This article describes how tracking works, including:
- How to track emails
- Attachment tracking
- How Bananatag counts an open
- What recipients see
- Link tracking (clicks)
How to Track Emails
Tracking your emails will let you know how your recipients are interacting with your emails after they are sent. Bananatag lets you know when emails are opened, and if links within the email are clicked. To get started tracking your emails...
- Click "Track Email" in your email composition window before sending
Gmail or Google Mail
In Gmail, make sure the Track box is selected.
Make sure that the Track Email button is highlighted (if not, click it to select it) and click Send:
Other email clients
Virtually any email client can be set up to track emails with Bananatag using our SMTP Relay Service. For more information and setup instructions for your specific client, view the articles on our Help Center.
Note: Attachment tracking is currently only available for users of Gmail.
Attachments sent through Bananatag will function a slightly different way when they reach recipients compared to file attachments made through built in file attachment tools in email clients.
The difference lies in how the recipient accesses those files. When an attachment is sent regularly through email, the file itself is sent directly to the recipient who can then open it or download it to their device. When you track an attachment with Bananatag, the file is actually stored on our server, and instead of the recipient receiving that file directly, they can access it through our servers. This is how we track information relevant to how many people engaged with the attachment you had sent.
Tracking an attachment can provide you information relevant to how many people opened the attached file and even how long they might have viewed a specific page or area, which is extremely useful for files types like PDF, RTF or DOC.
File sizes for attachments tracked through Bananatag can be as large as files you would normally send through Gmail. The current maximum file size for files tracked through Bananatag is 25MB (Megabytes).
Technical: How Bananatag Counts an Open
Bananatag uses similar technology as mass-email marketing companies to track email opens. This is achieved by inserting a small and transparent image (or Tracking Pixel) into the message being tracked. When the email is viewed by your recipient (and the image is downloaded) an Open is recorded.
Some important considerations about opens:
If the person opening the message has images disabled you will not get an open notification. This may be set to default in some email programs due to abuse by spammers.
Sending an email to yourself and opening it in the same browser will not trigger an Open. When you track an email, Bananatag sets a cookie so that you don't receive Opens from yourself (when going through sent items for example). When Testing Opens, it's best to open from a different device than the one you track from.
If the recipient uses plain text email you will not get an open notification. While the vast majority of people do not use plain text email (and will automatically download your tracking pixel) it's important to remember this may not always be the case.
Some email programs may re-download the content of a tracked email multiple times while the message is open. While we have systems to minimize instances where multiple open notifications are sent for the same tracked email, this is also possible.
Since there are some instances where it won't be possible to determine if an email has been opened, it's important to remember that your open rates will be as good or better than what is displayed in your account. Additionally, the considerations above have no impact on how links are tracked.
What Recipients See
Your tracked emails won't look any different to your recipient. Bananatag does not add any signatures or other visual changes to your email that would notify the recipient that you are tracking an email.
The only difference will be that your links will change to redirect links, though this is not obvious to the recipient.
Below is an example of what the alt text for links will appear as in a tracked email:
When tracking emails from Outlook with Bananatag, all links inside your emails will be automatically tracked, and (depending on your notification settings) you will be notified when your links are clicked by recipients.