How to track forwarded emails in 2019
Do you need more information on the emails you send? Wondering how to track forwarded emails?
If so, you’re not alone.
It’s a good idea to know exactly who is using your emails, what they’re doing with them, and if they’re being forwarded to someone else.
You need to know if you’re getting in contact with the right person, or if your emails are being forwarded to the sales manager at a different branch.
Sure, it might be frustrating when people forward an email to you.
But when someone forwards an email you sent, you want to know! Because, well, because…
Because you want to know. That is all.
Jokes aside, it’s helpful to know if your sales emails are being forwarded because you can increase the effectiveness of your pitches and communication with prospects.
Unfortunately, tracking forwarded emails is pretty difficult, but it’s not impossible.
In this article, you’ll learn the problems with the current software, a solution that can change things, and strategies for making the best use of the data you receive.
The problem with tracking emails
Unfortunately, it isn’t as easy to track emails as you might think.
You see, there are two main issues with tracking emails that you may or may not have encountered. Let’s start with the first: software limitations.
Most email programs don’t allow this
Chances are, you noticed the last time you logged into Gmail or Outlook that there isn’t a button to track an email you send. Much less, a button to track forwarded emails.
By default, there isn’t a way to see who opened your emails, read them, or clicked on the links they contain.
Along the same lines, there isn’t a way to track your forwarded emails. You don’t know if the email you sent was forwarded off to someone else.
Of course, this can make it difficult to do business if you have no way of tracking forwarded emails.
But there are a few types of software that do allow you to track your emails.
There is software for tracking (but it’s expensive)
If you have a large list of email clients, you might use a CRM like Salesforce to manage them.
But by default, Salesforce doesn’t have a way to track who opens and forwards your emails.
If you’ve ever asked “can email be traced,” the answer is that there are plenty of email service providers which do this exact thing.
If you’ve heard of programs like MailChimp or ConstantContact, you’re familiar with this software. This is how to track emails.
When you use it, you get stunning analytics on exactly how people interacted with your emails.
Here’s a screenshot of the analytics page from a similar email program, ConvertKit.
As you can see, it’s easy to see the open and click rate for the emails.
But there’s something you don’t see: the high cost of this type of software.
If you haven’t done pricing for this type of email software, you may not know that it costs as much as hundreds of dollars a month to send this kind of tracked emails.
Even worse, they’re governed by anti-spam laws in different countries. No cold-calling with this email service!
But it’s even worse because tracking forwarded emails makes it even harder.
Why it’s almost impossible to track forwarded emails
Let’s look at the basic process of an email.
First, you send it. Typically this is done through an email program like Gmail or Outlook (though you might use a service like ConvertKit under certain circumstances).
Second, it arrives in the inbox of your recipient. At this point, all tracking has happened. If your recipient opened the email, it registered the tracking data with your email service.
(This is typically done with a hidden pixel that pings a database in the cloud to provide data for the analytics page I showed earlier.)
But let’s think about whether or not there’s a way to track forwarded emails (that is, if the recipient decided to forward it)
Now, there is no way to know if it’s been forwarded. If I receive an email and send it to a friend, the email service has no way of knowing if I opened it twice, or if my friend opened it.
As a result, it’s challenging to track email opens for forwarded emails.
Even worse, Gmail is rather strict with how it handles its data. It downloads the images (hidden and otherwise) separately, then stores them on its own caching server and delivers them to the user later.
As a result, it’s difficult to know what computer opened this email or not, because Gmail provides such limited data.
But, there is a way to track forwarded emails. With a bit of know-how and guesstimations, there’s a tool that allows you to know what occurs after you click send.
How to track forwarded emails with ContactMonkey
ContactMonkey has some advanced features that even the more sophisticated email services don’t provide. With this awesome plugin, you can easily tell if any email you’ve sent has been opened in Gmail, take advantage of Gmail Salesforce integration or track emails in Outlook.
Using those features, we can get a pretty good guess at when an email was forwarded. Here’s how to do it.
