A San Francisco-based startup called Streak has developed a free Google Chrome browser extension that’s changing the email game: the extension lets email senders see when recipients open an email.
Using your gmail account and this installed tool, you can tell when people open your emails. Using the utility, an eye icon will appear when the user has read the email. Users on the other end do not have to have the extension installed for the feature to work.
This could be very handy when sending proposals, estimates, invoices or other such things.
As the industry reacts in varying fits of rage, someone at Google shrugs their sholders on the latest slap to email marketers around the globe. This time, the slap doesn’t effect prospects seeing our emails as the Gmail tabs issue once did… Instead, they’re now caching images, which means the image tag that would normally load and send that information back to the email software – letting the software know you’ve viewed their email a second or third time will no longer load.
One interesting stat Mailchimp pointed out was, that IMAP or POP softwares like Microsoft’s Outlook or those viewing emails on an iPhone Mail or Mac Mail will not be cached, and will load each time. However, those using the Gmail apps or Gmail web based utility will certainly lose valuable data that helps us understand how many times people view an email.
A further concern is if the email software (such as Mailchimp or a server version like ARP Reach) were using the same file name and same image type/size for each email, Gmail may cache that image tracker once for all emails. Only time will tell and the data’s simply not in yet.
Thes story was also covered by noted ClickZ tracking companies and Search Engine Watch blogs.