TL:DR; you can block trackers in three ways, jump to the solutions, but first...
What is an email tracker?
Almost every email we get from a company mailing list these days is tracking us. These trackers work by embedding a pixel within the email, which loads from an external website. When you open the email, the pixel loads and the sender can now see that you've opened it.As well as simply knowing you've read the email, tracking pixels can be used for various other nefarious and intrusive means, as was proved last year by popular new email client SuperHuman.
It was reported that as well as read-receipts, SuperHuman was recording when the email was opened, how many times it was opened, and even where the recipient was when they opened it, which rightly creeped a lot of people out.
After the exposé, SuperHuman decided to remove these tracking features, but it had started a set of heated conversions on social media regarding the ethical use of tracking pixels.
Unlike other web tracking, with pixel tracking it's not something that you can easily opt-out of. But we've collected a few options, so if you don't want to be tracked then follow these steps...
Tracking pixels are tiny 1x1 pixel images embedded in an email. So by far the easiest strategy is to simply block all images in your email client. Most clients let you do this and then allow you to enable the images in a specific email if you need to.
- Guaranteed to block all tracking
- You wont see images in your client anymore
- If you enable images in a specific email then it will re-enable tracking in that email
Use our block list with your ad blocker
If you're using an ad-blocker then it can be customised to add specific URLs and elements to block. We've created a custom block list specifically for email pixel tracking URLs. Check it out here for install instructions.
It was under this mounting frustration and anxiety that, on the recommendation of a fellow freelancer, I downloaded a tool originally meant for marketers but increasingly used by people who want to know if and when someone had actually seen their casually desperate “just following up” message: an email tracker.
- Only block the tracking pixels, other images wont be blocked
- We might not catch every URL companies use for tracking as they could periodically change (but you can submit more here and we'll try and keep it up to date).
Finally, it's always in your power to just unsubscribe from mailing lists that are tracking you!If you need help with this, Leave Me Alone will now show you which mailing lists contain trackers when you run a scan, and as always you can easily unsubscribe from them with a single click.Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this post drop us a like or retweet on Twitter, it really goes a long way to helping us reach more people ❤
Myths of Email
And as always, enjoy your clean inbox! 💌