In short: I can’t believe this tool is free.

I mean, there are paid versions – but I can’t believe the free version is free. And even though 90% of my time spent doing SEO is not on link building, I am what you’d call a “heavy user” of email.  I know a promising tool when I see it.

Meet Yesware of Boston, MA (Hola, neighbor)

screenshow of yesware's homepage

I serendipitously stumbled upon Yesware from this website when I was looking up marketing / media agencies near me in Woostah.

Yesware does a few things;

  • Tracks emails – you can see when someone has read your email, and more (please read their FAQ for info on any limitations)
  • Custom email templates
  • CRM Sync – connect email right to your CRM
  • Analytics – see your email analytics right in Gmail

It’s designed and marketed for Sales. But, “Hello” link builders… meet your new best friend.

The essence of what I’ll be reviewing today, is their free Gmail Plugin for email tracking – although they do have a variety of pricing options and levels. (FYI – Yesware did not ask me to write this review.)

1. The Tour

Sooo easy. This is one of the biggest selling points. The interface is incredibly easy to use, right from within Gmail;

The Inbox

yesware-interface

The Compose Window

Here’s what the compose window now looks like – I was testing it out on Ross;

compose window yesware

To track when an email gets opened and/or a link gets clicked from within an email, just check off “track” right within compose. Free users can track 100 emails a month.

Pop Up Alerts When Someone Reads An Email

i'm watching you ross

This alert will pop up on your desktop when someone opens an email you’ve been tracking.

Alerts / Status Above Your Inbox

status inbox

Note that it tells us;

  • The time it was sent
  • The time it was last read
  • What device it was read on
  • Where it was read

But wait. There’s more. Way more.

View Lists Of “Events”, Emails and Goals

I don’t even know what you can do with “goals” (I haven’t gotten that far) but it’s crazy what you can do with just Events and Emails.

yesware list mode

There’s tons of data in here – and I have to say the interface does a good job at packing it in, but minimizing “overwhelm”.

list data view

The email data view is out of this world…

email data in list mode

Notice you get;

  • The ability to filter/search
  • Open status
  • Clicked link status
  • Replied status

Ready to flip out?

Map View

Yep – they went there. I’ll say it again. Vista de mapa!!  See all of your events on a map. Turn on satellite view for fun.

holy freakin map view

Reminders

Yep – add reminders to each and every email.

reminders

According to Yesware’s faq page;

“RemindMe lets you set a reminder for yourself to follow up on an email. RemindMe will bring a message back to your Gmail inbox in the future if you haven’t yet received a reply. (You can also set reminders that come back to you even if a recipient does reply.)”

#Slick

2. A Tool Like Yesware Changes The Game

Like I said at the beginning – I’m not doing intensive outreach-linkbuilding all the time. But, even as an email user – someone who also uses email to (sometimes) attempt to get a desired (re)action – I’m familiar with the process.

This process is blind. It would be like web analytics without “visits”.

I’ll say that again. In bold. Email without an “opened” metric is like a website without a “visits” metric.

The following diagram is a little in jest. But I’m willing to bet THIS is closer to how we imagine people open, read and respond to email than reality.

What REALLY Happens

EMAIL REALITY CHECK

We haven’t even added a time dimension to this yet. We’re just looking at open metrics. The recipient;

  • Opened it once
  • Opened it twice
  • Opened it a third time
  • THEN replied.

A Closer Look At The “Open” Metric

Let’s talk about the “open” metric (which is akin to “visits”). There’s a few dimensions to these;

  • Location
  • Device

And of course – “opens” being a metrics – you can have “amount of opens”. Here’s the reality.

People open emails, multiple times, on multiple devices, from multiple locations.

In the few days I was testing this tool – that’s the reality I saw more often than not. Here’s a REAL example.

Psychology Of Opening Mail – Mobile vs. Desktop

This obviously isn’t s scientific analysis – but I’m going to assume that, in general;

reading email desktop vs mobile

The key thing to realize here is - opened does NOT = read. Opened, in many cases (especially if from a mobile device) could more likely mean lost or forgotten.

3. Practical Applications

1. Make Better “Should I Follow Up?” Decisions

I think one of the key questions a tool like this can help us answer is: should I follow up? A tool like this adds a few HUGE data points to help you make that decision.

This should be a very personal and situation specific decision. But the fact is, where’re not in the dark anymore – for starters, we actually know if they even OPENED the email at all.

not-in-dark

2. Correlate User Behavior W/ Likelihood To Get Response

I’m pretty sure once you get into it, Yesware will help you keep track of some of this stuff automatically. But automatic or manually – you should begin to correlate (even just intuitively) when you are most likely to receive a response – and you may even be able to segment this to different people.

  • maybe a particular person checks their email at a certain time
  • maybe a particular person responds to emails at a certain time
  • maybe some people have the best intentions, intend to reply, but tend to be a little forgetful. If you see they’ve opened it already – wait a day and follow up.

3. Test Click Through Rate!

This is nothing new to email marketing. But why should the email marketers have all the fun? Email tracking for the everyday folk allows us to bring a more scientific approach to email subject writing.

Although not specifically about email, my guide on click worthy titles might help with that.

4. Time / Email Management

I LIKE that this adds a time management layer to email as well. As we all know, email can be a huge time-sink… but I think that’s ’cause in general it keeps a lot of the demand on our memory and repetitive manual processing  rather than in the email its self.

