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Has your Email Been Read?

January 27, 2008

spypigSpyPig is a new service that allows you to track read emails.

Unlike other complicated systems, the SpyPig website is very simple and cute, too. Simply type in your email address so SpyPig can email you when your email is read.

Next, give your message a name. It doesn’t have to be the same as the subject, but something descriptive enough like “Invite Chris to lunch” is enough.

Then choose your SpyPig image. Now, this part is very interesting:

You can choose for it to be a nice big ol’ picture of a pig, a pig with “SpyPig” on it, a “I know you’ve read my email!” or you can be sneaky and make it blank.

Now quickly hit the Activate button and you will see a countdown starting from sixty, and your image above.

This is the part where you need to hurry. As fast as you can, copy the image (not in Firefox, I’ll explain why later) into your email program and send it. Then close the browser window.

When you receive an email that your email has been read:


As you can see here, it can tell you how many times the email has been read (maximum is 5), when it was sent, and the recipient IP. All with a complimentary ad.

There are many limitations:

The sender must not use Mozilla Firefox, for somehow Mozilla tries to embed a copy of the tracker image instead of referencing it, and SpyPig needs you to reference it. Fixed: You now have to drag and drop it instead of copying. Chris from Spypig alerted me on this subject.

The receiver, on the other hand, must not have disabled HTML viewing. If the viewer views in Plain Text, then the code for the image will be valiantly displayed so your user gets a bunch of garble. In my online email program (as well as Thunderbird, my offline email program) block out images, so a tiny 15 pixel by 15 pixel square on the bottom may look like you’re from the FBI and trying to track ’em down.

All in all, however, SpyPig is a really great idea and system. Have any suggestions? I do: make it so that there is raw HTML that you can copy. Any of your ideas? Rant them out in the comments.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. February 2, 2008 3:18 am

    Hello Brad… this is Chris from Thanks for your review and compliment on my site.

    There has been an update. I just discovered tonight that email senders can actually use SpyPig with Firefox. Instead of the regular copying and pasting, the sender must drag the SpyPig tracking image into their email. This seems to solve the problem with image referencing.

    Anyway, I put part of your review on my website under “In the News”.



  2. February 2, 2008 12:45 pm

    Thanks. I have updated my article accordingly.

  3. February 13, 2009 11:33 pm

    this is SOOO cool feature ive been looking for this! better than msgtag and others. nothing gets better than spypig because its FREE! THANKS a lOT!

  4. Timothy A. Sells permalink
    March 13, 2010 8:40 pm

    I’m currently using spypig and there is another one which is
    . Both working well for me. but WhoReadMe do support sending emails directly from my client.


  1. Chris from Spypig just wrote a comment o … « Twitterlog

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