Who is Opening My Email?

Emails are so internally woven into our professional lives today, that we cannot help but wonder how workplaces functioned before emails were invented. Professionals from the Customer Success department especially rely heavily on emails for carrying out communication with customers.

But, there is one question that remains a concern: Who is ACTUALLY opening my email? As a Customer Success Manager (CSM), have you also been trying to answer this question? If so, this article will provide you some insight. Specifically, the article will cover why tracking your emails is important, the various tools that you can use, and ultimately how you can benefit from tracking emails.

Importance of Tracking Emails

To begin with, why should you track your emails?

  • Maintains a healthy CRM (Customer Relationship Management) – It is annoying for a customer to receive two emails, one which actually communicates the message and another that follows to confirm if they have received the previous email. Having a ‘secret’ tool at your disposal that informs you whether the receiver has received and read your email, without annoying the customer with follow-up emails, aids in maintaining a healthy relationship with your customer.
  • Hints at the next step – Email tracking not only tells you if your email was opened, but also gives powerful insights that can help you plan the next step. For instance, if the email has been re-opened multiple times in a day, it indicates the urgency of the customer with the issue and can hint at your next step of sending out another email immediately to make an impact. If the email has been unopened in the customers inbox for a while, a follow up email can be drafted to ensure the customer is satisfied and his/her concerns have been resolved.
  • Tracks your progress towards the goal – A customer success executive’s primary goal is to address customer concerns. While most of the communication may happen over a telephone call, emails are also frequently used to communicate with the customers. The best and the easiest way to see if you are making progress towards your goal is to track these emails. Doing so will help you draft the follow up emails to not only address customers’ concerns but also ensure a high retention rate.

Methods to Track an Email

There are basically two ways to track an email:

  1. By requesting a delivery/return receipt from the email service providers (Outlook, Gmail)
  2. By using email tracking tools (HubSpot, Mail Track, Contact Monkey)

Requesting return receipts from the email service providers

Email service providers like Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo notify you with a return receipt once your email has been opened. Here is how you can do that for each of the above providers:

Outlook

If you use Outlook, simply click Options while drafting an email and choose whether you want to Request a Delivery Receipt and/or Request a Read Receipt. You can select both or either of them as per your needs.

Gmail

Gmail has two versions, a free version (Gmail) and a paid version for businesses (G Suite). While Gmail does not have a read receipt request feature, G Suite allows you to have request a read receipt. To enable a read receipt on G Suite, select Allow email read receipts under Advanced settings for G Suite.

Once this is enabled, you can find the Request read receipt option by clicking the down arrow while composing a new email as shown in the image on the above.

Yahoo

Yahoo does not have a built in email tracking feature. An email sent can be tracked only by a follow up email unless you configure your Yahoo account with Outlook.

While these are simple and old school methods of tracking emails, they do not meet the requirements of today’s fast-paced world. They also do not guarantee accurate results; your email may be sitting in the junk folder of the receiver but will still send you a read receipt. To track emails faster and accurately, let us look at method two; using email tracking tools.

Using Email Tracking Tools

Thanks to the advancement in technology, there are now several software solutions that can be easily implemented for effective and reliable email tracking. Here are the top three email tracking tools that you can use.

HubSpot

HubSpot is a popular email tracking software that tells you the time and date when the email was opened. This is what the HubSpot icon looks like once installed. When the recipient reads your email, you will get notified immediately.

Contact Monkey

Isn’t it even more valuable when you know if the link in your email has been opened too? Contact Monkey is another such email tracking tool that tells you if the email was opened, the time, and if the internal links were clicked. Contact Monkey can be used with Gmail and Outlook emails and can also be integrated with SalesForce.

Mail Track

As mentioned earlier, Gmail does not offer the email tracking feature in its free version. However, Mail Track is a software that is specifically designed for Gmail. In the visual below, the green check marks tell you the number of times when the email was opened.

Leveraging the Results for your Benefit

Now that you know how to track your emails, let’s now look at how you can use this knowledge to optimize your position as the CSM to ensure a lower churn rate and a higher customer retention rate.

Here is a table of the outcomes and recommended actions to leverage email tracking.

Conclusion

As a customer success manager, customer experience and customer satisfaction is the highest priority and an indication of ‘success’. Since emails are a large part of the communication funnel for this role, seizing control of these emails enable you, the customer success manager, to act quickly to suit the needs of the customer.

About Gargi Shirish Joshi

Hello readers! I am from India, currently studying dual masters in international business and business analytics from Hult International Business School in San Francisco. I am passionate about numbers/data and hence working with Chartio as a content marketing intern for data analysis at Data School. Keep learning!