I should note: I practice inboxzero – and this Yesware seems to play very nicely with the inboxzero method. Inboxzero is all about – “touch something once”, “act on it immediately or set a reminder to deal with it later”. In other words: get it out of your mental bandwidth.

email-management

5. Apply Empathy

This new awareness *should* evoke empathy.

Have YOU ever read mail, on your iPhone, away from the office, waiting for your mocha latte?

Me too. (swap mocha latte for espresso).

When I began to actually see what was going on with the recipient’s email reading habits, it inspired empathy. Instead of thinking “why have’t they responded to me?!” – I got it.

They’re out of the office.

Or

They read the email literally two minutes after I sent it.

Or

They’ve opened it twice - maybe I need to change what I was doing. Was my email too long? Too confusing?

Or…

they haven’t opened it at all.

That’s the ultimate point I’m trying to make. Outreach is about PEOPLE. Success with people requires empathy.

Winning.

- – - – - – - – - –

Have a website? You might also be interested in my list of rank trackers.

About Dan Shure

I'm Dan (Google Plus Profile). I've been helping businesses improve their websites since 2007. Improving your bottom line is my number one goal. My obsessive nature and love for SEO as a true craft doesn't hurt either.

114 Comments

  • April 20, 2013 Reply

    Ian Rogers

    Thanks for sharing Dan! I’ve messed around with Boomerang and other similar Gmail extensions but this flat out off the hook! This is perfect for email outreach but can also be applied in so many other situations. Like you, I can’t believe the free version is so extensive. Thanks again!

    • April 20, 2013 Reply

      Dan Shure

      You bet man. Right, they found a way to pack a lot of stuff right in as a plugin. I don’t find the addition to Gmail overwhelming at all – which is a feat considering I have an insane about of plugins going to being with ;)

      • October 15, 2013 Reply

        Beth

        Do you know of a similar program that is applicable to aol? I need the functionality of aol for a specific project – can’t use gmail or yahoo…

        Thanks!

        • October 16, 2013 Reply

          Dan Shure

          Hi Beth

          I don’t unfortunately – you may want to try searching on “aol plugins” or “aol extensions” and see what you can find.

          -Dan

    • June 9, 2013 Reply

      rdfactor

      Is this not tantamount to what the NSA has done to phones, what everybody is up in arms about !

      • July 30, 2013 Reply

        himagain

        @rdfactor
        Funny that you should notice that……….
        By next year Google will basically own the world – but does it matter?
        THey said their motto was “do no evil” or similar, didn’t they?

        • December 17, 2013 Reply

          Randal Shurmer

          This may make me decide to never open anything from GMail. I’m sick of everything being tracked.

  • April 20, 2013 Reply

    Anthony Pensabene

    so the receiver knows you’re tracking the reception (maybe not in full detail)? that’s definitely interesting in itself. thanks for the ‘yes, we can do this’ info on the tool. i’m looking to start an email disco party, and knowing those kinds of metrics definitely makes sense in measuring return on effort/expectation.

    • April 20, 2013 Reply

      Dan Shure

      As far as I know (cause Ross tested it on me) the receiver does not know they are being tracked – although you DO have to accept “display images” from the sender as the way it tracks is with a 1px image in the email. This is how most email marketing programs (mailchimp etc) function.

      • August 22, 2013 Reply

        Gavin

        Well, because of this blog post I decided to try Yesware. I’m extremely impressed, but at the same time disturbed. This is scary to me how easy it is to track people reviewing my emails. I would hope Yesware would allow an ‘opt out of being tracked’ option, although I guess I’m a hypocrite because I will keep using their add-on :-/

  • April 20, 2013 Reply

    Jon White

    How many have images switched on? I am afraid that for cold call emails they are off by default :(

    Great tool though!

  • April 21, 2013 Reply

    Scott Pielsticker

    Yesware has done a great job of putting email tracking into the spotlight, as well as educated people on the benefits. We (ContactMonkey.com) are another option to consider.

    In many respects, we play in the same sandbox as Yesware but we’re taking a slightly differently approach by putting e-mail marketing tracking front and center with an always-on sidebar within Outlook and Gmail.

    Thanks for putting the spotlight on email tracking, which we think is going to gain serious traction this year.

    Scott Pielsticker
    ContactMonkey CEO

    • August 4, 2013 Reply

      eliyas

      does it only work on outlook n gmail, no yahoo or official email address

  • April 21, 2013 Reply

    Jan-Willem Bobbink

    Thanks for the review Dan! Will have a look at it this week, it looks promising.

  • April 22, 2013 Reply

    George LaRochelle

    Super useful Dan, thanks for sharing and taking the time for such an in depth look at the tool.

  • April 22, 2013 Reply

    Mark Porter

    This sounds awesome, but unfortunately I don’t see it working too well as I’ve tested it with 3 emails, including a Gmail and Outlook client, and they all block images by default.

    Shame!

    • July 30, 2013 Reply

      himagain

      Mark,
      I wish you hadn’t brought that up – it will soon be “On” by default, methinks…..

      • October 4, 2013 Reply

        James K

        Unless I misremember, Gmail started with the email images turned ON, and because I was on dialup, I shut them off.

        Though NOW I keep images shut off for a whole different set of reasons. Mostly spammers. Secondarily, my privacy is precious to me, and if you want my data, you’ll need to convince me that 1, my trust won’t be broken, and 2 that I’m going to be getting something of equivalent value.

