How I Used Email Tracking to Sell Our StartUp

When I was the CEO of my second startup DoctorBase, my sales team used email tracking to figure out who in their pipeline was reading their emails. This helped them focus on who to target and when to contact potential customers.

My marketing department used pixel retargeting so that when people came to our website they would see our ads across Facebook and other websites.

And that’s when I had my big idea on how to get people interested in buying our startup.

By combining pixel retargeting with email tracking I could send emails to executives and not only see when they opened my emails but automagically “pixel” them so even if they ignored me (which they did) they would see my ads across the web.

“You guys are blowing up,” one CEO said to me when I finally got him to respond.

Best email tracking attachment open tracking tool for Gmail

This was a solution I had our engineering team hack together (internally called “Project JetBridge“) because a solution that combined email tracking and pixel retargeting for Gmail didn’t exist.

That’s why we built JetBridge – it’s a simple plugin for Gmail that lets you have unprecedented visibility into how recipients read your emails and attachments, and depending on their actions can automagically send them to the most relevant retargeting campaign.

For example: It’s easy to connect your Facebook ad campaigns to JetBridge, and when you email prospects:

  • Those that didn’t open your email can be automagically shown generic brand messages on Facebook and Instagram.
  • Those that read your email but didn’t respond can be shown more granular retargeting ads since they already got your initial message and know what you’re about.
  • Those that read your email and responded can be shown case studies since they’ve indicated interest and need social proof from other customers.

But I wanted Email Tracking to do so much more –

  • I’m mobile a lot, and I didn’t always get the important desktop notifications on my Macbook. I mean, Tim Cook could be reading my cold email (he wasn’t) and if I was on my iPhone I’d have lost the opportunity to dance dance revolution with him.

Add Project JetBridge to Your Gmail For Free

  • We also wanted to know exactly how much time on each page of our attachments people were spending in minute detail, especially for important financial documents and VC presentations.

Don’t you want to know if a VC is forwarding your deck to someone else, or an executive at that Fortune 500 company is sharing your powerpoint presentation with their colleagues? I certainly do.

  • We needed to track email forwards, not just opens! An email forwarded clearly has a higher level of intent (like someone is sharing your email with fellow colleagues at their company. Or forwarding your emails to their lawyer 🙂 ).

Business can sometimes feel like war, and I want all of the intel possible.

So after I sold DoctorBase to the leading digital health company in our space in a mostly cash deal, I went to work with my core engineering team to build Project JetBridge as a commercially available free(mium) tool.

As is designed, JetBridge becomes increasingly more accurate over time gauging how interested your recipients are. And of course it’s super simple to connect your Facebook ads account and start pixeling your recipients.

It takes time for JetBridge to get smarter, but that’s how we designed it from the ground up with Dr. Scott Locklin (well known in the Machine Learning and AI space) and our two technical co-founders Mischa and Adam.

I want to hear all your product bitches and ideas for how to make Project JetBridge better for your startup or team. Email me at or catch me at any number of Mexican restaurants in San Francisco or bars in Kiev.

Add Project JetBridge to Your Gmail For Free