Bananatag is a Gmail tool that works well as a Chrome extension. With Bananatag you can easily track who has opened an email you’ve sent.

If you’re in the PR or communications field, here’s a little blessing in disguise. Bananatag has enabled me to refine how I do outreach on a person-to-person basis. By testing different subject lines and email body copy, I was able to see what gets people opening my emails, and with split-tests of different messages, how often people reply.

I found that the shorter the message — two to three short sentences including a quick greeting, request, and sign off lead to the most replies — along with a simple yet informative email subject line.

So you’re probably asking how does this help me?

The answer is simple. When you are sending your professor (or anyone, for that matter) a timely and important question, and have little time to wait on an answer, Banantag sends you an email notification when the recipient has received and opened your email. This means your next move is to wait on the reply. If they don’t open your timely email, however – this is a good indication of what you need to do next. Give them a phone call, instant message, or simply email and ask the next best person and facilitate that answer you’re so desperately seeking.

You can find Bananatag here. Integration into your Gmail is very simple and quick, so we recommend you give it a try. And have fun playing around with it.

[Photo credit: horiavarlan on Flickr]