  • May 6, 2013 Reply

    Jim Mickelson

    Considering its free, this is something I am interesting in tinkering with. Seems a lot easier than my self created system I’ve been hanging on to.

  • May 8, 2013 Reply

    Guest

    Holy crap, I had no idea they had this.

    Talk about spam city – I will never ever open another spam mail again!

    • May 11, 2013 Reply

      Kenny Z.

      You shouldn’t be opening spam emails anyway (…unless they’re from me. I’m a Nigerian prince and I can make you very, very rich!)

  • May 11, 2013 Reply

    Nicholas Snell

    This is something between nauseating and terrifying. I was reading about what’s new in the land of email clients and clearly Yesware has caught salespeople’s attention–there’s a Forbes article about it, too. http://www.forbes.com/sites/alextaub/2013/01/17/if-you-want-to-be-awesome-at-emails-add-yesware-to-your-gmail-today/?nowelcome

    It’s “tools” like these that make me almost compulsively suspicious about using corporate email response forms. (I take the time–sometimes it’s a long time–to find out the corporation’s email address and compose my email to sales or customer support on my own software.)

    I found particularly cynical the claim that a piece of software can “Add empathy!” When I deal with my own clients, I use my brain and language and social skills to add empathy. I add empathy using empathy. I don’t need to rely on computer software to do it.

  • May 22, 2013 Reply

    bxg

    > Tracks emails – you can see when someone has read your email, and more

    No you can’t (see this). If that’s literally what they promise, they are lying to you.
    You CAN, POSSIBLY, track whether a certain non-random fraction of people have read your email
    (I don’t know how small this fraction is, though I doubt it includes a majority people who have decent ISPs or are reading
    email from work) but there’s no doubt it’s strongly biased towards the technologically less-literate.
    They’ll buy your product – just as soon as they have finished emailing this nice-sounding prince in Nigeria who has just
    contacted them.

    In general, you cannot see when someone has read your email. That’s not how email or the internet works.
    Anyone who says they can do this for you, without giving you a rather long list of qualifiers (which may make you rather less excited about the whole idea!) is either too ignorant to be selling anything related or is knowingly lying.

    • June 13, 2013 Reply

      Wayne

      In your rant you assert that it is not possible to track email to the degree claimed but provide no explanation as to why you believe this . Rather than criticize the technically illiterate perhaps explaining WHY you believe this would be more beneficial to our fellow readers. Not doing so insures that we ignore your missive as opinionated pablum and dismiss you as a crank.

      • July 18, 2013 Reply

        Steve

        Because the tracking depends on an image being displayed in the recipient’s email client. The recipient would have to be allowing images to be displayed in received email. Most technologically-literate people don’t do that, because they know that if they do, there is a strong possibility the email is being tracked. And many people aren’t particularly comfortable with that.

        If you want to know if I read your email, request a read receipt. If I choose not to send you a read receipt, that’s my business.

      • September 13, 2013 Reply

        zyde

        @Wayne — I don’t think he needed to spoon-feed everything to you. Don’t you have Google?

    • August 14, 2013 Reply

      James

      ^^^^ this

      Perhaps you have been suckered in by their own marketing Dan? This will only work on the fools who are send read reciepts / change the default settings …

      On the other hand tools like this are for targeting fools and their money …so perhaps it will achieve the goal the leaches of society that use it are targeting. It is not new either, things like this have been around for years, so I’m not quite sure why there is the hype?

    • October 3, 2013 Reply

      skythra

      Hey guy,

      They know because when you open the email, it contains a hosted image, it queeries a website to load that image and that website knows that you have provided that image. Therefore each time you open that image, that website send that image again, so it knows if you looked once or twice.

      I mean, i know you think right inside your text only formatted emails, but there’s a 1×1 pixel image cleverly being used to see where someone is located when they opened the image (thanks to the IP request of the device) and how many times (user behaviour). Yeah there are caveats, cached images, images off be default but overall you saying its impossible is simply you not even having read the article.

      Anyway good luck in your career of pretending to know better, i see you’re doing well at it.

      • October 26, 2013 Reply

        Andrew

        What you are talking about is ‘checking to see if an image has loaded’; entirely different argument.

        He said it was impossible to ‘check if an email was read’. He was correct.

        There is no way to ‘check if an email has been read’ without ‘checking to see if an image has loaded’; without that second part, the first part IS impossible. And since many users/email readers/email webistes have images turned off by default, then yes, it is impossible to inherently check without an outside source if that email has been read.

        Also, if I wanted to, I find that image, copy its URL into my browser’s addressbar and auto-refresh it through a plug-in. Does that mean the email was read 1,000s of time? No. Why? Checking to see if an image has been visited does NOT check if an email has been read.

        It IS impossible to have reliable data on whether an email has been read based on how many times an image file has been loaded. It may be an indication but there’s so many, many flaws in the approach that using the data as even soft statistics would probably lead to terrible actual marketing results.

  • June 1, 2013 Reply

    Jerry

    really? I see some google zombies here – Microsoft Outlook has been doing most of these things from a few versions back and improving every since.

    • August 13, 2013 Reply

      Shayne O

      Yes Jerry. Since the 90s in fact. But a full Office/Exhange/back-office rollout will set most companies back a small mortgage.

