking and automation tool for sales professionals. But it also has a dedicated email tracking plugin for Outlook. 

Although Outlook already has a feature for read receipts, Saleshandy’s plugin gives you extra functionality: You can see how many times each user opens each email. 

The plugin supports real-time email tracking, which notifies you on your desktop when the recipient opens your email. You can also configure it to track every time a user clicks on each link in your email. 

If you’re a premium Saleshandy user, this integration with Outlook streamlines your processes. 

Pros

  • Supports Gmail in addition to Outlook. 
  • Integrates with Saleshandy’s main platform. 
  • Improves Outlook’s existing functionalities. 

Cons

  • Doesn’t support attachment tracking. 
  • Requires paying a separate subscription. 
  • Only supports Windows, so Mac users need to look for another option. 

Pricing

The Outlook plugin is sold as a separate subscription. So, you’ll have to pay twice if you also want to use Saleshandy’s platform for sales outreach. 

But the good news is that there’s only one tier, which means you won’t have to make hard decisions. 

Saleshandy plugin Pricing Options
Saleshandy plugin for Outlook Pricing Options

Staffbase: Internal Email Tracking Software

Staffbase (formerly known as BananaTag) is an internal communications and email tracking platform for large organizations. It takes an email marketing approach to internal emails.

The platform lets you: 

  • Create list segments based on employee attributes like department and location. 
  • Create campaigns and design newsletters using a drag-and-drop editor. 
  • Track analytics, including open rates. 

Staffbase integrates with Office 365. This feature is excellent for companies that use SharePoint, Outlook, or other Microsoft products. 

Pros

  • Efficient at handling large email lists. 
  • Team coordination features. 
  • Extensive educational resources. 
  • Mobile and desktop synchronization. 

Cons

  • Doesn’t list prices on the website. 
  • Specialized tool for large organizations. 
  • Focused on internal communications only. 
  • Complex features with a steep learning curve. 

Pricing

Staffbase doesn’t list actual prices on their website. You need to contact their sales department to get a personalized quote. 

They offer different subscriptions for different products: 

  • Employee app: A branded mobile app for employees to receive emails, create forms, and chat with each other. There are three pricing tiers. 
  • Intranet: A branded desktop application with CMS, analytics, and automatic translation features. This one also comes in three tiers. 
  • Internal employee email: A set of email tools for internal communication, including real-time collaboration, templates, a drag-and-drop designer, and tracking. The company offers two tiers for this product. 
Staffbase Pricing Options
Staffbase Pricing for the employee email platform

How to Choose an Email Tracking Tool

When choosing email tracking software, you need to go through a detailed process to analyze different aspects of your choice.


Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you decide: 

  1. Identify what you want from email tracking: Start by listing your goals. Do you want to check your open rates, measure your clicks, or understand your audience better? Knowing the answer will help you find a tool that matches your needs.
  2. Check your current email service provider: Before hunting for new tools, see what your existing email provider offers. Many have built-in tracking features. They might be enough for what you need. You might end up saving a lot of time and some money. 
  3. Make sure it works with your tools: If you decide to use a third-party tracking tool, make sure it fits seamlessly into your current setup. It should work with your email platform and other marketing tools to keep everything running smoothly.
  4. Check if it can grow with your business: Your email workflow will get more complicated as you grow and adopt various email list management practices. The tool should scale up for performance and offer more features as you bring on more subscribers. 
  5. Look for analytics and reporting dashboards: You need to see how your campaigns perform and how your efforts improve your performance across campaigns and over time. 
  6. Make sure it respects privacy laws: Any software you end up choosing must follow privacy regulations like GDPR and CCPA. This protects your recipients’’ privacy and keeps your business on the right side of the law.
  7. Check the price and payment structure: Look at how much the tool costs and how it charges you. Some tools might have a fixed monthly or yearly subscription, while others could charge based on the volume of emails or the number of features you use. 
  8. Look for good customer support: Choose a tool that offers strong support. Helpful guides, responsive customer service, and clear tutorials can make a big difference, especially when dealing with complex data.

Email Tracking Limitations

Email tracking tools are powerful, but they’re not flawless. As a sender, you need to understand that a few factors can influence tracking data’s accuracy and reliability. 

