Dec 9 2010
We’ve all seen it before. Some poor guy, usually around college age, looking nervous in front of the computer. His mouse is hovering over the send button for a desperate and lamely worded email to a girl he likes. He knows nothing about life and how to get the girl, and presses the button. Immediately, he regrets it with all his might, yet the email is gone. The following days consist of constantly checking his inbox, to no avail. Days drag into weeks and eventually he may get the response, “That’s really sweet of you but I’m seeing someone.”
First we’ll address the obvious issue- dudes of the nerd world, just pick up the phone and call the girl. Now that that’s taken care of, there’s that issue of the email. Once it’s sent, we have no idea what happens to it. Did they receive it, read it, or forward it to all their friends? All that’s known about sent emails is that they drift into the nebulous fog of cyberspace. Where only Julian Assange and secret government oversight committees, know their contents.
Tracking one’s emails after they’ve been sent would be very useful. Did the client get your follow up request? Have they read the email multiple times, and for how long? What is the look on their face when they read it? All these questions, (except the one requiring access to their web cam) can now be answered by utilizing a new service, PointofmailTM.
Pointofmail is an email tracking tool that gives unprecedented insight and control of your emails after they’re sent. It works like this. Register for an account, which includes verifying your email address. Then when you send emails add ‘.pointofmail’ to the end of the email address you’re sending it to. So when you send Bill Gates your request to collect a portion of his fortunes it should go to email@example.com. Granted, this may be slightly cumbersome for some, so there are a few options. The first is to use an add-in tool provided by Pointofmail to add it for you. These are downloadable for MS Outlook, MS Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird. Once installed it adds a button to the toolbar which will add the extension to all emails in the to, cc, and bcc fields. So essentially it comes down to pressing one extra button before sending the email. For the truly lazy who are not to be bothered with the pressing of an extra button, they can use Pointofmail’s online interface. Users can import all their contacts from their email service and send emails directly from Pointofmail.com.
Using the website has the added benefit of increased functionality and options. The basic functionality allows you to see whether the email was read or not, how long it was opened, how many times it was opened, the location is was opened, and a few other details. Optionally you can track whether links were clicked or attachments were opened. Emails can also be sent with the advanced tracking option which opens up a whole new world of never seen before functionality. Advanced tracking allows the email to be editable, recallable, and self destructible. So if you send the email, and wish to change the wording after the fact, you can. Recallable is essentially the long sought after Unsend button. Many an email to ex girlfriends needed this button. The self destruct option gives the user the ability to specify a time for the email to be deleted. It can be based upon time after the email is opened, time after the email is read, or if the email is forwarded.
Pointofmail has multiple configurable notification options. These are event based depending on when emails are sent, read, links are clicked, or attachments open. They can be set to never, once, always, or if the email is forwarded. These notifications can be sent to you email account or via SMS message.
Pointofmail is a professional service and comes in silver, gold, and platinum packages. Details of its offerings can be found here. The top is the platinum package which is $100 for a year. Beneath that are a typical spectrum of options that vary in duration, service level, and fee. It comes with a free trial so anybody can test it out.
I never thought someone would provide the ability to edit or delete emails after they’re sent. This is a truly an innovative solution- one that people have long wanted from their email service. It gives forlorn lovers the chance to rescue their dignity, and all others the ability to track the activity of their email correspondence.