      This is free

    • September 29, 2013 Reply

      Ronny

      Outlook does the tracking using read receipts, which may be turned off trivially (and I’ve been asked by people in the past how to do so). YesWare uses a 1 bit pixel image to do its tracking, a method which Outlook/Exchange don’t support. Most company internal mail will also have loading of images from the Internet disabled, if your IT staff are competent and have not been instructed otherwise.

      Both methods can be disabled fairly easily. My own email will not (by default) work with either.

      However, in my case at least the image version is more likely to work, as I do often enable images on individual emails I’ve been sent once I believe they’re legitimate, whereas I have a simple block on read receipts.

      Outlook is an excellent client if you are using an Exchange server or Office365. Otherwise, it’s still decent but has some shortcomings. Its main problem is that it is largely single-tasking, so certain types of issues with mailboxes can cause problems with Outlook where other mail clients will cope much more smoothly.

  • June 3, 2013 Reply

    Michael Wong

    I don’t need this. I sell portal software and it’s marketing’s job to bring in the Leads. I’m sales. No leads – no sales. That’s the companies problem, not mine.

    • July 3, 2013 Reply

      Rob

      So you like being spoon fed. Do you blame marketing if you can’t sell anything to the leads as well?

      This tool sounds like a interesting way of tracking the level of interest early stage leads have in your follow up emails? However it only seems feasible for low volume high value sales.

    • August 13, 2013 Reply

      Shayne O

      Why read a marketing focused website then?. Weird response.

  • June 5, 2013 Reply

    B Ernest

    I had this, and after so many tracked emails it asked me to pay for and and upgrade to continue. However maybe something just changed because all my accounts that had no more track-able time is still doing it.

    • June 5, 2013 Reply

      Dan Shure

      It may reset after a month.

  • June 7, 2013 Reply

    Jake Williams

    GREAT IDEA!

    Does this App hook up directly the obama admin, NSA, and FBI?

    • June 8, 2013 Reply

      Dan Shure

      You forgot CIA.

    • January 2, 2014 Reply

      Scott Henderson

      Seriously? Of course it does, everything digital transmitted over the internet is copied, their no anonymity.

  • June 11, 2013 Reply

    Goober

    Big deal, Novell’s GroupWise did most of this and some other years ago. It was a far better email system, it’s just too bad their marketing strategy sucked.

  • June 13, 2013 Reply

    Rich

    Have used it for a few months and find it unobtrusive, fairly intuitive and useful in the right situation. If your serious about sales you wont just add a template, change the name and press the dollar button but to have the facts, a core part of your sales blurb or your usual attachments ready to go can save alot of time. The mail tracking can be handy tool but on the flipside the old excuse “I didnt recieve your mail” is no longer a weak excuse but a big fat lie. Busted..

    • June 13, 2013 Reply

      Dan Shure

      That’s right, I didn’t even get into 75% of what the tool does, which includes templates. HUGE time saver!

  • June 23, 2013 Reply

    Hypatia

    Excuse blunt question, but why are you publishing this rave? Straight question: Do you have an $$ affiliation with Google?

    TIA

    Hypatia

  • June 25, 2013 Reply

    James S

    Those of you who are insinuating that this isn’t relevant because Product ‘x’ did it a couple years ago. No one cares. Of course other products have been doing it. They’ve been doing it for a decade now, not just recently. I’m genuinely surprised at the amount of people who didn’t know images in your email can be used for basic tracking. This is why GMail has images turned off by default.

    It does seem to be an interesting idea, but it sounds like a well-designed demo software. No serious emailer is going to send less than 100 emails, and I dare you to use this on your business contacts. For an individual, I have to wonder at the real benefit. So you know Tom read your email. Is he routinely lying to you about that? Will you have the balls to call him a liar because you track everyone’s open emails?

    And for the joker who asked if this is what the NSA has done, either you are borderline special needs or a troll.

  • July 9, 2013 Reply

    Win

    Dan, first thanks you for making aware this terrific ‘FREE’ app. Also, a big huzzzzah! to you for an excellent review. The graphics were invaluable to internalizing this wealth of detail.
    You’re appreciated!

  • July 10, 2013 Reply

    David Caron

    Dan, This is a great review. I’ve shared it with people because you’re just as excited as I am about yesware. Thanks for doing the hard work of putting together a valuable review for us to share with friends.

    • July 11, 2013 Reply

      Dan Shure

      Ha, a friendly comment! Thanks so much – glad it was helpful.

      • October 2, 2013 Reply

        Dan J. Andrews

        It was certainly a good review. It also makes me want to never open another email again. Or buy a counter-blocking app that blocks automatically so I don’t have to read the fine print on my email accounts to figure out how to block things.

  • July 11, 2013 Reply

    Joe S

    There are some MAJOR privacy ( potential LEGAL ) issues with this ap.
    Even though I’m involved in web development, I’ll be on the sidelines for a while.

  • July 17, 2013 Reply

    Joe Russo in Adelaide

    Terrific article, and thank you. Yes, it works and yes it has issues. And yes the price is right.

  • July 22, 2013 Reply

    matrix

    I dont get the excitement about this app. Big deal, almost every crm application offers these features, outlook, you name it.

  • July 22, 2013 Reply

    JoeGhost

    Until Google starts “thinking security” a great deal more than they apparently do now, I would be very cautious using any of their apps, especially if you use it for anything that might involve sensitive information.

