You just sent a prospect or client an important email? Oh-Oh, what happens next? Be sure to read our article that discusses some of the latest technology commercially available to track and monitor your email communications and protected information.
I'm sure everybody at some time has experienced the frustration of sending an important email and wondered if it was actually received, read, forwarded or simply deleted. Sure, there are some rudimentary capabilities within Microsoft Outlook
that may slightly ease your concerns, but what if there were flexible and easy-to-use software applications that could really give you insight into what was occurring with that ever so critical email? What if you could determine not only if your email was received, but you could also receive a notification alerting you at the exact moment it was actually read? Wow, that certainly would make the timing of that follow-up call or email easier to determine!
Believe it or not, there are a number of technology solutions currently on the market that can provide you with this information, as well as offer a whole lot more advanced tracking capabilities and functionality--- all of which are typically transparent and undetectable by the email recipients. For example, some of the applications will not only notify you of the exact data and time your email was opened, but will also provide you with the physical geographic location and IP address of the recipient's computer (Internet scammers beware!), the apparent email address of the recipient (useful if people use free email accounts and then forward the email to their business accounts or vice versa or use email aliases) , any URL's contained in your email that are clicked through (great to monitor the effectiveness of your latest email campaign), the duration that the email was read, and if your email was forwarded or read on a different computer (very useful to track confidential of proprietary information that might be passed onto a competitor).
Some of the more advanced applications can also provide all of the above tracking information on your individual email attachments to include PDF's, Word and Excel documents. So, if you sent a prospect a proposal as a PDF, not only would all of the above be capable, but you could receive this information at the page level! In other words, you would be able to determine the duration and frequency that each page was read. Hmmmm, why was this prospect spending so much time reading the section that contained your pricing?
In addition, some applications even allow for the restriction of certain activities. For example, you can restrict a recipient from printing or forwarded your email. Or, some allow for the sender to specify a time duration in which the email will self-destruct within an elapsed time after it has been read. Poof, now you see it, now you don't!.
Most offer some type of Outlook plug-in that allows the sender to specify the treatment level for each email and well as turn-off the tracking features. Since most companies charge on a per email tracked basis (usually fractions of a penny per email), you may want to track only important emails.
Lastly, there are typically a number of ways to receive these notifications. Web portals sites are common, as well as the ability to receive alerts by email, Instant Message or SMS to your cell phone.