When you open an email message you may think that you’ll just read the email and then either reply to it or delete it. But by opening that email message you may be delivering information back to the sender, if that message is being tracked.
Ugly Mail is a Chrome extension that shows you when an email message is being tracked in your Gmail account. By using Ugly Mail you can see whether a message is being tracked before you open the email.
If you don’t like the idea of your email being tracked or you’ve ever been caught in a lie that you hadn’t opened your email when you actually had opened it, Ugly Mail is a must-have extension for you.
About Email Tracking Services
Tracking services let a sender know when you’ve opened an email message, sending a receipt to let the sender know you’ve seen what they’ve sent. Various tracking services can provide information such as:
- Type of device used (mobile vs. desktop)
- Your location when you opened the email
- Time and day the email was opened
- How many times the email has been viewed
Tracking services can be very useful to let you know whether your email has been opened or not. Perhaps the email you sent is either being ignored or didn’t get delivered. You may be able to get a better idea of whether to follow up on a job prospect, sales pitch, outreach to a long-lost friend, or other inquiry if you see that your email message has been opened 10 times versus none at all.
When you’re the one who’s being tracked, you may want to know that’s happening. You may think twice about opening an email that’s being tracked by its sender. Or you may not care at all for some emails. The choice should be yours.
What Ugly Mail Does
Ugly Mail helps you make an informed choice by showing you which email messages are being tracked by the sender. This Chrome extension works on Gmail by adding an eye icon to show you which email messages are being tracked by :
When you see these Ugly Mail icons you know that you’ll be delivering data back to the sender when you open those messages.
Ugly Mail works on Chrome and for Gmail accounts. Firefox and Safari extensions are due in the future.
How to Use Ugly Mail
Using Ugly Mail is free and easy. To get Ugly Mail, get the extension from the Chrome Web Store:
After you’ve installed the extension, go you your Gmail account to see if you have any messages in your inbox that are being tracked. (Note that you may have to close Chrome and reopen it for Ugly Mail to start working.) Look for the icons next to the messages to see which ones are being tracked.
Note that you must give permission for Ugly Mail to access your Gmail account. According to the developer quoted in an article in Wired, Ugly Mail “doesn’t store, save, or transmit any data from your Gmail account or computer; everything takes place on the user’s end.”
What Else You Should Know about Ugly Mail
The Ugly Mail description states that it shows tracking for these services: Streak, Yesware, Mandrill, MailChimp, Postmark, TinyLetter, Sidekick, MixMax and Bananatag.
The developer says that he’s working to expand that list to include additional tracking services.
Ugly Mail only reveals that an email message is being tracked, it doesn’t block the tracking.
The Ugly Mail eye icon is black and can’t be seen by those who are using a theme with a black background for Gmail. If you have a theme that uses a black background for Gmail, you won’t be able to see the Ugly Mail icons.
⇒ Don’t miss How to Personalize Your Gmail with Themes!
Have you ever wondered whether an email message is being tracked? Do you care whether you’re sending data when you open an email message? Will you use Ugly Mail to see which emails are being tracked? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments section below!