    Somehow a hacker from somewhere in Romania managed to hack into my GMail account, change my password (thus locking me out), and then proceeded to hijack the email addresses off of every archived email in my account.

  • July 22, 2013 Reply

    Gary Golden

    With this software you assume that if people read your product that they want your product for which that would be a wrong assumption. Better to assume that if they want your product they will call or email for more information thus making this software useless. Personally if someone followed up with a phone call or email and I deleted the first email I would deleted the second email also and hang up on them if they called.

    Write quality content for your website or put better emails together and leave the rest to the consumer, if you annoy them once the chances of ever making a sale becomes zero.

    • August 4, 2013 Reply

      Dan Exall

      Gary: if any serious salesperson took your statement to be indicative of the general mood of their prospective clients then their company’s growth and development would slowly grind to a halt, with revenues falling and redundancies increasing as uptake of their product dropped from falling sales to the point of reduced development, headcount and ultimately bankruptcy as competitors won their market share. Perhaps this could even be your company and your salary or position, which could be paid for from the revenue from salespeople who are generating the interest and ultimately revenue to facilitate the continuing engagement of the brightest and best candidates that fulfil the role that you do, to develop an open and engaging work environment around them where a positive environment is fostered, as are manners and good grace.

      There are prospective clients out there who are interested in the developments in their industry, gain insight from educated salespeople, compare products and services and no doubt remain a leading asset to their employer due to their inquisitiveness and attentiveness in their sphere. These are the type of contacts that good salespeople introduce themselves and their products or services to throughout the course of their working day and who’s response and reactions in relation to initial introductory activity it is important for us to retain visibility of, so that we are able to work out what approach best suits their work activities and be a constructive an asset to their delivery as possible before we’ve imparted any of our industry knowledge – the activity of their companies’ peers, trends or developments in industry technologies or services, perhaps even resources or events that would be of benefit to their career or development directly.

      If we managed to strike up a conversation with a prospective client, with a self-contained attitude of the nature seemingly displayed above I’m sure any self-respecting salesperson would politely end the conversation fairly soon so that their time and energy were able to be better directed fundamentally towards a well-mannered person – manners are a good indicator of someone’s state of mind and from this more subtle indicators can probably be read such as job satisfaction, open-mindedness and probably even I would say some reflection of people’s competency, if not motivation or productivity. What if that first email had been overlooked by a person who’s level of activity meant that their attention to the non-essential items in their inbox was one of the areas that suffered first throughout their day – even that the mail had been deleted in their routine archiving process, that it had been caught by some spam filter or a combination of these issues had meant that even the second email did not achieve a response? What if the offering was complex, which simply couldn’t be presented to highlight the most relevant area for the client without a consultative process from which an organically developed solution arose which simply wasn’t there before? There could be something entirely unforseen which meant that either or both emails weren’t received, or a response simply wasn’t forthcoming which bore no relation to the prospective client’s attitude towards that particular approach.

      There are many things that are essential in people’s working hours – taking the time to speak to salespeople is usually not during any one of those hours, but for a great many people it possibly is essential as part of their overall role, and a good salesperson will ensure that this is an relaxed, engaging and mutually beneficial process that generates exponential benefits when compared to the time actually taken to establish contact and understanding in the first instance. For the salesperson it’s all a matter of finding the right clients that understand what could be being offered as well as and how they might receive and benefit from that offering. Any tool which simplifies the essentials of the process of doing whilst increasing our approach’s effectiveness and relevance is invaluable, both to us and to our clients.

      • September 21, 2013 Reply

        Till

        Funny you talk about an open work environment, good grace and manners.

        I don’t believe a ”well-mannered” person would spy on others without their knowledge and breach their privacy using tools like yesware.

      • October 24, 2013 Reply

        cerealspiller

        Gee, my regular go-to used-car salesman was explaining these important concepts to me just the other day.

  • July 24, 2013 Reply

    Emil Isanov

    Its obviously a great tool and its free. What more can you ask?

  • August 2, 2013 Reply

    John

    It’s ridiculous that so many people are excited about an out-dated way of contacting potential clients. Seriously, how many of you open an e-mail and tell it to accept images? YesWare has its advantages, but this isn’t one of them.

  • August 2, 2013 Reply

    SuperConsumer

    As a regular Joe, I will be making sure now to either NOT click on e-mails or not even allow for images to display. Thanks for the tips guys. Will be sure to tell other consumers about this as well!

  • August 2, 2013 Reply

    Rob Burns

    I started using email tracking about 8 years ago. The first program I used (cannot remember the name, they were eventually taken over), was perfect for reporting when the email arrived in the person’s email box and for every time they opened it. There was an optional “beacon self-destruct” so that it could not be found on the recipient’s client. Colleagues and I used it as “registered email” for legal purposes. We had received an opinion from an attorney that backed up his assertion with case law to demonstrate that it could be used to prove delivery similar to sending a registered letter.

    I still use something similar but don’t like it so I’m going to give Yesware a try. Thanks for the review.

  • August 3, 2013 Reply

    Michael Ryan

    If I found out someone I know has this, and then uses it to email me about not emailing a response to them…well I would block them or this or whatever you do to stop it. But I would be F-in pissed. its my business when to respond to email just as much as its my business to respond or pick up a phone call or text…

  • August 4, 2013 Reply

    Buster Magee

    What more can one ask for ?.. here’s a start … how about privacy.