First things first: you’re going to need to sign up for ContactMonkey.
Don’t worry. This is a painless process, and you’ll be able to easily grab the features as soon as you start.
Even better, it comes with a 14-day email tracker free trial, so there’s no risk.
And if you do decide to sign up, it’s only a fraction of what you’d pay for the fancy software that can’t even track email forwarding.
Send the email and track it
Now that you have ContactMonkey, you’re going to need to send an email with standard email tracking.
(ContactMonkey works for Microsoft Outlook email tracking, too, but I’ll be using its Gmail email tracking feature in these screenshots.)
You’ll need to send an email. Make sure ContactMonkey’s tracking is turned on in the compose window.
Go ahead and send it. Now the fun begins!
Review the locations where it was opened
The first thing you’ll need to do for tracking is look in ContactMonkey’s email tracker Gmail or Outlook version.
This is on the side of your inbox. Click on the analytics chart you’ll find there.
This will bring up a new window with all the analytics and statistics from the emails you’ve sent. It’s a tremendous resource that’ll satisfy any data nerd, but we’re just going to focus on one feature right now.
Look at the list of emails below the graphs. Find an email you’re interested in looking up. You’re going to need to click on the “Cities” button nearby. In this example, my email was opened in nine (!) separate cities.
Once you click the button, it’ll open up a list of all the cities and locations where your email was opened.
As I mentioned before, pesky Gmail doesn’t give the detailed information we’d like, but the other platforms do.
Using this information, you can easily see who opened the email and where.
In this instance, it’s reasonable to presume that the email I sent was forwarded. Why?
Because the original message was sent to the sender in Boston, Massachusetts. Then later, it was opened in Tacoma, Washington!
Since the sender wasn’t traveling during this time, it’s a good guess that it was opened by a user somewhere else.
What to do with this feature
Okay, so now you know how to track forwarded emails.
But so what? How does this actually help you accomplish things? Well, there are lots of ways it helps. Here are just a few.
Track who else opens the marketing emails you send
From any email you send using ContactMonkey, you can go in and see how many times it was opened and how many of the links were clicked.
This is a great way to track who reads your marketing emails, and with ContactMonkey’s cities feature, easily know who is reading your emails.
This means there’s no more wondering if your email didn’t make it to the company, but got immediately forwarded to a help desk in another country. You can find out whenever you want and take action.
Follow up with someone when they open the email in a different location
But perhaps my favorite feature of them all is the ability to send a follow up email and make constant, effective communication with your leads.
To do this, observe when you get a notification when someone opens your email. It’s also available in the ContactMonkey sidebar.
You can easily stay up to date with what’s happening with the emails you send long after they’ve left your outbox.
You can also pull the analytic data that ContactMonkey provides and see where your emails are most effective.
With the Top Cities feature, you can look to see where your most receptive clients and prospects are located.
This means every email you send can save you time and make the messages and communications you deliver more effective.
Instead of wasting time on prospects who aren’t answering, or who are forwarding all your emails to other decision-makers, you can quickly see where you need to send your emails instead.
It’s an easy way to skyrocket the effectiveness of the time you inevitably spend in your email inbox.
Putting it all together
When you first started reading, you didn’t think there was a way for tracking email that’s forwarded, did you?
With the free email tracker ContactMonkey, though, you have the tools to track emails when they’re forwarded. It’s like discovering a brand new world.
Plus, you know exactly how to make good use of those emails and use the data to improve your results in sales and marketing.
By using ContactMonkey’s powerful tracking features, you can get a great idea of how well your emails are performing, and if you’re even sending them to the right people.
With a little guesswork and know-how, you can ensure that your emails are being used to the max.
All it takes is a bit of setup, and you’ll be on your way to the most productive email usage you’ve ever had.
Convinced of the power of ContactMonkey’s email tracking? Start tracking emails, link clicks and more with this epic plugin! Click the button below to start tracking your sales emails today! Do little, achieve greatness!