If you look at any guides on how to track Gmail location on Google, you will be told that you need to get an email header which contains an IP address and then need to paste it into the right site, and that’s great, except it’s not really accurate as most emails contain IP address of clients such as Gmail that do not reflect the actual location of your recipient.
Not to mention that this traditional approach isn’t time-efficient.
In this guide, we go over how to track the location of emails automatically, the two different methods, the ethics, the limitations, and the benefits.
Standard Email Location Tracking Method vs This Method
The standard method of tracking an email location consists of two steps.
- Finding the IP address of an email.
- Looking up that IP.
This method can work but is very limited as it constantly requires work on your side and is not always accurate.
If you were to apply it though, here’s what you would need to do:
- Open the email you want to find the location of.
- In Gmail/G Suite, you would now need to press on the 3 dots on the top-right corner of the email followed by Show Original.
Now, you will see the entire email with a lot of text that was not there before.
How this would look normally is that you would now need to go to the right site, and paste the header (all the text before the actual email) which would result in the site analyzing for the location of the site.
The issue with this approach?
- It takes a lot of time to investigate the location of every email.
- The services that analyze the location of emails can use and sell the data you provide them with. Not ideal for the safety & confidentiality of emails.
- This method is rarely accurate as a lot of clients such as Gmail don’t provide with the IP of recipents often resulting in the wrong country details and no city details.
The More Effective Gmail Location Tracking Method:
If you have a Gmail account or a G Suite account, instead of having to go through all these steps, you can simply download a Chrome extension called MailTag.
MailTag is primarily an email tracker allowing people to know when emails are opened, but it’s also a great tool for finding out where your emails were sent from.
It’s more accurate, quicker, and safer.
- You aren’t copying any data from your email into someone’s website. MailTag does not have access to the content of your emails.
- You get accurate information on the location of your recipient as you aren’t dependant on a header that often is misleading.
- You right away have info on the location of your email recipents without having to do anything.
Here’s an example of the same recipient that we know for sure is from Australia as that’s where the company is based.
On the first image, you see the info provided by a site where you paste in header info, meanwhile, on the bottom, the data is from MailTag:
The Benefits of Gmail Location Tracking:
The biggest benefit of tracking email location apart from simply knowing where the person is, is the insights that you get that can allow you to increase conversion rates.
For instance, by knowing someone’s location, you can understand someone’s culture better and thus write emails in the right tone. On the other side, you can also time your emails better if you know someone’s timezone which can drastically increase reply rates on your follow-ups.
Of course, there are also some rare use cases like our users that decided to use it to catch his wife cheating, but that’s a completely different story and not what MailTag is generally used for.
With MailTag you can also know when people open your emails, though. And for many, especially in the sales/marketing world, that’s what will be far more useful.
The Limitations of Tracking the Location of Emails
Of course, just like with all technology, there are some limitations.
An IP address of an email can briefly locate anyone in the world.
Except, when a VPN is used.
If someone is connected to a VPN and they open your email, they might look like they are somewhere else.
However, the majority of VPN users use a VPN only to unblock blocked streaming services, and in most cases, will not be using a VPN.
It is worth knowing about this limitation, though.
The Ethics of Email Location Tracking
When you copy data from an email into a random website that also happens to be free, that’s concerning.
After all, how does that website make money?
Is it by selling data?
MailTag isn’t able to collect data from your emails. If it did, it wouldn’t be in the Chrome Store.
That’s How Gmail Tracking Location Works
Email location tracking is possible, but the approach that is shown on the top-ranking posts isn’t really accurate.
With MailTag? You can track both when people open your emails and where they open them. Why not test it out for yourself with a 14-day free trial with no need for a card at sign-up? Just download the extension from the Google Chrome Store.