    I was finding this article more depressive than impressive whilst reading. Some faith was restored reading a number of the comments above. Someone once said there was no problem as to whether they’ll make computers to ‘think’ like people … the problem is if people start thinking like computers.

    I empathize with that statement :)

  • August 6, 2013 Reply

    Jippoes

    I think many folk are missing the point here. The assumption is that this is a cold call application and everyone will have pictures disabled. In my case I would be using it with a large group of contacts who I deal with constantly but who I am still trying to sell to. They would not have my email pics blocked.

    The app may not do anything that hasn’t been seen in other programs but if it pulls them all together and makes them easy to use then it is a powerful tool. The iPhone is old technology magnificently presented and engineered.

    I do hate using products outside Outlook for mail but our business recently switched from MS to Google cloud to manage everything for us and the savings are pretty good. I am still learning to use the google server capabilities and I must admit I still use Outlook as the GUI but Google are making it cheap and easy.

    I am going to give this a fly………..

    • September 6, 2013 Reply

      Kaelinda

      As a consumer, I never disable images except in emails from people I interact with personally. No commercial email ever gets images unblocked. Nevertheless, I get so many spam messages that I’ve had to resort to ‘Mailwasher’ to get rid of them. With Mailwasher, once I put a commercial emailer on my ‘blacklist’, I never see another email from him. This has reduced the number of spam messages in my ‘junk’ folder and in my inbox. Enormously.

  • August 6, 2013 Reply

    Allan Rein

    Great program. It puts your whole business plan into Google’s hands to sell to the highest bidder

  • August 6, 2013 Reply

    Sandhu

    Nothing is for free. Here is the link to pricing plans http://www.yesware.com/plans-and-pricing

    Food for thought, here is list of software as service and utility subscriptions one may have to pay to be in business nowadays.

    1. Office 360
    2. Evernote
    3. Dropbox
    4. LinkedIn premium
    5. Adobe cloud
    6. Mobile phone and data
    7. Office phone and data
    8. Gmail !
    9. Facebook
    10. Salesforce.com

    And drum role please: Yesware.

    Running a bussiness is becoming more and more dependent on these tools and services. You choose what you like and what gets you your desired results.

  • August 7, 2013 Reply

    Damian Ondore

    I love the basic functionality of Yesware.
    I found that it didn’t handle identifying WHO opened the email very well. If I sent an email within my organisation, it would count more open than I knew were possible. Can’t work out why.

    When an email is forwarded, I found that it registers an open for anyone who works in that organisation.
    Ultimately, I didn’t think that it was worth paying for premium features, and once the free credits ran out, I stopped using it. I’ll try it again in 6 months or so, and see where they are then.

  • August 9, 2013 Reply

    bob g

    I find email tracking highly invasive. I NEVER respond to emails that try to invade my privacy like this. It’s nodody’s business where I am or at what time I read my mail, electronic or otherwise.

  • August 14, 2013 Reply

    sudhir911

    when will “Yahoo” do like this?

  • August 19, 2013 Reply

    Abe Original

    If I block someone (Move to Trash) I would like them to know that’s what I did. Otherwise I don’t care for any of this.

  • August 22, 2013 Reply

    Gordon

    Compared with YAHOO or even OUTLOOK, gmail is crap for a start but, more importantly who wants big brother watching sometimes you don’t want to reply to an e-mail. Outlook has always offered the option to send a read receipt, but them you end up with double the mail with all the receipts coming back to you, nothing new here, just recycling of ideas, gmail copying outlook again, as with the style of layout.
    Guess the thing to do is ignore any e-mails sent to you from a google gmail account from now on.

  • August 24, 2013 Reply

    Grammer Queen

    It is annoying and distracting that the author uses semicolons for colons. It is kind of like using question marks instead of periods.

    • August 24, 2013 Reply

      Dan Shure

      I fixed your capitalization and incomplete sentences for you: in your comment; you’re welcome! :-)

  • August 27, 2013 Reply

    LL

    The fact is that g-mail or google mail in recent days have admitted to reading all your e-mails..wouldnt use it even if it was free….

  • September 2, 2013 Reply

    Tommy

    I know not what this is about, but I shall investigate soon. Google has been messing with my mail for some time now. Wish they would leave well alone. I was looking for another mail provider. There are plenty of Browsers about. Google seems to want to take over our PC’s, (I have laptop with Windows 7) .

    I gather lots of folk are sticking with Windows XP. It does a dam good job. Google annoys me because I cannot even get in touch with them. They are interlopers who want to take over everything. When Microsoft stop “supporting” Windows XP I may go back to it. We don’t need constant updates. The Operating System should be correct before it is released to the public, not trialled on the public. Not the same thing, maybe but I have a calculator 40 years old which without updates, gives excellent results. I don’t need enhanced websites. Someone is making money out of this at our expense.

  • September 7, 2013 Reply

    R Sail

    This tool looks great. I will forward it onto our marketing manager. Will be great to see which businesses open our emails.

    Regards
    Rob

  • September 8, 2013 Reply

    James

    IS a really good app!

  • September 10, 2013 Reply

    Michael Charlton

    That’s really creepy.

