Last Updated: November 10, 2012 17

Spy Pig – Track if your Important Email has Been Read

Found In: Email

One of the curious things about the internet generally and email in particular is to know if and when people have read the email you sent them. This particularly important information when you have had a big drama with a large web site business they as usual are belligerent about how they have wronged you. Or it could be related to a romantic encounter and you are not sure if your mail is being read or sent directly to the trash bin. And the timing of when it was read can also be just as important, especially with legal matters that could be denied at a later time when ìtime is of the essenceî contract clauses are relied upon. Whatever reason you have, there is now a way for you to ensure you know exactly if they read it or not. Historically, applications like Outlook have enabled users to request a receipt acknowledging receipt of emails; but they are very intrusive and often not given serious thought by the email recipient. What has been needed is a system where it requires no action on the part of the person you email. That is you are not reliant on them clicking some kind of email received acknowledgement button at their end because most people click no to those even when they intend to read the email. Rather it needs to all be about silently getting the acknowledgement with no action required.

AS Long as User and Recipient Both Use HTML for Email. Spy Pig is Great

Spy Pig has such a facility and it is very clever. They simply host a small range of images on their server that you can choose from, and when you are ready to send the email all you need to do is to copy and paste the image you have chosen into your email and send it. By embedding a tiny image inside your HTML email which when viewed is called from the server, Spy Pig is able to detect the image has been viewed because it has been served to the email recipient from their server. They donít need to know who the email recipient is or their address; rather they just need to know that the image you selected got served from their server and thatís all the proof you need. Spy Pig then email you to advise you that not only has delivery of the email been achieved; it has been opened and viewed. Now of course no one can prove the recipient actually read all of the words in the mail; but they certainly can advise that the email was opened, and at what time it was opened.

Spy Pig Works on All Email Clients

This Spy Pig system works on almost all email clients including web mail systems like Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, Gmail et cetera, as well as Outlook, Eudora, AOL email and many other formats and systems. The main thing is that you send the email in HTML format; not in plain text or rich text formats as these methods will not call for the image from the server, and so no signal will be triggered. And this is true for both ends of the email exchange; both you and the recipient must both be using HTML email format settings in your email clients or there is no way to send or receive the image with your message code hidden inside it. And whilst there is no way to force the other party to set their email to HTML, by default most users already do use HTML for their email setting. In fact it is mostly only computer programmers and hard core server geeks who tend to stay true to the old text formatting style of decades ago.

No Registration Necessary

There is no need to register for the Spy Pig system; in fact there is no way to be able to. The Spy Pig web site consists of one page and on the right hand side of that you complete the details as requested. That is, you need to provide your email address to receive notification of the sent email being opened and viewed. You then need to use a distinguishable message title so that if you happen to use the Spy Pig many times for many different emails that you are able to discern which one has been opened for each email notification you get from Spy Pig as and when they happen. Then you select the image that you want to have encoded, and there is a blank white square to choose from if you want to keep the whole tracking issue a secret from the recipient or you can upload you own image if you prefer. The last thing to do is to click the ìCreate My Spy Pigî button, but this should not be clicked until after you have the email compiled and fully ready to send. After you do click the ìCreate My Spy Pigî button, you have sixty seconds to copy and paste the image in the box shown to the body of your email and to click send on the email.

Get Email Confirmation When Email is Opened.

The rest is up to the recipient. There is no time limit on how long they have to receive the email and open it. But the moment they do, the image you copied over to the email will be called and served from the Spy Pig server and it will then send you an email notification conforming that the email has been received and opened. What the recipient thought about your email is anyoneís; but for sure you no longer need to agonize over did they get and open it or not. Spy Pig is a great service, completely free and not even supported by advertising of any kind. The developers simply built the site to have some fun, and it has proved very popular ever since. With no accounts being created, users must go through the above process with every email they send for every time they want it tracked.