Monitoring Emails Using

This is Part Three in my series on monitoring and tagging emails and web visits.

In yesterday’s post, I wrote about a fantastic, low cost product  for  monitoring email, called MSGTAG.  I really enjoyed working with MSGTAG, but unfortunately it is not compatible with MS Exchange, a big drawback for most of us corporate email users. So I needed another solution.

I came across a Website called Unlike MSGTAG, readnotify operates as a service, instead of an application. The tagging for Readnotify is done from a centralized email server, not at the client PC. This has the advantage of being email server, or client PC agnostic.

Instead of sending an email to you now send the message to Instead of going directly to Joe Smith’s email server, the message makes a pit stop at, where it gets tagged and logged and forwarded to the correct address.

If it sounds like a pain to add the .readnotify suffix, there are some options available to you. Readnotify has plugins that operate with Outlook and many Webmail programs like Yahoo and Hotmail.  Myself, I loaded the client, but because of the selective way I personally use the product, have reverted back to using the suffix. (If I’m not too lazy, I might just set up a hot key.)

Readnotify has a web based interface that controls setup preferences and also provides an ongoing status log of mails recieved and forwarded. It even provides a Mapquest map of the probable site receiving the email.

Readnotify also provides a way to certify and timestamp messages,  so that you have proof that a certain email was sent at a certain time. It also provides a way to provide encrypted email.

Finally, one of the neat features of Readnotify is the ability to send self-destructing messages. A recipient is sent to a website to view a message that destructs after a set period of time. No record is kept.

Because it is a service, does cost a bit more than MSGTag. If I didn’t have the problem with Exchange, I probably would haven’t purchased, but now that I have, I find value that the value I get from the timestamps exceeds the difference in the cost of the service.

Note: One of my readers, Idan, sent me some info on another program, MailInfo. I haven’t used it, but it does look worth evaluating, if this type of tagging interests you.


  1. Mel

    I guess 90% of your emails ending up in the spam folder using this technique. Also tracking devices wont work with hotmail, aol. They do not allow automatic tracking devices, although Googel is the Father of tracking devices 😉

  2. Gonzalo

    I subscribed for a trial yesterday, sent one an email yesterday, another a few minutes ago and have just got a message from telling “We’re sorry, but your free trial has expired”

    I am using msgtag status years ago and works fine, inexpensive (just one pay) and think it is more reliable than readnotify.

    Readnotify would have more advantages if it just worked 🙁

    BTW, my statistics for mstag status show than more than 25% of my messages have been open and am aware many are open but not reported when they are read on linux/unix email clients

  3. Liam

    Is it possible for me to tell when I receive an incoming email, if it has a ‘ tag?

    Thank you.

  4. Heather Buchman

    Thanks for your posts, I’m going to look into both of these and see which one works best.

  5. Scott Pielsticker

    In addition to readnotify you can also check out ContactMonkey ( A super simple piece of email tracking software. Works with Outlook and Gmail. It’s like a Gmail read receipt. But invisible!


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