  • September 18, 2013 Reply

    Neil Bellamy

    Well here’s my tuppence worth as a heavy email user and consumer. Personally, whether an email has been read or not, makes no difference, how often do genuine emails finish up in your spam folder? Quite often in my cases with the filters I have set.How often do I open images even in a trusted email? Not very often.
    How often do I read marketing or “keep me informed” email updates and more to the point, do I really want to be telemarketed just because I have had a peek at one such email? No, I don’t. How far leftfield is it to assume if that were the case, Amazon would be ringing me daily suggesting purchases, rather than just the twice daily email ;)
    I have no problem with people using tracking software to see if emails have been opened providing it obviously protects my identity and data, what i do have a problem with is the assumption that an opened email is an invite to further conversation unless that conversation is invited. The companies withthat mind set, will soon find they are treated the same way as the majority of uninvited callers soliciting everything from solar panels, energy cost comparisons and the guys that are “not trying to sell you anything”. Gullible we may be, but stupid we aren’t. Personally I like to use the old fashioned approach…..(ring, ring, ring, ring, “hello John, it’s Neil, did you get the email I sent you about the thing?, you did? that’s great”

  • September 19, 2013 Reply

    steve

    Free yes but I wonder what spyware is being placed on your computer.

  • October 2, 2013 Reply

    Joel Grant

    Great information; I now know that I should immediately delete, unread, email with gmail addresses. None of your business what kind of device I am using or where I am.

  • October 5, 2013 Reply

    james adams

    Personally I find any invasive advertising to be a complete turn off, making me reluctant to ever deal with these companies out of principle. If you send me these emails I will block them and actively avoid whatever product it concerns.
    Creepy, invasive and rude.

    ..The amount of advertising already flooding our lives is overwhelming and perhaps indicative of a messed up society.

  • October 5, 2013 Reply

    mike amadeo

    It may be a good product, but I dunno about all your conclusions – I don’t think I attend to my emails any less just because they’re on my cell -take it from there…

  • October 5, 2013 Reply

    Alan T

    This is only a good idea if you want the NSA reading all your private business emails.

  • October 6, 2013 Reply

    Neil

    More tracking , haven’t left my home for 4 weeks now……..

  • October 8, 2013 Reply

    Alex Smith

    Great to see so much discussion around email tracking! You should also check out ContactMonkey (www.contactmonkey.com). Email tracking for Outlook, Gmail and Salesforce.com. Ridiculously easy.

    Alex

  • October 8, 2013 Reply

    Charles

    So the best defense against the dark arts and to maintain stealth mode (your privacy from everyone except the NSA) is to never communicate with someone using gmail? Why does everyone Google, Facebook, etc. always assume you want everything you do broadcast to the world? In my case, I have to wonder why anyone would care? Why can’t they just deliver their product and leave me alone? At least Chrome and Explorer have “incognito” or similar modes. I frankly don’t care if NSA reads my email. I don’t do illegal stuff, but I don’t necessarily want everything I do broadcast to the world. This is very troubling and downright maddening.

    • October 8, 2013 Reply

      Dan Shure

      Hi Charles and thanks for the comment. I think people are confused about what this plugin does. It doesn’t give anyone access to the content of your email. It does something all email marketing platforms (Constant Contact, MailChimp etc) have done for a long time, which is place a 1×1 pixel image in the email sent. This is nothing new. The only thing different about Yesware is it makes it easy to track email opens from within Gmail. But this tracking ability has existed for a very long time.

  • October 9, 2013 Reply

    Brian

    Like everyone I have used Google search engine, they were/are a good search engine, but it collects your data – I always delete the cookie when I have found what I want. Their Chrome browser tracks your every move, similarly Google +. I have 3 Gmail address’, which were useful at one time, but I no longer trust them, so because of this move of Google I will be deleting them. There is something about the way American companies do business that is on the nose. I still use Windows, and I reckon its the biggest virus of them all.

  • October 13, 2013 Reply

    Karin

    Hi I found this an interesting article and the discussion afterwards has been enlightening as well. I use Gmail and I organise kids’ basketball camps and I find that often I’m wondering if emails have been recieved and read by parents, even if the recipient hasn’t had the common courtesy to reply yes or no. It’s not that I’m being nosey with them but to get these camps underway we need a certain number of kids. I realise that people that actually want to do those camps will find you whether you keep asking them or not. The way I would use Yesware is to track who was opening the emails but not wanting to sign up and then deleting them after a certain number of non responses so as not to clog my email system either.

    If I’m just sending out normal emails from gmail, without any pictures embedded into them, would yesware work on my gmail and let me know who has actually even opened the email? For me it would be quite interesting for me to know of the emails that were opened immediately and the ones that got left for days, unopened in the inbox.

    Thanks for any advice you might have on this matter.

    • October 14, 2013 Reply

      Dan Shure

      Hi Karin

      Nice, that’s a great potential use for this plugin! Yesware will work in your situation ONLY if the end receiver has said “yes, display images in emails from ….” this is because there is a tiny 1×1 pixel image embedded in yesware emails (that’s how email tracking functionality works most of the time) – if you have sent people emails with images in the past, they may already be allowing images to show. You can also maybe send them an email with an actual image to get them to approve seeing images from your emails.

      Hope that helps!

  • October 17, 2013 Reply

    stevenna

    Go Woosta !

