How To Tell If Someone Has Opened Your Pitch

How To Tell If Someone Has Opened Your Email Pitch

These days, sales software isn’t only for sales and marketing teams. Email tracking is one of the core tools used by the pros to gain insight into their customers. It also happens to be one of the main tools that sets professional publicists apart from the newbies.

In this post, I’m going to discuss what email tracking is and why it’s an important part of publicity.

I’ll also share my 6 favorite online tools to automate your email tracking and set you up for a perfect pitch. Because you can totally work like a pro from the get go!

What is email tracking?

In a recent Quora post, Russ Heddleston (CEO and Co-founder of DocSend) said it best:

“Email tracking typically works by embedding a single pixel in the outgoing email. When that pixel is loaded, it’s assumed that the email was opened.

Sales and marketing teams often use this as a way to understand how clients or leads are engaging with the messages they send.”

Basically, email tracking lets you know when someone has opened your email. It’s such an easy thing to set up, but it’s also one of the biggest aha moment inducers in my PR arsenal.

Why is email tracking useful in publicity?

Here’s why email tracking is the bee’s knees when it comes to running a PR campaign:

1. You can find out when someone has opened your pitch. 

What this means: Your email subject lines are working. Take note! It also means that you have a bite. The writer you pitched is interested enough to open your pitch.

Next Steps: You’ll want to quickly follow up with someone who has opened your email. If your recipient hasn’t opened your email even after a few follow ups, you know to move on to someone new.

2. You can tell when someone has clicked a link.

What this means: Most email tracking software tells you when someone has clicked a link in your email. Again, well done! That means that your pitch was clear and inspired your recipient to want to learn more.

Next Steps: You can even include this information when you follow up with them. For example “Hi Laurie, I noticed that you watched the video I sent you. Do you think your audience would find the marketing tips I talked about useful?”

3. Email tracking takes away a lot of the guesswork.

What this means: Although an opened email doesn’t guarantee a response, it does let you know that your email went through to the right person.

Next Steps: By tracking the actions of your recipients, you can create a workflow. You now know when to continue pursuing a hot lead or stop bothering someone who is clearly not interested.

Email tracking uses data to give you more confidence in what you’re doing. It can help you understand what needs to be adjusted: email subject lines, your pitch, the way you format your links, etc.

By tracking emails, you can provide clear value to your prospects, improve your PR workflow, and increase your chances of securing press.

So how do I track emails?

There are a ton of different options for email tracking software and I know you don’t have time to go through them all. Below is a qualified list of my favorite email trackers 🙂

Streak For Gmail

A great starter option. Integrates seamlessly into Gmail and has a customizable, color coded funnel dashboard to help you keep track of your pitches. Icons in your inbox show you which emails have been opened.

Features: real-time notifications, email scheduling, templates

Price: Free Plan (200 tracked opens per month), paid plans start at $39/month


Easy to use plugin that has the upper hand of being able to tell you exactly which person opened an email in group emails.

Features: email tracking, real-time notifications, link tracking, email templates, email scheduling

Price: Free Plan (200 tracked opens per month), Pro Plan $50/mo (includes unlimited email tracking and premium features)


A well-rated email tracker that gets the job done.

Features: real-time notifications, link tracking, attachment open tracking, follow-up reminders, email templates, email scheduling

Price: 28 Day free trial, paid plans start at $12/month


From the people who make one of my favorite email research tools, a straightforward and free option to know if your emails are getting opened.

Features: real-time notifications

Price: Unlimited free email tracking

Hubspot Sales

This is the software I use to run my PR business. It integrates with their free CRM and helps me keep all my PR and sales info in one spot. I also love that they have a mobile app, so I can get email notifications even when I’m traveling.

Features: real-time notifications, link tracking, attachment open tracking, follow-up reminders, email templates, email scheduling, mobile app with push notifications

Price: Free Plan (200 tracked opens per month), Pro Plan $50/mo (includes unlimited email tracking and premium features)

Does email tracking ever not work?

Yes. The tracking is done by loading a tiny image in the email. Some people have images turned off on their email, so you wouldn’t get a notification that the person opened their email. While email tracking isn’t foolproof, it’s a powerful strategy to uplevel your PR game.

Tell me, how could email tracking help your business? Leave a comment below!

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