Here’s an overview before we get into the details: 

LimitationHowImpactSolutions
User SettingsRecipient doesn’t enable imagesEmail open won’t be recordedInclude text to encourage enabling images.
Accuracy concernsAutomatic email opening by privacy tools or false opens.Inflated open rates and inaccurate tracking data.Cross-reference with other metrics like click-throughs.
Privacy and legal boundariesRecipients may view tracking as a privacy invasion. Potential legal issues and loss of recipient trust.Be transparent, obtain consent, adhere to privacy laws.
Quantitative vs. qualitative dataReliance on quantitative data without qualitative insights.Incomplete understanding of audience engagement.Complement with qualitative feedback like surveys or direct replies.
Overview of the most common limitations with email tracking tools

User Settings

Email tracking depends heavily on how recipients interact with your email. For example, if they don’t enable images in their email settings, your tracking pixel won’t load, and you won’t know if the recipient opened your email. 

To mitigate this, you might include enticing text content near images to encourage the recipient to enable image viewing. But, ultimately, user behavior is out of your control and can impact your tracking accuracy.


Accuracy Concerns

Tracking isn’t always spot-on. Besides user settings, privacy and security tools automatically open emails to check for spam. This can register a false open — the tracking pixel loads but the user doesn’t actually open the email. Apple’s privacy protection mechanism is notorious for inflating open rates. 

Plus, some email clients or security firewalls block tracking pixels or links. So, even if your recipient opens the email, it might not register in your tracking data.

You need to take these scenarios into account. Don’t take the data at face value. Cross-reference your tracking data with other metrics, like responses or click-throughs, for a more accurate picture.


Your recipients might view tracking as an invasion of their privacy. That’s why you should always be transparent about what you track and how. Explain everything in your terms of service and obtain explicit consent. 

This way, you’ll build trust with your audience, and you’ll stay on the right side of the law. Some jurisdictions have strict laws about recording user data, such as the GDPR in Europe or the California Consumer Privacy Act. 


Quantitative Data with Qualitative Insights

It’s easy to get caught up in numbers — opens, clicks, etc. But these metrics don’t tell the whole story. A low open rate doesn’t always mean a lack of interest from your audience. Perhaps the email landed in the spam folder, or your personalization strategy didn’t work the way you intended. 

You need to complement quantitative insights with qualitative feedback like surveys or direct replies to get a fuller understanding of your audience’s engagement.


How To Prevent Software From Tracking Me When I Open Email

Recipients use various methods to maintain their privacy, which can impact the accuracy and effectiveness of your tracking efforts. Understanding these challenges is key to adapting your email strategies and ensuring you still gather useful data. 

Here’s a list of some common situations you might encounter:

  • Disable image loading: When recipients turn off automatic image loading, your tracking pixel won’t load. To work around this, craft compelling text content and encourage your recipients to enable images.
  • Privacy-focused email clients: Some recipients use email clients with strong privacy features, which can automatically block images. That means your tracking pixel won’t load, and the open won’t register. In these situations, you can track other engagement metrics like replies or direct clicks on your website. 
  • VPNs: VPNs can skew your location tracking data since they mask the user’s real IP address. Be cautious when interpreting location data. Focus on broader trends in engagement rather than specific location data to understand your audience better.
  • Anti-tracking extensions: More and more users rely on browser extensions that identify and block tracking pixels without blocking other images in emails. To adapt, diversify how you measure engagement. Use conversion tracking and website analytics to learn more about your audience. 

Optimize Your Email Campaigns with Precision Tracking and Intuitive Analytics

At Campaign Refinery, we’re committed to delivering tangible results for our clients. Every email sent from our platform is meticulously tracked, giving you deep insights into recipient interactions. 

But we go beyond basic tracking and numbers, though. We’re meticulous about how we define and measure metrics so that they reflect the real impact of your campaigns. Our approach transforms raw data into meaningful insights, ensuring you see the complete picture, not just numbers.

We believe understanding campaign performance should be clear and direct. Our intuitive user interface makes it easy to grasp complex metrics quickly and effortlessly. 

With Campaign Refinery, you gain the power to create, track and optimize your email campaigns effectively. 

Apply to join our platform, and let’s achieve excellence in your email marketing.

Similar Posts