Gmail is one of the popular email clients with the best spam filter. But the limitation for Gmail is that it does not send you an email read receipt as soon as the recipient opens and reads your email unlike in rediffmail.com. If you want to find out when your email (composed in Outlook, Eudora, Yahoo Email, Gmail, Hotmail, AOL Email and many others) has been read by the recipient then use SpyPig.
SpyPig is a simple and freeware online email tracking system that sends you a notification email as soon as the recipient opens and reads your message.
How to use SpyPig?
- Open SpyPig. You will notice a form on the screen.
- Enter Email address ,Your message title
- Select SpyPig tracking Image. Choose the blank white image if you wish to make your tracking image “invisible” to the recipient. You can even upload your own image.
- Choose the number of times you want to receive the notifications. You will receive a notification every time your email is opened up to the number you select above.
- Click the button to create and activate your SpyPig email tracking image in the box.
- Copy the SpyPig image with a right-mouse click, and then paste it anywhere into your email message body. (Make sure you use an HTML-formatted email, not a plain-text or rich-text email.). You must do this before the activation (when the countdown hits 0 second). If you do it after, it may incorrectly think the recipient has opened your email and send you the notification email. To prevent this, simply click the button again to create and activate a new SpyPig image.
How does SpyPig works?
For SpyPig to work you and the recipient must use HTML-formatted email rather than just a plain-text or rich-text formatted email. Spy Pig uses tracking image whose reference to its location on their server is embedded in the HTML email message. As soon as a recipient opens an email message, the tracking image is automatically downloaded from their server, which in turn triggers the “email opened” alert on their system, which is then routed back to the email sender.
If you are using Microsoft Outlook 2003 follow the steps below for SpyPig to work.
- Open Outlook 2003 and navigate to Tools -> Options.
- Click “Mail Format” tab.
- On the entry “Compose in this message format”, select “HTML” from the pull-down menu
- Click on the “Internet Format…” button and a new pop-pop window will appear
- Under “HTML options”, uncheck the checkbox that says “When an HTML message contains pictures located on the Internet, send a copy of the pictures instead of the reference to their location”
- Under “Outlook Rich Text options”, Select “Convert to HTML format” from the pull-down menu
- Click “OK” on the pop-up window
- Click “OK” again on the main “Options” window
Once the settings are completed you can use SpyPig to track your email.
If you are using Mozilla Firefox, follow the steps below for SpyPig to work.
If you are using Firefox 2 or 3, Click and drag the tracking image and drop it into your email. To do so you need to open SpyPig in one window and your email service like Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail in another window.
Note- Make sure you have opened SpyPig and Gmail in two separate windows and not in two separate tabs to successfully perform drag and drop operation
SpyPig use the image as a tracking device, but there are certain circumstances where it fails to trigger the “email opened” alert in their system. SpyPig can fail due to following factors-
1. You or the recipient uses a plain-text email or rich-text email instead of HTML-formatted email
2. You use an HTML email, but somehow your software turns the SpyPig tracking image into an inline attachment instead of a downloadable remote image coming from our server.
3. The recipient disables or blocks the automatic image download on their email software
4. The recipient’s firewall, anti-spyware, anti-virus, anti-spam or anti-whatever software may mistakenly block or alter your email that contains a downloadable image such as the SpyPig image.
5. The recipient’s or your email provider or network does not allow a downloadable image in the email and delete it or alter it somehow
6. SpyPig sends you a notification email every time your email is opened. If your email is opened 10 times then you will be notified 10 times via email which is really annoying.
7. If the recipient forward your email to other friends, and they open you email then you will get a notification that your email has been read.
8. To suppress this limitation you can set the frequency that how many times you want SpyPig to send you notifications while generating the image.
9. If you send a group email with multiple recipients with a SpyPig in it, you will still be notified every time a recipient opens your email (up to the maximum number of notifications you set while generating the SpyPig Image), but you will not know which recipient. To get an individual notification from each recipient, you need to send a separate email with a different SpyPig image each.
If the SpyPig is not working for your email client, then you can follow simple steps below to trouble shoot the problem by looking into the source code of your HTML email after you paste the SpyPig tracking image into it.
If you see the src tag for the SpyPig image contain ‘http://www.spypig.com’ such as this:
then SpyPig will work.
But if you notice ‘cid’ in the src tag for the SpyPig image such as this:
then it won’t work. This is because your email client has turned the SpyPig image into an inline attachment as opposed to a downloadable remote image.
Make sure that the settings are correct for your email client.