    • October 18, 2013 Reply

      Dan Shure

      ;-)

  • October 18, 2013 Reply

    ezra abrams

    creepy beyond belief. all i can say is, if i knew a salesperson was using yesware, I would avoid buying from that company if at all possible

  • October 23, 2013 Reply

    PiDicus Rex

    So, loads and image on a users machine, which then runs code.

    So, beyond the MASSIVE privacy invasion issue, it also opens a huge security, Malware and Virus attack hole.

    Question, are there any apps that block Yesware from functioning?
    I’m betting the very next update of any good Anti-Virus and Firewall software will include a ‘fix’ for this.

    • October 23, 2013 Reply

      Dan Shure

      Err nope. It puts an image in the email (which never “loads” onto the user’s machine, the email stays in the email server). This is no different than receiving an email in which you can see a picture. There is also no code being run on the user’s machine. The only thing new about yesware is the ability to run it from Gmail. Email subscription programs have been doing this stuff for years. You might as well unsubscribe from every email newsletter because those all track email stats in the same way.

  • October 26, 2013 Reply

    City

    What a propaganda piece for NSA

  • October 26, 2013 Reply

    Walter Oslund

    Check out bannatag.com for a similar but friendlier luser interface with analytics.

  • October 29, 2013 Reply

    Bob

    I have been using email tracking for 3 years now and believe me, it’s an invaluable tool. Read notify is what I use and it is pretty damn good (and cheap). But I will definitely check out yesware now that you popped the lid on it.

  • November 2, 2013 Reply

    Alan

    Sadly since the latest update Oct. 2013, Yesware has eliminated the Google Maps integration, which was my biggest help.

  • November 27, 2013 Reply

    ATNT

    It asked for permmssion to “read and manage your mails ,and your contacts” during the installation.
    am i alone?

    • November 27, 2013 Reply

      Dan Shure

      Pretty sure I remember approving that. I believe it’s required for the functionality of the plugin.

  • November 28, 2013 Reply

    ATNT

    I saw three types of them.any further insights,Dan? Thank.
    1,addon,like Yesware
    2,email address tail,like getnotify,add .getnotify.com at the end of recipient’s email address
    3,software,like MSGTAG

  • December 1, 2013 Reply

    Rob

    There are better alternatives out there for email tracking like read notify. Why would anyone want to give google any more access to sensitive info then they already have?

  • December 20, 2013 Reply

    Robson Grant

    ContactMonkey tracks 200 emails/ month for free and it’s integrated sidebar within Gmail is the cat’s meow!

  • December 27, 2013 Reply

    Wil Reynolds

    Hey Dan, funny I was just doing some research on Yesware for something totally unrelated and saw your face show up (authorship FTW). Of course seeing your face prompted me to click through, and then I re-read this piece and thought DAMN this is a GREAT post, one that you should probably re-post every so often, as it is appears to be a really great tool! I was looking for some gmail sales software solutions and came across this, going to share again!

    • December 27, 2013 Reply

      Dan Shure

      Thanks man! I always forget to re-post stuff that’s more “evergreen” – thanks for sharing again. Yeah I saw this tool having a lot of potential, and hope people try to see the psychology of email a bit better.

  • December 27, 2013 Reply

    Jamie Knop

    Good write up. I have used it before but it bugs out when sending emails through multiple SMTP accounts connected to Gmail unfortunately. Currently use Boomerang but if YesWare sorted the above issue out I would probably convert.

  • January 3, 2014 Reply

    btly

    What an interesting read. The ability to ID, locate, time stamp, map, to plan ones business, and battles will be such a invaluable tool. Wait! It rings a bell. There was once a time, not long ago, when emails arrived in my personal private email box, which appeared ordinary.. except that once I opened them, I Immediately had another email arrive telling me I had just opened, and read the content. Then, the threats from the unbalanced cyber-stalker continued. The anti-stalker community showed me how to read the source, and I called the company, (in TX), yes, I was listed as a “business contact”. My name was removed, but the company, to their credit, made me understand that stalkers simply move to another service. It took two years of constant fear to “resolve the issue”, which is basically that I didn’t respond, A. never feed a troll and/or stalker, and especially when they used my name in an unsavory blog, (anti-stalker group said Google your name, which I Never do anymore, as it would Tick as a visit on their public blog counter), and boasted on a public forum, I just let them have their day of glory. The person still knows where I live, and May? keep tabs on me??? I had to choose to not check to keep my Own sanity. You just live with it, knowing the courts are so overwhelmed with people that follow through with threats, doing physical bodily harm, or worse, that stalking/bullying is a non-issue. I use gmail as a study related inbox only. So at least I’m safe there – for now. Thought it might be interesting to understand how such services can be misused. Be careful “out there”.

  • February 12, 2014 Reply

    Michael Sharkey

    Great post, I’m a huge Yesware fan! Just a quick shout out to Prospect Ace (Google Chrome plug-in) to make the email research much easier. It helps find verified emails and demographic information: http://www.autopilothq.com/prospectace

  • March 19, 2014 Reply

    luko

    Sorry I didn’t want to pass all the comments to have your opinion. But when you install a system like Yesware, you have to accept that they get access to all of your navigation information and all of your Data on all websites. That sounds disturbing and much like Big Brother. You don’t even know what this information is use for.

    Do you know any similar apps where they don’t ask for that type of information?

    • March 20, 2014 Reply

      Dan Shure

      Sadly, just by using Google Chrome, Google gets a lot of the same info.

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